Officine Panerai has recently announced itself the proud sponsor of the restoration of the monumental clock in the Santa Maria del Flore Cathedral, just in front of their historic boutique in the Archbishop’s Palace. Considering that any mention of Florence is scarcely incomplete without a tribute to the iconic cathedral, this is some exciting news indeed.
This clock in particular, positioned in the inner façade of the distinguished cathedral right above the central portal, was built in 1443, making it one of the oldest mechanical clocks still in existence. In fact, the clock’s tremendous significance bypasses just its grand historic value: its unusual dial was painted by one of the greatest artistic pioneers of the Italian Renaissance, Paolo Uccello, and it is believed to be the only remaining working clock that measures the time between two consecutive sunsets, indicating Italic Hours, the system that had been common throughout Europe before the introduction of the current “French” time.
Panerai had partnered with Opera de Santa del Fiore to entrust the restoration to two eminent experts in the field, Professor Andrea Palmieri and Professor Ugo Pancani, to tremendous success. For many watch lovers, it is strikingly apposite to see this Italian house of haute horlogerie watches undertake this momentous project, given its longstanding ties to Florence and the city’s reputation for arts patronage. Now, as one gazes upon the magnificent dial and the beautifully-restored mechanism of the grand cathedral clock, one shall also see the neatly-intertwined legacies of Panerai and its Florentine homeland.