Much like Elephants, Gerald Genta was a Swiss-Italian designer who revolutionized the watch world! A true artist, Genta is known for his innovative and iconic designs which are still worn to this day.
the story of Gerald Genta
Gerald Genta was born in Geneva on May 1, 1931 to a Swiss mother and Italian father. After concluding his studies as a goldsmith and jeweler, earning a Swiss federal diploma, he was recruited by Universal Geneve, one of the most renowned watchmaking manufacturers. When he was only 23, Genta designed the SAS Polerouter for Universal Geneve, a watch commemorating the first polar flights to connect Europe with America in one trajectory. After this success, several Swiss watchmaking firms called upon the young designer. Firstly, Omega, for whom Genta renewed the Constellation collection which was a huge success.
Building the Genta brand
Alongside his collaborations with the finest watch brands, Genta created his own company in 1969, developing his eponymous brand and producing exceptional pieces for unique clients. Constantly creating and innovating, he combined new shapes and materials with major watchmaking complexities. Always working towards an unprecedented idea, largely inspired by painters and innovative designers, he quickly earned respect and high esteem from the industry and watchmaking enthusiasts throughout the world. One of his most famous pieces, the Grand Sonnerie, featuring the same chimes as Big Ben, was considered as one of the world’s most sophisticated wristwatches.
Working with the greats
One of Genta’s most famous designs was the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, which he designed in 1972. Inspired by a diver in a helmet attached to his suit with 8 screws, He designed the Royal Oak using the octagonal shape which remains a signature of the Audemars Piguet brand to this day. The Royal Oak was the world’s first luxury sports watch and was characterized by its octagonal shape, steel case, and visible screws. The watch was a commercial success and has since become an iconic design in the luxury watch industry.
Another of Genta’s iconic designs was the Patek Philippe Nautilus, which he designed in 1976. Like the Royal Oak, the Nautilus was a luxury sports watch, characterized by its unusual shape and steel case. The Nautilus has since become one of Patek Philippe‘s most popular models and is still in production today.
Genta worked with exclusive clients. Among them, the Moroccan King, the Sultans of Oman and of Brunei, the King of Spain, the King of Saudi Arabia, the Queen Mother of England.
In the 1980s Genta began designing watches for Disney. These watches included the most loved characters of the animated films.
gerald genta, A man to be remembered
Throughout his career, Genta was known for his bold and innovative designs, which often incorporated unusual shapes and materials. His designs were also characterized by their functionality and attention to detail, with many of his watches featuring complex movements and intricate dials.
In addition to his work in watch design, Genta was also an accomplished jeweler and designed pieces for a variety of luxury brands, including Bulgari and Cartier. He was known for his use of unusual materials, such as wood and stone, in his jewelry designs.
Despite his success, Genta remained humble and down-to-earth throughout his life. He was known for his love of nature and his passion for travel, and often incorporated these interests into his designs.
Gerald Genta was a visionary watchmaker and designer, whose bold and innovative designs have left an indelible mark on the luxury watch industry. His legacy continues to inspire watchmakers and designers around the world, and his iconic designs remain as popular and relevant today as they were when he first created them.