Mario Paci

Mario Paci was born in Florence on 01/28/1955 and from an early age showed what his passions would have been; in fact his favorite game was Meccano and construction. After compulsory school he chose scientific studies, first high school and then university in Florence, where he enrolled in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating and military service, he got a job interview at the Officine Panerai in Florence: here he was welcomed by the engineer.

Dino Zei, who, after a brief conversation, hired him, telling him “I want you to stay here until you retire….” It was February 4, 1983 and from this day the young Mario Paci began working at Officine Panerai, not knowing himself where he happened to be, not knowing the history and tradition of the historic Florentine company.

But he will have the opportunity to discover it over time and in fact, like all those who have had to deal with this company, he falls in love with it and will never leave it again: he falls in love with the products that the company produces, high-tech military products and very high quality, he falls in love with his colleagues who work with passion and seriousness, he falls in love with the history of the company and with that mysterious atmosphere that hovers daily in the workshop and in the technical office, where new products are always designed and tested, even at high secrecy classification.

Mario Paci was initially hired as a test driver and then became manager of the Quality Assurance Department. Since 1992 Mario Paci has also dealt with watches, with enthusiasm and passion, until 1997, the year in which, unfortunately, Officine Panerai sold the watch brand to Cartier (Vendome group): this was a very sad moment for Mario Paci who he saw this beautiful “toy” taken away from his hands. Officine Panerai changed its name to Panerai Sistemi and in 1999 it was sold to the Calzoni company of Bologna which took over the know-how and all the staff.

The Florentine company remained open in Florence until 2003, the year in which Calzoni decided to close the Florentine headquarters to transfer all production activities to Bologna. Mario Paci remained in the Florentine office until the last day and was the one who, with extreme pain, was the last to close the door of the Florence office to also move to Bologna where he worked until August 2020 (the year of his retirement ) still dealing with the products inherited from Panerai Sistemi.

After 1997 Mario Paci, now in love with the world of watches, decides to remain in this world, as an expert on pre-V Panerai watches and collector and becoming the brand’s historical consultant in 2021.

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