I just wanted to say hello and share a little History of Panerai from Mario Paci (Former Chief Engineer of Panerai 1983 to 1997)
The Logo OP represents the stylised beginning letters O and P of Officine Panerai name, but not only.
Do you know which is the meaning of the two arrows, one towards up and one toward down? Itís very simple and intuitive. Officine Panerai, since the origins and up today, has been always specialist in manufacturing underwater products and landing aid systems.
The firsts (wrist watches, compasses, depth-meters, tank level probes, mechanical timers for underwater mines and many others) were used under the sea.
The seconds (Deck landing systems, Helipad lighting systems, Portable landing systems) were used on surface, for those arriving from the sky.
Here is explained the meaning of the two arrows: the one toward down shows the underwater products, the one toward up shows the products for who arrives from the sky.
The OP Logo was born at the beginning of years í80, designed by an Architectural Office of Florence and, in the first drafts, had a rounded form; Eng. Zei (CEO of Offcine Panerai since 1972 until 1999) did not like this Logo, so as it was designed.
Then, Eng. Dino Zei, together with the Officine Panerai Technical Department responsible, had the idea for this definitive version (here described) adding the two stylised arrows.
The OP Logo has been sold to Cartier, at that time Vendome group on 1997, with the watches- torches-compassess and depth-gauges brand, the patents, the original drawings and all the watches store.
Since 1997 the old Officine Panerai changed its name into Panerai Sistemi SpA. On 1999 the Panerai Sistemi has been sold to Calzoni of Bologna, that absorbed all its industrial and productive activities. At present (2004) Panerai Sistemi is a brand of Calzoni Srl, utilized for all ex-Panerai products.
Cartier, now Richemont group, has never utilized the OP Logo until the end of the 2003 when it appears on the special edition for collectors of the Luminor Marina 44mm (PAM 195), on the dial and on the case-back and, subsequently, on the crowns of the new Radiomir 45mm 8 Days (PAM 190 and 197) and Black Seal (PAM 183) models, more another limited edition of the Luminor and L. Marina models, alls introduced during the 2004.
By Eng. Mario Paci