GÉRald Genta – He Gave Luxury Watches a Sportier Look

A watch is a technical miracle, but above all it has to please its owner. The principle that technical elements can be integrated into the design has not been so much embraced by another as Gérald Genta, who died in 2011. On his drawing board, the pioneering designs of the Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet and the Nautilus by Patek Philippe emerged, while still designing numerous other watch icons, which can still be imagined from the world of luxury watches decades after.

Royal Oak Writes Watch History

“Outside steel and gold inside” was a slogan that aptly describes the success story of Royal Oak. The launch of the Royal Oak in 1972 was intended to influence not only the company history of Audemars Piguet but the history of the watch. According to VaultedWatches, it is regarded as the first real luxury sport watch, and its design is as stylistic as it is then. In addition to the Royal Oak, the design by the IWC Engineer, the Vacheron Constantin 222 and the Cartier Pasha are also due to the creative work of Gérald Ghent.Later, he devoted himself chiefly to his own watch brand, which he had already established in 1969, three years before the launch of Royal Oak.

The Style World Of GÉRald Gentas

The basis of the design of the Royal Oak is an octagonal basic drawing. Also in the case of the Nautilus, an octagon should represent the starting point, but here with flowing transitions between the corners, which make the case appear in square shape with rounded edges. An essential characteristic of a Genta design are the metal bracelets, which become much wider towards the housing, which makes the designs look more bullish and the housings with their present lunettes are even more strongly centered. The transition from case to bracelet is usually very direct and harmonious, on “horn-like” band strikes is often dispensed with.The bracelet often consists of lamellar metal links, which are offset inwards and appear in a matte-shining surface mix.

To Make Visible What Else Was Hidden

Above all, it is the visualization of screws, screw nuts and rivets, which is the design of Gérald Genta. What was sealed before, covered or at least found only on the lower side of the case, suddenly presented the center of the design and thus set a distinctive accent. The best known example of this is probably the prominent placement of screw heads on the Royal Oak bezel, which caused a true trend reversal in the design of luxury watches.Since the work of Gerald Genta, the product design of a watch and its creative creator has only really received attention. His personal manuscript was always recognizable.

Image by Gérald Genta: Photo by Ms. Stefania Slenzio by LUXURY GRIFFES SA Permission under the provisions of the Free Documentation License for Creative Commons