In 1860, the merchant, craftsman and inventor Giovanni Panerai opened the first store and watchmaking shop in the city on the Ponte alle Grazie. Then the "Orologeria Svizzera", the name attributed to his nephew Guido, becomes the dealer of the biggest Swiss watch brands and settles in the archiepiscopal palace of Piazza San Giovanni, where it is still located today.
At the beginning of the 20th century, exactly in 1916, Guido Panerai filed the first patent that was the foundation of a long history of innovation for the Panerai brand: the innovative invention was the Radiomir : a radio-based luminescent powder that has been applied to watch dials and devices to facilitate reading of the data. The Radiomir has catched the attention of the royal navy and the activities of the company were totally conditioned by their needs.