Giovanni Panerai founded the luxury watch company, Officine Panerai, in 1860 in Florence, Italy. Quickly building a reputation for quality craftsmanship, Giovanni Panerai’s status as a fine quality watchmaker allowed him to be in touch with some of the most prestigious Swiss watch manufacturers. Eventually, Giovanni was succeeded by his son, Leon Francesco, and the family business continued to flourish throughout the 19th Century. Giovanni Panerai’s grandson, Guido, expanded the family business, focusing on high precision mechanisms. This additional focus allowed Panerai to become the official supplier to the Royal Italian Navy in 1900 and to continue the company’s dominance in the industry into the 20th Century. The boutique shop Guido opened that year can still be seen today, and the words "Orologeria Svizzera" – Swiss Watchmaker – can still be seen above the door.