Gérald Genta was founded by Swiss-man Charles Gérald Genta in 1969. Prior to this, Genta trained amongst jewellers and goldsmiths in Switzerland and received a diploma in the aforementioned studies. He then worked for the manufacturers, Universal Genève SA, where he designed the most famous post-war watch by the company, the Polerouter.
The brand is perhaps most famous for its collaborations with leading high-end watch brands. In 1970 Genta created Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak model, Patek Philippe’s Golden Ellipse in 1968 and Patek Philippe’s Nautilus in 1976, Omega’s Constellation in 1959, IWC’s Ingenieur in 1976 and Cartier’s Pasha in 1985.
In 1969, Genta created sonneries for wristwatches. One notable one was the Octo Granda Sonnerie Tourbillion, which was valued at $810,200. The model contains four gongs and imitates the Westminster Quarters bell ring. Genta’s eye for creating valuable wristwatches didn’t stop there. Indeed, in 1994, his creation, Grande Sonnerie Retro, was valued at $2 million, due to it being the most complicated wristwatch in the world.
More than creating sonnerie’s, Genta was famous for his creative design of dials, movements and cases, often receiving private requests for commissions. One of his most unique collection of designs was his series of Disney character watches created in 1988. Genta had a contract with The Walt Disney Company to produce watches which featured illustrations of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and other iconic Disney characters on the dials.
Gérald’s unique, expertise and luxury watches amassed the brand a collection of notable clients, including royalty such as Prince Rainier of Monaco, King Hassan II of Morocco, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, The Queen Mother Elizabeth of England and King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain. Gérald Genta was sold to Bulgari in 1999 in accordance with Genta resigning, however the brand continues to flourish and produce to the same standard of excellence.
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