The history between the famous watch company and Italian Special Forces goes back to WW2. Although Panerai capitalizes on the heritage and connection, it is genuine and results in fascinating adverts. The company supplied diving watches and other precision mechanisms to the famous Decima MAS (X-MAS) frogmen unit during WW2 and has been closely associated with the COMSUBIN (aka Incursori) and other Special Forces ever since. The footage shows Decima-MAS frogmen with an SLC 'Maiale' (Pig) human torpedo negotiating torpedo net defenses, and general footage of the SLC. Note that the footage was actually shot postwar for TV, but the craft and techniques are real and well worth the watch.
Other Images from the ad:
The SLC (Siluro a Lunga Corsa - Long Running Torpedo)
Note that the common translation Siliro Lenta Corsa - Slow Running Torpedo, is just wrong. it was nicknamed the 'maiale' (pig) and was the first effective SDV lanched from submarines and disguised ships. It was designed for attacking warships in harbor with one or two massive warheads in the nose. The Italians were the masters of this art and sunk two Royal Navy battleships(1) in Alexandria. Britain promptly replicated the capability with the Chariot Mk.I which was a shameless copy and fitting complement. In design and concept terms the SLC can rightly be argued as the 1935 vintage grandfather of all SDVs today.
(1)19th December 1941, HMS Valiant and HMS Queen Elizabeth sunk. The water was so shallow that both ships settled on the bottom, and were eventually refloated and returned to service.