Luxury watch brand wins celebrity fans

The perfect watch for an action hero? Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson wears a Panerai in disaster movie San Andreas.

When it comes to fashion, luxury watches are a classic staple that never goes out of style. And one of the luxury watch brands that has seen a big spike in prominence and popularity in recent years is Panerai. Established in Florence in the late nineteenth century, the brand started life as a watch shop selling high quality pocket watches. However, it soon evolved and became known for a specialisation in mechanical engineering – a specialisation which led to it designing and producing high quality equipment for the Italian navy.

Over the years, Panerai applied its engineering expertise to branch out from its military background to create high quality diving watches for the general public, teaming up with Rolex in the mid twentieth century to produce stylish yet functional timepieces which quickly became firm favourites with luxury watch aficionados.


Since its fairly humble beginnings, the Panerai has grown into one of the top luxury watches for men (particularly since being acquired by luxury goods brand the Richmont Group) and has won itself a large cohort of ardent fans, affectionately referred to as ‘Paneristi’.

One such fan is the wrestler-turned-actor, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who wore a Panerai watch for his role in San Andreas – a 2015 disaster movie which takes place during the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California. Johnson has evolved from his WWF beginnings to become one of the world’s biggest celebrities at the moment, and his endorsement of Panerai timepieces is a major coup for the brand.

Celebrity favourite

Dwayne Johnson is not the first celebrity to be spotted wearing a Panerai watch. Fellow action-movie star Sylvester Stallone is also known to be a huge fan of the brand after falling in love with its watches during a visit to the Panerai boutique in Florence. As well as wearing the Panerai brand himself, both on-screen and off-screen, Stallone has also had special edition watches (carrying the ‘SlyTech’ moniker) made as gifts for celebrity friends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Panerai timepieces have also had a lot of Hollywood screen time over the years. As well as adorning the wrist of Dwayne Johnson in San Andreas, Panerai watches have also been worn by Mel Gibson in Daddy’s Home 2, Jason Statham in Transporter 2, and Stallone himself in The Expendables and its sequel, as well as disaster movie Daylight. Even Johnson has worn the Panerai previously, showcasing a Luminor Submersible model in 2011 film Fast Five.

Ready for action

It’s no coincidence that Panerai watches are a favourite with action movie heroes such as Johnson. With their military background (Panerai originally made compasses and depth gauges for the navy), minimalist yet sporty appearance, hard-wearing black rubber strap, and shock-resistant titanium case, these high-end watches really are ready for action.

The Luminor Submersible version (as modelled by Johnson) is also waterproof up to a depth of 300 metres and offer a range of features that should appeal to any self-respecting action hero, including an immersion time calculator and luminous dials that offer maximum legibility in poor light conditions and underwater – all of which are sure to come in useful when you’re off trying to save the world!

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