French auction house Artcurial will hold a sale dedicated entirely to vintage and contemporary Panerai watches on December 8.
British watch collectors and retailers, which can bid online at Artcurial.com, are certain to be active at the sale with interest in Panerai soaring in the UK in the past decade.
Around 100 lots from the 1930s through to the present day will be presented, with estimates ranging from €2000 up to €80,000.
The Italian watch brand, founded in Florence in 1860, is famous for supplying precision instruments to the Italian navy. It was acquired by Vendôme (Richemont Group) in 1997, and was subsequently launched on the international market.
The sale will be divided into three sections: vintage watches from 1930-1950; pré-Vendôme from 1993-1997; and Vendôme from 1997 to present day.
The auction house says it took more than a year for its experts to bring the 100 timepieces together.
“It was in 1936 that the first Panerai prototype appeared, the Radiomir, for use by the Italian navy on diving missions. Subsequently, Panerai went on to create some of the most unusual diving watches on the market. It is natural, therefore, that almost 80 years after the first Panerai watch appeared, Artcurial should dedicate an exclusive sale to the brand, entitled Panerai Only,” explain Marie Sanna-Legrand and Romain Réa, from Artcurial’s Watches department.
“An icon of contemporary watchmaking, Panerai’s forms, colours and designs are a perfect represention of the 20th century object. More than a simple wristwatch, some of these pieces have become incredible works of art. A perfect example is the 1956 Egyptian Radiomir with its 60mm diameter, micro-blasted rotating bezel and crown-protecting bridge : a genuine horological sculpture,” they enthuse.