Eilean is a yacht, not Officine Panerai’s latest watch.
More specifically, the Eilean is a 22-metre Bermudian ketch, designed and built in 1936 by the legendary Scottish boatyard in Fife. Officine Panerai found the yacht in Antigua in 2006 in quite a poor state. The Eilean was then taken back to Italy on a cargo ship in February 2007, where she underwent complete restoration. And now, after two and a half years the yacht has been restored to its former glory.
Officine Panerai’s links with boating and the seas go a long way back. In the closing decade of the nineteenth century, Guido Panerai, the founder’s grandson, expanded his grandfather’s business by specializing in high precision mechanisms. In so doing the Panerai Orologeria became the official supplier of timepieces to the Royal Italian Navy
In 1936, the same year that the Eilean was built in Scotland, the Royal Italian Navy disappointed with other watches asked Panerai to develop a watch that could withstand extreme conditions encountered while diving. A Radiomir prototype was submitted to the Command of the First Submarine Group, which passed all the tests.
In recognition of the watch-makers’ history and the many parallel aspects in classic yachting and haute horlogerie, Officine Panerai has for many years promoted the culture of sailing with the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge.
By the end of October the Eilean is expected to be sailing again. In April 2010 she will take part in the Antigua Classic Week, the first event in the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2010.