Genus, founded by Catherine Henry and Sébastien Billières in 2019, has wowed the watch world with its wildly creative and kinetic time displays. This year has been particularly rich in dragon-themed watches, but the dragons gracing the Genus Dragon dial are a world apart. Just ahead of the Chinese Year of the Dragon, Genus releases a series of watches animated by articulated gold dragons swirling around the tens-of-minutes counters of its signature Genus GNS watch. A compendium of horological finesse, creativity, miniature engraving, engineering and artistic crafts, the Genus Dragon is undoubtedly the most original interpretation of its genre.
The Genus GNS was the brand’s first mechanical extravaganza, indicating the hours and minutes in perpetual motion. Time is read from left to right, starting with the satellite hour markers placed on the periphery that advance and pivot once they reach the fixed pointer at 9 o’clock. The most original element of the time display is the mechanical ‘centipede’ that circles the two displays of the tens of minutes in the centre of the dial (spit into 10-50-60 on the upper counter and 20-30-40 below). Advancing on a chain that revolves around the two thirty-minute counters forming a figure eight, the ‘centipede’ (now a dragon’s head) indicates the current ten-minute segment. However, precision is not abandoned for the sake of spectacle, and the exact minute can be consulted by combining the approximate ten-minute reading with the single numeral indicated by the fixed arrow in the rotating counter at 3 o’clock.
Introducing a three-dimensional, articulated dragon inside an already complex display was challenging. Closer in nature to the production of an automaton, engineers, goldsmiths, sculptors, engravers and watchmakers worked together. Protected by a pronounced domed sapphire crystal, the eleven segments comprising the dragon are realistically sculpted in 18k gold. Modelling the miniature dragon took over a year to ensure that the weight, height and shape of each element allowed the dragon to glide around the counters, forming a graceful figure-eight. The dragon’s details are impressive, and its head alone is composed of six elements carved and engraved separately.
Available in four different case materials– white gold, rose gold, titanium or Damascus titanium – the case has a 43mm diameter and a thickness of 18.8mm with the letters of G-E-N-U-S embossed on the crown to enhance grip. Damascene titanium was used on an earlier edition of the Genus and returns with even more swirling, eye-popping colours combined with blue and turquoise elements on the dial, as well as a green Damascene titanium model with Oriental hour markers. The rose gold model features red accents, and there is a second rose gold model with green accents and Oriental hours. The white gold model is paired with dark blue or red hour markers. Last, but not least, there is a high-voltage version with baguette-cut diamonds flanking the rose gold case. As the brand points out, the Genus Dragon is open to customisation petitions, and each case material can be paired with several colour schemes. The spectacle continues when the lights dim thanks to the blue and green Super-LumiNova highlighting the hour markers, the tens-of-minute and the precise single-minute counters.
Powering this ultra-complex spectacle is the proprietary calibre 160W-1.2, a hand-wound movement with 390 components. The movement relies upon two complementary modules: one for energy storage and transmission and the second for distribution and regulation. In line with Haute Horlogerie traditions, the mainplate and bridges are solid 18k gold, and all the parts have been crafted and finished by hand. Running at a 2.5Hz / 18,000vph frequency, the movement can deliver approximately 50 hours of power reserve – quite impressive given its complexity.
Given the wide range of customisation options, there are several strap options and colours ranging from alligator to calfskin and rubber. The pin buckle depends on the case material, although a folding clasp is also available on request.
Availability & Price
Although no indication is given to the availability of these models, rest assured, these are pretty exclusive pieces and you won’t encounter too many of these dragons in the wild. Again, the price will depend on the case material and bespoke options, but to give you an approximative guide, the white and rose gold models (non-gem-set) retail for CHF 174,400 (excl. VAT), the Damascus titanium for CHF 171,00 (excl. VAT) and grade 5 titanium CHF 140,650.
For more information, please consult genuswatches.swiss.