The Italian watchmaking company Officine Panerai, has opened its latest boutique inside the popular shopping area in Beijing, Wangfu Central (WFC) at Wangfujing. The new 56 sqm store is designed by the Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola. Inspired by the main characteristic themes of Panerai,such as the Florentine origins, the link to the nautical world and the strong Italian heritage, the Spanish architect used veined Italian marble “calacatta luccicoso”, burnished brass, bronze and a special “reeded” glass, undulating and transparent, as clear reference to the world of the sea.
A large Wall Clock welcomes clients and enthusiasts visiting the boutique, recalling one of the most iconic Panerai dials: that of Luminor Marina, with the characteristic small seconds counter at 9 o’clock and numbers and dial particularly bright. With the new opened Urquiola boutiques, Officine Panerai now has 10 boutiques in China and 75 worldwide.
Founded in 1860 in Florence, Italy, it started out with a boutique, a workshop and a watchmaking school. Officine Panerai was for years the supplier of precision instruments to the Italian Navy, in particular equipping the commando frogmen. The projects created at that time, including the Luminor and Radiomir watches, continued to be covered by military secrecy for many years, until the purchase of the brand by the Richemont Group in 1997 and the brand’s subsequent launch on the international market. Today, Officine Panerai develops and produces its own movements and watches – combining Italian design and history with Swiss craftsmanship – in its manufacture at Neuchâtel, and these are sold worldwide through an exclusive global network of authorised dealers, and in its own-brand boutiques throughout the world.