The exhibition, which runs from August 29 to September 24, features a remarkable line-up of 14 vintage Panerai watches and naval instruments, some of which are worth £300,000.
Officine Panerai produced a very small number of timepieces from the 1930s-1990s, and the majority of these were not available to the public. The company, which was founded in Florence in 1860, supplied the Italian Navy with precision diving instruments for many years. As a result, its designs were shrouded in secrecy and protected by the Military Secrets Act. Iconic Panerai watches such as the Luminor and Radiomir were only launched in the public realm after the Richemont Group bought the company in 1997.
The Harrods exhibition is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a selection of Panerai watches dating back to the 1940s, as well as modern-day limited edition pieces from the 1990s and early 2000s.
Of the older models, a very rare Radiomir California 3646, dating back to 1941, is particularly noteworthy along with a 1955 Panerai Luminor featuring an Angelus movement and a 1956 Egiziano Grosso.
The newer watches on display include the 1993 Mare Nostrum, which inspired the special limited edition Radiomir Chronographs launched by Panerai earlier this year. There are also two special editions from 2002 and 2005, as well as a Limited Edition Paneristi watch from 2010. All the items on show are on loan from private collectors.