Many of you may not know, but a great deal of Panerai’s popularity is a direct result of Silvester Stallone’s promotion of Panerai watches in Hollywood circles. In this article, we will uncover Stallone and his Journey with Panerai in Hollywood.
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone (Sly), an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and artist. Better known as probably one of the most famous A-List “action” actors in Hollywood with 3 major film series that became household names – Rocky/Creed, The Expendables, and Rambo. Known for creating the “Italian Stallion” script for Rocky, in which he also became famous as the lead actor, Sly became the perfect spokesperson for the Italian watchmaker brand Panerai.
As the years go by, throughout Stallone’s career, as he would travel for movie productions around the world, he accidentally stumbled upon Panerai watches when strolling around Florence and Rome, Italy.
Sylvester Stallone has often used Panerai Watches in his movies. In this picture, you can see him wearing a Panerai Luminor Slytech with a Panerai leather strap
It was until December 17, 1994, that Panerai took the opportunity to approach Stalone with the idea to advertise the glorious watches in public or while shooting scenes in his movies, for promotional purposes. The first model was spotted on Stallone’s wrist during the opening party of the Planet Hollywood restaurant at the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Sylvester Stallone was wearing a Luminor Logo on the typical shark leather star, as shown in the picture below.
Now let’s look into some history behind Officine Panerai, founded by Giovanni Panerai in 1860 in Florence, Italy. However, today, the company is headquartered in Geneva and manufactures its timepieces in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Interestingly, Panerai was many things. The office started as a watchmaking school, a watch repair shop, and a store for watches. However, Panerai also became engrossed in designing instruments for the industry – eventually for the Royal Italian Navy.
One great discovery was to create the luminous product Radiomir, which combined radium, zinc suphide and mesothorium. In the 1930’s Panerai collaborated with Rolex to develop a Reference 2533 powered timepiece for the Italian Military. This also featured the waterproof Rolex Oyster case which was modified off of a pocket watch.
Panerai developed many new components to support the collaboration with Rolex and the military. The dials became developed with hardened plexiglass. They waxed the leather straps and created dials with exceptional visibility. The final result was to become the backbone of the Italian Navy – the reference 3646.
Although Panerai remained focused on military contracts, after World War II, Panerai started to glimpse commercial success. It emulated the Rolex water-proof system by developing the locking mechanism to protect the crown. It also worked to reduce the radiation health impact of Radiomir, by developing a tritium based product dubbed Luminor. Although the same formulations are no longer used today, the names Radiomir and Luminor continue to be used and imprinted on many Panerai timepieces today.
For several decades the watchmaking arm of Panerai essentially disappeared, until 1993, when it resurfaced with 3 new models featuring a 44mm case, and the crown protection system it is known for.
However, since Panerai didn’t have the distribution channels and marketing budget, the brand struggled to find much footing.
It wasn’t until then-famous actor Sylvester Stallone discovered the brand while shooting the film “Daylight” in Rome that he discovered the Luminor Marina. Stallone enjoyed the military look of the timepiece and the large size for his muscular wrist. He placed a mass order for a “Slytech” branded group of Luminors.
With friend Arnold Schwartzenegger, Stallone helped make Panerai’s popularity grow. During the opening party of the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Berlin, picture below. Which took place in late September 1996, Stallone gifted his friend Arnold Schwarzenegger a unique gold-plated Luminor Logo specifically made for Stallone by Panerai distributor Giancarlo Dallerba. This caught the attention of the Vendome Group (now Richemont, S.A.) who invested in the Panerai brand.
With this new infusion of cash and extensive distribution contacts, Panerai was able to expand its lineup. Panerai was able to come out with its first self-developed caliber P.2002 in early 2000s and has continued to develop many new calibers since then. New models with sizes from 40 mm to massive 60 mm sizes were also released.
Arnold Schwarzenegger wore a Luminor Marina 5218-203/A in Eraser, a motion picture that was released in June 1996. That was six months before Stallone’s Daylight was released in December 1996.
Some of the most amazing accomplishments were coming out with Panerai submersibles which are not only highly luminous and readable but also able to withstand depths of up to 1000 feet.
Other achievements include coming out with calibers with amazing power reserve storage which is almost unmatched in the industry. The Luminor GMT 10 Days, supports an amazing 10 days of power reserve. At only 44mm but it also has an amazing amount of power within its size. It almost begs the question, why many other brands have not achieved even a fraction of that power reserve in their calibers.
Rubber B introduces high-tech Rubber B straps for Panerai Luminor: a series of rubber straps engineered to fit specific Panerai Luminor 40mm, 42mm, 44mm, and even 47mm with “Blocked Integration” for a beautiful and comfortable mount. Rubber B offers a diversity of colorful straps made of pure 100% vulcanized rubber, no coatings, blends, or bonding.
You can pick and choose from diverse colors, and designs depending on your Panerai model such as the below:
- Blue Strap for Panerai 47mm – SwimSkin® Rubber Cuff Series$300.00
- Brown Strap for Panerai 47mm – SwimSkin® Rubber Cuff Series$300.00
- Black Strap for Panerai 47mm – SwimSkin® Rubber Cuff Series$300.00
- Blue Strap for Panerai 42mm – SwimSkin Ballistic strap 100% Rubber$280.00
- Green Strap for Panerai 42mm – SwimSkin Ballistic strap 100% Rubber$280.00
- Sahara Tan Strap for Panerai 42mm – SwimSkin Ballistic strap 100% Rubber$280.00
- Black Strap for Panerai 42mm – SwimSkin Alligator strap 100% Rubber$280.00
- Brown Strap for Panerai 42mm – SwimSkin Alligator strap 100% Rubber$280.00
- Black and Red Strap for Panerai Luminor 44mm VulChromatic®$280.00
- Black and Blue Strap for Panerai Luminor 44mm VulChromatic®$280.00
- Black and White Strap for Panerai Luminor 44mm VulChromatic®$280.00
- Black and Green Strap for Panerai Luminor 44mm VulChromatic®$280.00
- Red Strap for Panerai Luminor 44mm$250.00
- Black Strap for Panerai Luminor 44mm$250.00
- Green Strap for Panerai Luminor 44mm$250.00
All Rubber B bands are manufactured in Switzerland with 100% Vulcanized Rubber. This provides exceptional water resistance, long-lasting beauty and luxury, and comfort. These bands are perfect for swimming, diving, and athletic activities. It is a sublime complement for Panerai watches.
For more information about Panerai Rubber B straps, click here.
Visit Rubber B’s social channels @rubberb_official @rubber_b_fanpage or #rubberb on Instagram, for a diversity Panerai Rubber B straps.