The America’s Cup and Officine Panerai

This super yacht race and exclusive watch brand make waves in Bermuda

Photo by Sam Greenfield/Oracle Team USA


With many of the world’s largest superyachts and most notable people congregating for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda this month, the historic island in the Atlantic has become “the place to be” this summer. And with good reason. The racing action between the technologically advanced hydrofoiling catamarans competing for the Cup this month is faster and more extreme than ever. 

In fact, since the host country (first settled in 1609) and the America’s Cup (first raced for in 1851) share a history of combining tradition with innovation, the announcement that Officine Panerai (founded in 1860) would be an official partner of the 35th America’s Cup probably didn’t come as a surprise to many who know the exclusive brand’s distinctive watches.

In fact, Panerai’s longtime CEO Angelo Bonati – the dignified man who helped turn the small Italian watch company founded by Giovanni Panerai in Florence, Italy (nine years after the first “America’s Cup” race) into a global powerhouse with a fiercely loyal following – is passionate about yachts and the company has been an ardent sponsor of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge series since 2005.

“It is no surprise that the oldest sports competition in the modern world is also one of the most innovative from the point of view of technology,” Bonati said when the America’s Cup announcement was made. “The history of humanity shows that planning for the future demands deep roots and solid foundations. The partnership between Panerai and the America’s Cup is an example of this shared awareness, of this perfect balance between the past and the future.”

In addition to being an official sponsor of the America’s Cup, Officine Panerai is also partnering with two teams – defending champion Oracle Team USA and first-time challenger Softbank Team Japan – and will produce limited-edition timepieces for each team. 

Thanks to his commitment to yacht racing, Bonati has assured that Panerai timepieces will always be popular in classic yachting destinations like Bermuda, Monaco, Antigua, Cowes and Nantucket. But it appears that Bonati’s uncanny ability to make sure Panerai stays true to its DNA, while also innovating for the future, has the company on track to continue cultivating a growing and passionate following in Bermuda, Moscow, Shanghai, Doha, Bangkok and Beverly Hills too. 

Photo courtesy of Panerai


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