Harrods will be hosting an exclusive exhibition of extraordinary, never-seen-before Panerai timepieces in its Fine Watch Room.
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.
An example of only 24 watches bearing the 6152 reference, the Panerai 6152 circa 1955 features a blue Radiomir dial along with a Rolex 618 15-jewel calibre. Its estimated value is £180,000.
Featuring a Radiomir dial and Rolex 618 17-jewel movement, only 36 Panerai 6154's were produced. It is known among collectors as the Piccolo Egiziano and has an estimated value of £300,000.
A watch for the Panerai purist, the 3646 Radiomir features its original blue hands and an extremely simple, clean design with just eight markers, four numbers and two hands, which would have glowed in the dark, its estimated value is £120,000.
Iconic Panerai watches such as the Luminor and Radiomir were only launched in the public realm after the Richemont Group purchased the company in 1997.
The Panerai Radiomir watch was inspired by more recent timepieces which will also be on display at Harrods, including the 1993 Mare Nostrum, which inspired the special limited edition Radiomir Chronographs launched by Panerai earlier this year.