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Post by koimaster » August 24th 2021, 11:47am

No one in the watch industry can boast a legacy like that of the great Gerald Genta, who died ten years ago this week.

Genta didn’t merely design one iconic watch for one brand. Across a decades-long career he designed several enduring and distinctive models for some of the world’s most celebrated watchmakers, from Patek Philippe to Omega, Audemars Piguet to IWC

The auction house Christies called his oeuvre the “Faberge of watches”. But there are a paltry 57 Faberge eggs left in the world. Place every watch model designed by Genta end-to-end and they’d stretch to the Moon and back.

Quite simply, Genta’s influence on modern watch design is unrivalled. But, as we shall see, he also had his critics.

The Genesis Of Genta

Born in Geneva in 1931, Genta grew up in the heart of Swiss watchmaking during a time of great horological upheaval, especially with regards to case design. As a young boy in the 1930s, he would have been witness to the emergence of some of the industry’s most iconic watches.

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso and Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual had been launched the same year as his birth, and Patek Philippe’s Calatrava came out a year later. By the end of the decade the wristwatch had become a staple for men, whatever their status, and Switzerland had firmly established itself as the epicentre of watchmaking.

A creative child who loved painting with watercolours, by the age of 20 Genta had trained as a goldsmith and jeweller and was recruited by the now-dormant watch brand Universal Geneve in the early 1950s. It was here that Genta established his talent early on by designing his first significant watch. ... deserve-th


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