March 12, 2013
Gerald Genta was one of the most important watch designers of the 20th century. He was born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1931 and started his career at the age of 20 working with Universal Geneve. Most of the watch designers were never known in the old days but that was not the case with Genta. Gerald Genta was one of the first watch designers behind the scenes that was well known, and he eventually made his own watches and created his own brand.
Genta contributed to designs for many watch brands such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piquet, Omega, Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Chaumet, Bulgari, Cartier and others. He designed all the wristwatches for Audemars Piquet from 1953 up to the Royal Oak. He redesigned the Omega Constellation for Omega in the 1960s and collaborated with Cartier in the design of the Pasha in 1997. In 1994, Genta designed the Grande Sonnerie Retro, the world's most complicated wristwatch at the time, and priced it at approximately $2 million.
Genta had very important clients including professional athletes, rappers, movie stars, and royalty such as Queen Elizabeth, Prince Rainier of Monaco and Hassan II of Morocco just to name a few.
In the 1970s, Genta designed four of my favorite integrated bracelet watches which include the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Vacheron Constantin 222, and lastly the IWC Ingenieur SL. All four of these watches have become highly collectible and continue to rise in value due to their rarity and beautiful design. The Nautilis and Royal Oak are still produced today but the earlier design of the 1970s are lighter and tighter and very difficult to find. The IWC Ingenieur SL and the Vacheron Consantin 222 are discontinued and are even more difficult to find. I put together a collection of these watches and they are now available on our website.