7 December, 2014OFFICINE PANERAI REOPENS ITS HISTORIC FLORENCE BOUTIQUE WITH PATRICIA URQUIOLA
Officine Panerai is reopening and enlarging its historic boutique in Florence, the city in which the brand was founded, having commissioned the architect designer Patricia Urquiola to carry out the project.
Situated in the centre of Florence, in the Piazza San Giovanni, facing the city’s impressive Duomo, Officine Panerai’s boutique is expanding from an area of 58 to 285 square metres and from one to four large display windows.
Patricia Urquiola, the celebrated Spanish designer, has reinterpreted the aesthetic and technical codes of the watch house, while respecting the identity of the brand and remaining faithful to the concept of a workshop, where the history of Officine Panerai was born.
The Florence boutique is actually unique, compared to all the other boutiques designed by Urquiola, while at the same time remaining consistent with the concept developed for the new or renewed Panerai shops in Paris, Hong Kong, New York and Miami.
Urquiola has managed to respect tradition with a look that is nonetheless modern and up-to-date, and she has found the ideal blend of the past and the future, of design and technical expertise, perfectly respecting the philosophy of the brand which has endured ever since the Panerai watchmakers supplied precision instruments to the specialist divers of the Italian Navy from the 1930s to the 1950s.
On the ground floor, in the centre of the boutique, there is a large sign reading: “Bottega d’arte e archivio storico” (“Workshop and historical archive”). The boutique will be the only one in Italy with an exhibition area for periodically displaying instruments from the Historic Museum that tell the story of the brand, as well as having an area for a watchmaker, who is available to carry out repairs and to help clients.
The upper floor is devoted to special sales: here, historic exhibits are displayed – these include two pendulum clocks, one longcase clock and two lathes.