Exceptional masterpieces that revolutionized fine watchmaking.
SAS Polerouter :
Designed in 1954 by Genta at the age of 23, this is Gerald Genta’s first legendary contribution to watchmaking. The SAS Polerouter was commissioned by Universal to commemorate the historic flight from Copenhagen to Los Angeles via the North Pole. The first watches were given to the cabin crew of the Scandinavian Airlines Systems (SAS) upon landing in LAX.
In 1959, Omega asked Gerald Genta to review, refresh and renew their strategic Constellation range which was their flagship collection. It is thanks to the Maestro’s renewal of this range that the watchmaking company has been very well ranked for so many years. It was from the design of this piece that Gerald Genta began to be perceived as a “star designer”.
Royal Oak :
In 1970, the House of Audemars Piguet approached the designer for a watch that would become the brand’s most iconic piece: The Royal Oak. Inspired by a vintage diving helmet attached to the rest of the suit with screws, the model was sketched in one night only. He transferred the octagonal shape to the design of this piece, keeping the screws on the bezel. The Royal Oak was the first luxury sports watch to be made of steel. This was the first time in the history of modern watchmaking that this material was considered as a precious metal. The Royal Oak was revolutionary.
Upon the request of Phillippe Patek in 1976, Gerald Genta designed an exceptional piece, still considered today as a benchmark. Similarly, to the Royal Oak, it too was inspired by the nautical world, but this time taken from the portholes of the transatlantic ships. The watch was named Nautilus in tribute to Captain Nemo’s submarine in Jules Verne’s novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. As the story goes, he sketched the watch in five minutes on a paper napkin in a restaurant. This new steel watch, with a soft-angled bezel, is the subtle balance between sport and elegance. It remained in production for 30 years.
IWC Ingénieur :
Yet another example of luxury watch that could not have been created without the key contribution of Gerald Genta. Launched in 1976, the designer gave it a unique and incomparable touch of five screws on the bezel. Although its design has evolved since, Gerald Genta’s mark will always remain preeminent, even on the latest editions of the IWC Ingenieur. Equipped with an antimagnetic protection, this watch was intended for professionals working near magnetic fields, hence the name “Ingenieur” (meaning engineer).
Bulgari Bulgari :
The design of the famous Bulgari-Bulgari bears its roots in the ancient Roman coin. From this, Gerald Genta designed a watch that would become an emblem for Bulgari, even impacting on the style of other brands. The purity and simplicity of this model translated into a huge success. The impact of Bulgari-Bulgari, initially Bulgari-Roma, was considerable.
Gefica Safari :
This watch was made in 1984 following a request from three safari hunters. The name of this piece comes from the aggregation of the first two letters of each of the hunter’s names (Geoffroy, Fissore et Canali), spelling GEFICA. This model designed in bronze, with moon phases and a compass, quickly became an icon in the world of watchmaking, eventually inspiring different versions. The revolutionary use of bronze for the covering solved the problem of hunting visibility as this material did not reflect the sunlight.
Walt Disney Editions :
In the eighties, Gerald Genta obtained a license exclusively from the Walt Disney company to design limited edition watches, which incorporated iconic characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or Minnie Mouse, confined to 18 carat gold and then steel casing. This range, entitled ‘Fantasy’, was defined by high-precision watch mechanisms.
Octogonal watch :
This octagonal cased wristwatch, created in 1991, bears a typical and very recognizable shape associated with the Gerald Genta brand. A skeleton dial indicating the moon phase at noon in a blue enamelled disc, the month on three o’clock, the date on six, and the day on nine. Perpetual calendar, minute repetition. A very original and recognizable bracelet.
Retrograde watch (1994) :
In Gérald Genta develops a new way of reading time by associating two complications (jumping hour and retrograde minutes) in the same movement and on the same dial. This is a first in the history of watchmaking. This inventive model with the original dial is later to be enriched with many different versions.
Grande Sonnerie :
In 1995, after five years of research and development, Gérald Genta unveiled the Grande Sonnerie, the wristwatch considered to be the most sophisticated and complex in the world. This watch was a first in many ways, in particular it included more than a thousand spare parts. Minute repeater, Westminster four-hammer chime, perpetual calendar, dual power reserve display, this watch is a true masterpiece.
Square Gerald Charles Maestro Tourbillon :
Five years after the launch of his brand, the designer introduced the Square Tourbillon Maestro in 2006. It was the result of an innovative concept designed to highlight the ‘Ballet’ of movements, a tourbillon suspended through a transparent timepiece. With Maestro, a subtle combination of watchmaking know-how and contemporary design, Gerald Genta conceived a bold creation that can be admired from all angles.