Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Genius of Gerald Genta: The man and the Company.

Gerald Genta -the man- founded Gerald Genta-the company- in the the late 1980's however, his profound influence on the World of Horology was felt long before that time. Known as one of the most creative watch designers of our time, Gerald Genta is responsible for the exceptional timeless creation of the extremely sought after Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, The Nautillus for Patek Phillip, the IWC Ingenieur, the Omega Constellation & Seamaster and Bulgari Bulgari. Gerald Genta played a major role in the late 1980's by reintroducing the watch world to the magnificence of Mechanical Luxury Watches.

The Luxury Watch magazines of today are thick with glossy watches and hundred of different designs, but when Gerald Genta was working on his visionary Mechanical Watches in the late 1980's the Swiss Watch Companies had just bounced back from what seemed like an inevitable free fall into oblivion. Swiss Watchmakers can still recall the dark days of 1982 when Swiss banks lent more than $400 million to keep the industry afloat. Swiss Watchmakers needed to reclaim their industry from Japan in order to continue their watchmaking legacy. If you remember Japan had flooded the market with their cheap yet accurate quartz watches. Fast Forward to those whimsical colorful plastic Swatch Watches manufactured by SMH Ltd, the worlds largest watchmaker. I had one. It was a notebook watch. We all had one ... and the Swatch Watch got Switzerland factories back on their feet and producing again.

The focus was now back to watchmaking in Switzerland and Swiss Watch Makers were breathing a sigh of relief. They had survived. They had suffered a hard knock. In 1970 there were 1,620 Swiss Watch companies employing 89,000 people; in 1985, the number was down to 600 employing only 32,500. But the little Quartz miracles had lost the novelty and people were looking for a something different, something luxurious, mechanical and with complications.

In 1990 Gerald Genta handcrafted a Timepiece with a perpetual calender, push-button minute repeater and a skeleton tourbillon that sold for $250,000. Gerald Genta help shape the Luxury Mechanical Watch Industry with staggering complications and awe-inspiring creations.

Today Gerald Genta is owned by Bulgari Group. Its creations are galactic and so utterly different. A spectacular and slightly outrageous collection is the deliciously dizzying Octo Jewellery Collection. Entirely hand painted, jumping hours and retrograde minutes; glittering with 177 diamonds or the Gerald Genta Gefica displayed above, hand decorated as well as two rows of titanium beads along the caseband giving the watch a dangerous studded "rough around the edges look" .
Gerald Genta does not mail order bits and pieces for its complications, Gerald Genta is one of the rare watch manufactorers capable of designing and crafting complications like its pulsating Tourbillons, Minute Repeaters and the all alusive yet alluring Grande Sonneries within the confines of its workshop.
The Company ,Gerald Genta, has incorporated the energy and creativity of Gerald Genta -the

By: R Van Halem

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