Words by: Jared Paul Stern
The burgeoning neighborhoods stunning Sou Fujimoto building at Palm Court already houses a number of high-end watch boutiques, and now SwissItalian brand Officine Panerai is getting in on the act with their largest shop to date in the U.S, a new flagship for the Americas. Designed by world-renowned architect Patricia Urquiola, the 2,200-sq.-ft. store pays tribute to Panerais origins as a maker of diving instruments for the Italian navys commandos and underwater assault teams. Its standout fixture is a custom chandelier designed by Urquiola and inspired by Panerai movements with various wheels, rings and disks.
It was Sylvester Stallone who originally helped bring Panerai to the worlds attention when they had only made wristwatches under military contract. Originally using Rolex movements for their divers watches, the brand pioneered the oversize watch trend and was purchased by the Vendome Group, now known as Richemont, in 1997. The pre-Vendome models as theyre now known, made in extremely limited numbers, now fetch astonishing prices at auction, while modern versions of their iconic Luminor and Radiomir have attracted modern sportsmen and collectors. Dashing Panerai CEO Angelo Bonati, who presided over the Miami opening, is also a keen yachting enthusiast and the brand sponsors some of the worlds best classic yacht regattas. Just one more reason they're dear to DQs heart.
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