Gerald Genta Watches
Gerald Genta Watches: Defying the Limits of Horology
Genta’s impact on the world of horology is unmistakable. Through his ideas and craft, watchmakers have been able to go beyond what traditional watchmaking has to offer. With collections such as the Retrograde and the Grande Sonnerie, Gerald Genta was truly a maestro in the realm of unorthodoxy. A revolutionary designer at heart, Genta wanted to lead the art of watchmaking into unfamiliar waters. With his boldness and bravery, he took his creative expertise to many established brands and made his mark. Loved and respected by all in the horology community, Gerald Genta and his atypical timepieces continue to break the boundaries of the watchmaking industry.
Price List at a Glance
|Bvlgari Gerald Genta Arena Bi-Retro Sport|
|Bvlgari Gerald Genta 50th Anniversary Arena Bi-Retro|
|Bvlgari Gerald Genta Gefica Bi-Retro Safari|
|Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-010|
Gerald Genta Yellow Gold Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon
|Gerald Genta Automatic Perpetual Calendar|
|Gerald Genta Octo Tourbillon Retrograde Hours|
|Gerald Genta Mickey Mouse Retro Fantasy|
|Gerald Genta Donald Duck Retro Fantasy|
|Gerald Genta Solo Retrograde Jump Hour Ref. 3671|
How Much Do Gerald Genta Watches Cost?
Depending on the model and features offered, the prices of Gerald Genta timepieces can differ drastically. Gerald Genta’s watches are among the rarest pieces to come by. Boasting expert craftsmanship and unparalleled designs, these watches range from emblematic dress watches to enigmatic concepts that enthusiasts would consider wonders of the horology world. Listed below are a few of Genta’s works that encompass the contributions to his brand and those he collaborated with.
Prices for Gerald Genta Bi-Retrograde Watches
Inspired by his astounding creativity, Bvlgari continues one of Genta’s most archetypal inventions with the Bvlgari Gerald Genta Arena Bi-Retro Sport. The Bvlgari edition of this Gerald Genta watch carries the prolific features of the original bi-retro with a contemporary twist. Bearing his legacy, Bvlgari brings back Gerald Genta’s patented design with a sleeker look.
The Bvlgari Gerald Genta Arena Bi-Retro Sport comes in a 43mm titanium case with a black alligator leather strap. It sports a black and anthracite dial featuring jumping hours, retrograde minutes, and a unique date complication. A self-winding automatic caliber runs the inner machinations of this watch and it is water-resistant up to depths of 100m. With a 42-hour power reserve, this Bvlgari Gerald Genta timepiece retails at approximately $14,000 USD.
Before the Bi-Retro Sport, Bvlgari also created an anniversary edition of the Arena Bi-Retro watch, the Anniversary Arena Bi-Retro Ref. 103191. This 2019 model acts as a commemorative piece celebrating Gerald Genta’s 50th year as a brand. Derived from his original concept, Bvlgari provides their take on a modern and innovative Gerald Genta retrograde watch.
In this version of the Bi-Retro, Bvlgari uses a 41mm platinum case to encase the inner mechanisms. It also bears a clean blue lacquered dial with jumping hours and retrograde minutes. Below these two complications is a date function and Gerald Genta’s brand signature. Akin to the Arena Bi-Retro Sport, this 50th-anniversary variant also uses an automatic movement that is capable of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This timepiece can last up to 42 hours and is 100m waterproof. The Ref. 103191 stands as a true testament to Gerald Genta’s contributions to watchmaking, and is worth approximately $61,000 USD.
Another Gerald Genta retrograde timepiece reimagined by Bvlgari is the Gefica Bi-Retro Safari. A cross between his beloved Retrograde and Gefica Safari series, this watch sports a one-of-a-kind look reminiscent of African safari hunting. Mixing digital and classic features, the Bvlgari Gerald Genta Gefica Bi-Retro Safari is a landmark model that carries an unforgettable legacy.
Priced at approximately $18,000 USD, the Gefica Bi-Retro Safari utilizes a 47mm bronze case with titanium beads embedded around the surface. Jumping hour and retrograde minute complications, along with a digital hour display, fill the upper section of the dial. Occupying the bottom half is a date function along with engravings of the iconic Gerald Genta signature and the caliber. Running along the rim of the dial is a tachymeter scale, which Bvlgari added. This timepiece runs on a modified automatic movement based on the movement that came with the original Gefica Bi-Retro.
Prices for Gerald Genta Octagonal Watches
The Yellow Gold Perpetual Tourbillon Calendar Ref. G4009.4 is one of Genta’s most recognized luxury timepieces. It is a rare and eccentric piece that stands out even in a crowd, as a fragment of Genta’s boundless imagination that blends luxurious opulence with a traditional class.
For approximately $21,000 USD, the Ref. G4009 comes in a 35mm, 18K gold case. On the semi-skeletonized dial are four different subdials that cover various time-telling functions. This timepiece uses an automatic dial that is secured by a sapphire crystal case back.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Gerald Genta’s Octo Tourbillon Retrograde Hours, which is a truly unusual watch. As of the most distinct watches anyone has ever seen, the Octo Tourbillon exudes off a unique aura that gives it a personality of its own.
The Octo Tourbillon uses a 42.5mm 18K rose gold case. Underneath the unusual black and red octagonal dial is a self-winding caliber that operates the mechanisms of the timepiece. Energized by a 64-hour power reserve, the movement is capable of producing 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour. Held by 56 jewels, the Octo Tourbillon Retrograde Hours has an estimated price of $40,000 USD.
Milestones and Innovations
Audemars Piguet, IWC, Omega SA, Patek Philippe, and Universal Geneve. These are iconic watchmakers who have directly experienced the acumen and vivid mind of Gerald Charles Genta. As a visionary of the horology trade, Gerald Genta devised a slew of ground-breaking designs that brought the entire watchmaking industry to a whole new level. Despite being known for inventing astounding references for different established brands, Gerald Genta also had his own pieces of horology that put him in a league of his own.
The Eponymous Brand of Gerald Genta
While collaborating with numerous revered watchmakers, Gerald Genta also initiated his eponymous brand in 1969, developing remarkable timepieces for his distinguished clientele. It was through his independent company that Gerald was able to continue reimagining the concept of watchmaking. With no conventions to hold him back, Gerald integrated every fantastic and bizarre idea he had into his craft. Inspired by his love of art and design, Genta acquired the love and respect of the entire watch community. His magnum opus, the Grande Sonnerie, earned the distinction of being one of the most sophisticated timepieces ever made. The Grande Sonnerie featured Westminster chimes that would ring every quarter, to the sound of the Big Ben bell. With its intricately-constructed movement, encrusted high-grade minerals, and all of its robust complications, this complex Gerald Genta timepiece was unrivaled in design and retailed at a price of approximately $800,000 USD.
The Gerald Genta Disney Collection
In the 1980s, Walt Disney gave Gerald Genta an exclusive license to manufacture limited edition Disney watches. Each watch featured Disney icons such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy at the center of the timepiece. The dials were all handmade and encased in 18K gold, and were then re-encased in high-quality steel, for superior durability. It is a magnificent and lively collection that brings fantasy into reality.
The Gefica Safari
Near the mid-80s, Genta introduced the Gefica Safari. Following the request of three hunters whose names inspired the watch’s moniker, Genta created this unique timepiece in 1984. The Gefica Safari showcased a white dial with a moon phase indicator, day and date subdials, and a functioning compass. Genta used a bronze case to secure the timepiece’s inner mechanisms. Since bronze is not highly reflective, the Gefica Safari was the ideal watch to bring to a hunt since it would not reveal the hunter’s position. Genta’s use of the material was revolutionary, and it inspired other watchmakers to adopt bronze into their catalogs.
1991 was the year in which Genta created the Octagonal. It featured an exclusive, octagon-shaped gold case with an intricate skeleton dial. Boasting a number of handy subdials, the Octagonal blends the luxuriousness of gold with a cool steampunk aesthetic.
The Retrograde Watch
Somewhere in the mid-90s, Gerald invented a whole new way to tell the time. Combining the usage of jumping hours and retrograde minutes, he developed this first-ever retrograde watch. Unusual and complex, this timepiece represents one of the most innovative functions that have ever been introduced to the horology industry.
Story of Gerald Genta
Before reaching the peak of his ingenuity, Gerald Charles Genta had to start from the bottom like everyone else. Born in Geneva on May 1, 1931, Genta took his first step into the world of horology by completing his studies as a jeweler and goldsmith. Through hard work, passion, and dedication, he obtained the Swiss Federal Diploma and was recruited to Universal Geneve.
During his tenure with the renowned watchmaker, Genta created the SAS Polerouter at the young age of 23. This timepiece honored the arctic flights of Scandinavian airlines and became one of the brand’s most outstanding accomplishments. Genta’s first successful timepiece got the attention of many other respected watchmakers, causing them to source him after his time with Universal Geneve. Genta continued to work with Universal Geneve until the mid-1960s. Shortly after, the young prodigy moved on to the Swiss watch-making powerhouse, Omega.
In the late 1960s, Omega approached Genta to reinvent their star-studded Constellation collection. Through deliberation and great imagination, he established his versions of the Omega Constellation. As expected, his newest design attained the love and respect of Omega’s patrons. With the new Constellation’s success, Omega knew that they were in the presence of a literal and figurative star. As Genta ended his endeavors with Omega, he then proceeded to develop his craft further with another esteemed watch brand, Audemars Piguet.
With Audemars Piguet, Genta faced his most challenging project yet as the managing director of Audemars requested that he conceive a new timepiece overnight. Additionally, it had to be something revolutionary, with unmatched water resistance capabilities. With no hesitation, Genta got to work. His basis for this original concept derived its inspiration from the structure of a scaphander’s helmet. The watch resembled the front of the diver helmet, with eight screws securing the octagonal bezel. The directing manager of Audemars Piguet quickly approved Genta’s idea and gave him the go-ahead to work on the prototype. It took a year for him to design the timepiece on his own and another year to bring it into production. In 1972, Audemars Piguet unveiled one of their most electrifying models to date, the Royal Oak. Favored to this day, the Royal Oak remains a driving force behind the brand’s overall success.
A few years after its release, Genta took up an offer from Patek Philippe. Similar to Audemars’ Royal Oak, Patek Philippe wanted a timepiece that could bring out the essence of seafaring. Based on the portholes seen on transatlantic ships, Genta ideated his latest opus. Combining sports and affluence on a soft-angled bezel, Patek Philippe ushered in one of their most distinct and recognized steel-cased watches, the Patek Philippe Nautilus. It was exceptional, from style to function, and it remained in production for three decades. As wondrous as this 1976 timepiece was, its envisioning was somewhat unexpected. Rumor has it that Genta came up with the Nautilus in five minutes, then etched the design on a paper napkin.
The next step in Genta’s career came when IWC recruited him to formulate another edition for their patented Ingenieur series. His version of the Ingenieur had a sportier look with a soft-angled case and an integrated bracelet. The new Ingenieur found itself on the shelves of IWC retailers in the same year that Patek Philippe released the Nautilus. With this piece, Genta made his mark in IWC with yet another stunning timekeeper.
Aside from the brands mentioned above, Gerald Genta also collaborated with and contributed to other respected watchmakers such as Bvlgari, Cartier, Hamilton, Seiko, Timex, and more. During the early 1980s, he and his wife Evelyne traveled the world to establish and endorse their own independent brand. In 2000, Bvlgari took in Gerald Genta’s company as part of their own.
Gerald Genta lived an admirable life as an artist and a watch designer with an array of horological accomplishments. Genta passed away in August 2011, at the age of 80, with over 100,000 timepieces to his name. Although he can no longer dazzle us with his unconventional works, watchmakers will forever remember him as the pioneer that broke the boundaries between traditional watchmaking and avant-garde ingenuity.
Famous People Who Have Worn Gerald Genta Watches
Gerald Genta’s extensive clientele spans a broad demographic. The brand produces watches for clients such as athletes, businessmen, celebrities, music artists, political figures, and even royalty.
Many fans and watch enthusiasts know that John Mayer is quite a connoisseur of horology. At some point in his career, Mayer revealed the depths of his lavish watch collection. Among the watches he owned was an Audemar Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph. Although it was not the 1972 model itself, the watch he holds still possesses the qualities and sophistication that Gerald Genta imbued in the first Royal Oak timepiece.
Highly-acclaimed and seasoned actor Brad Pitt is also known to be a watch enthusiast. Although Pitt represents Breitling as a brand ambassador, he is also fond of timepieces from other brands. Like John Mayer, Pitt has his assembly of horological pieces. Within his collection lies the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 - the exact watch that Genta conceived overnight. Patek Philippe has actually discontinued the production of this iconic timepiece for quite some time now. While it is unclear if Pitt is familiar with Genta’s works, his collection still holds a fragment of Genta’s whimsical mind. Other celebrities that have a Nautilus of their own include: Jonah Hill, Henry Golding, Kevin O’Leary, and even Nusret “Salt Bae” Gokce.
Several royal figures are known to have Gerald Genta timepieces. During his time, Genta made watches for Prince Rainier of Monaco, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, King Hassan II of Morocco, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother of England.
Gerald Genta: The Ardent Trailblazer
Gerald Genta is an icon whose passion brought him to stellar heights. As a pillar of the watchmaking industry, he ushered in a selection of incredible timepieces that broke the limits of universal watchmaking.