Let it be said straight-away: I could not afford one of these watches (once manufactured for the Royal Italian Navy) but I think they are things of beauty. The name? Officine Panerai. The company is now headquartered in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, but I have nevertheless always considered this an Italian watch and loved it for that fact.
1860: “Giovanni Panerai (1825-1897), founder of the family business, opens the first watchmaker’s shop in Florence on the Ponte alle Grazie and establishes contact with the most prestigious and longest established Swiss watch manufacturers. Giovanni is succeeded by his son, Leon Francesco…” And so the story began.
Back when I was single and earning “real” money and thought of no one but myself (almost), I might have bought one, had I even known they existed. But now that I know them and find that their heavy metal tugs at my heart, they are far out of reach.
Fortunately for me, their website offers a screen saver to upload to the computer. So though I don’t have leather and bronze strapped around my wrist, I have the “Luminor Marina” face before me much of the day—a small gift from those who have to those who have not. If you click on the image below, you can have one too. (You’ll see “Download Screensaver,” with a choice of Mac or PC just to the right of the site’s footer menu.)