Gerald Genta needs little introduction to watch aficionados. This legendary watch designer created some of the most striking timepieces in modern history – under his own name or commissioned by famous brands including Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, IWC, Universal Geneve, Cartier and many more… During the 1970s, with the Royal Oak (and later with the Nautilus or the Ingenieur) he revolutionized the industry, creating a cult classic and one of the most successful watch categories today, that of the luxury sports watch.
Bvlgari acquired the Gerald Genta brand in 2000 together with its sister company Daniel Roth from The Hour Glass. In 2010, the two companies stopped existing as standalone brands. Today, their expertise in the field of complicated watchmaking has been integrated into the Bvlgari movement manufacture in the Vallee de Joux, think for instance about chiming watches. This acquisition was instrumental in laying the foundations for the development of the superb and successful Finissimo collection and its impressive series of horological world records. But there is much more than just technical expertise…
As a consequence, the 50th anniversary edition pays tribute to Gerald Genta and to the role he played in the development of Bvlgari’s watchmaking activity. And it will surely attract attention from collectors. It is great to see Bvlgari pay homage to the man. In addition, an owner of a trademark must use its mark in commerce to maintain trademark registration – such a legendary name could stir up the greed of many people.
This 50th-anniversary edition is a modern version of one of the watch designer’s iconic creations, the Arena Bi-Retro. Its blue, lacquered dial bears the original Gerald Genta logo on the dial. For the occasion, the 41mm case is fashioned out of the noblest of all metals, platinum. Like its predecessors, it features a smooth, rounded bezel, straight lugs and coined edges.
Created in the late 1990s, the original model was an illustration of Genta’s ability to reinvent the reading of time. The hours are displayed at 12 o’clock and printed on a disc that jumps every hour. The minutes and the date are read with retrograde hands at 210° and 180° respectively. Not everyone realizes that the jumping hour is a rare, complex and exacting mechanism. Hours and minutes need to jump and snap back precisely on the hour. The mechanism needs to accumulate power before releasing it all at once with one swift, precise movement. The in-house automatic calibre BVL300 is based on the BVL191. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour with a 42h power reserve and bidirectional winding. Its finishing combines Geneva stripes and a rotor personalized with the GG logo that can be seen through the sapphire caseback secured with pentagonal screws.
The Gerald Genta 50th anniversary edition is presented on an integrated blue alligator strap secured with a platinum folding buckle. Price is set at CHF 55,000. For more information, please visit www.bulgari.com.