Following a request of Commander Fawzi of the Egyptian Navy who attended the Commando School of the Italian Navy, Panerai developed the legendary reference GPF 2/56, its internal code derived from the number of its project, and its year. Guido Panerai e Figlio designed and produced this new watch, and Captain Fawzi went to Florence several times during the design phase to agree details of their specific needs for the watch with the technical team. The present watch is of the first GPF 2/56s as it has a Radiomir dial with Radiomir written under 12 o'clock and Panerai above 6 o'clock. The later examples have Luminor dials with the relevant writing on them.
Nicknamed the Egiziano (Italian for Egyptian) this model is the largest of all Panerai wristwatches ever made with an impressive diameter of 58 mm. It furthermore features a revolving bezel graduated for 5 minutes, the inclusion at the specific request of the Egyptian navy. Most notably it was fitted with the well-known Angelus 8-days movement which already found use in a small number of reference 6152. Interestingly, the movement is stamped 12.55, the date for which the movement was made, December, 1955. Panerai used Angelus movements from 1956 onwards. Other features include a single screw between the lugs and the satin finishing on the case.
Regrettably, no documentation survived in regards to the precise number of Egiziano produced. Scholarship however stipulates that no more than 50 watches were supplied to the Egyptian Forces and that few other examples were made as prototypes.
The present watch is featured in Panerai, An Italian Story, by Loris Pasetto and Luciano Cipullo, 2013
Special thanks to Volker Wiegmann for his assistance in research where Panerai Reference (GPF 2/56) is featured in The References by Ralf Ehlers and Volker Wiegmann, available at the end of 2015.