Design by Mr. Gerald Charles Genta

Mr Gerald Charles Genta Design

The legendary Swiss-Italian watchmaker, Mr Gerald Charles Genta (1931-2011), is the founder and former designer of the Maison Gerald Charles. Every model in our Heritage Watch collection was designed and forged by this legendary artist and watchmaker, before his death. Most luxury watches made in Switzerland have been designed by the same artist: Mr Gerald Charles Genta, our legendary founder. He is one of the few watch designer that we know by name as he is the mind behind the invention of the most iconic mechanical luxury-timepieces of the 20th and 21st Centuries As he saved the Swiss watchmaking industry during the quartz crisis, he brought steel watches into the high end market and invented the octagonal case of Audemars Piguet. He elevated the sport-watch in steel at the same excellence of gold timepieces. Hence, his most notable creations are the Nautilus for Patek Philippe and Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet.
Innovator and visionary artist, Mr Gerald is often defined the Picasso of watches. During his career he created thousands of designs and movements for luxury watches. His ability to combine aesthetic with functionality makes him the Picasso of luxury watches. As he invented from scratch the first Royal Oak and Nautilus, he is the trend-setter of luxury-sport watches. He was never scared of being copied since he saw it as a proof of success. Without this man, our founder and former designer, the world of watches would be different. No octagonal shaped cases would exist and the use of steel for luxury timepieces would never spread. To celebrate our founder and his famous watch designs we are highlighting the most successful creations of his career, in a timeline of success.

[Archive of Gerald Charles SA]

Mr G.C. Genta creations


The beginnings
On May 1st, the legendary watchmaker, Mr Gerald Charles was born in Geneva, Switzerland, from a Swiss mother and an Italian father. He inherited the best from both cultures: Italian arts and Swiss watchmaking.


Universal Geneve
The only 23-years-old Gerald was asked to design a watch to commemorate the first commercial flights over the North Pole, operated by the Scandinavian Airlines Systems. This model is nowadays an icon of vintage watches.


Patek Philippe
Golden Ellipse
Gerald designed the Golden Ellipse for the prestigious watch manufacturer, Patek Philippe Geneve, a very thin and classic watch that takes the distance from the canonical circular shape. The artist Gerald begins to experiment new forms.


Gerald is responsible for designing the Omega Constellation C-model and was subsequently offered an exclusive contract to produce several other designs for Omega’s Constellation line of watches.


Gerald Genta Collection
Starting from 1969, The experienced Gerald independently manufactures mechanical timepieces on his own designs and name. At the time of its maximum expansion, the Gerald Genta watchmaking company employed around 250 workers in Switzerland.


Audemars Piguet
Royal Oak
Genta created the watch that would become his most well-known design and the world’s very first, stainless steel, high-end sport-watch: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. The bold, angular design of the Royal Oak – which legend says, Genta created over the course of a single evening – was unlike anything that anyone had ever seen, and managed to convince the public that a sports watch made from stainless steel could justifiably cost more than a solid gold dress watch.


Patek Philippe
Gerald designed the best-seller Nautilus for Patek Philippe, Geneva. Legend say, the original sketch for the Nautilus was done on a restaurant napkin and completed in 5 minutes. This watch is very rare and a great investment for collectors.


Ingenieur SL
Genta re-designed the Ingenieur SL for the prestigious Swiss manufacturer, IWC. Once again the artistic hand of the Maestro is easy to recognise in the smooth design lines characterizing this timepiece.


Bvlgari Bvlgari
Inspired by the ancient Roman Coin, Gerald creates the Bulgari Bulgari for the house of Bulgari, based in Rome, Italy. As the name of the emperor was engraved on the Roman Coins, in the same way the name of the brand is engraved on the circular flat bezel of this watch.


Walt Disney Retro Fantasy
Obtaining an exclusive license from Disney, the world-acclaimed Gerald Genta manufactures a limited edition of playful timepieces. Combining a precious jumping-hours retrograde movement with the joyful Disney characters on the dial. For the first time in history a Disney watch sells for several thousands of dollars. These Retro Fantasy watches are now very rare and sold on auctions.


Grand Sonnerie
During the last decade of the 20th Century, Gerald investigates the mechanics of complex Swiss movements. Giving birth to a collection of Grand Sonnerie and Minute Repeater. These watches represent extraordinary engineering clockworks, some reproducing the sound of the London’s Big Ben, others breaking the records of the most expensive wristwatch ever sold form over a Million Dollars.


Gerald Charles
On the eve of the Third Millennium, the world-acclaimed Mr Gerald Charles Genta, creates what his last brand: GERALD CHARLES. With the experience gained in a career of success, Gerald gathers a team of experienced collaborators to establish the new paradigms of the 21st Century luxury watchmaking. The brand is founded on the harmony between design and mechanics, creating unique watches for a niche of collectors, family and friends.


Gerald Charles
At the end of March the well-known designer launches the first model of the GC brand. The evocative RENAISSANCE name well-describes this collection. These watches are conceived to be a bolder expression of the soft line which Mr Genta has always been particularly fond of.


Gerald Charles
The Maestro Gerald, introduces this concept wristwatch, innovative from design and technology angles. The Maestro case-shape between a square and an octagon was never seen before and it is set to become as iconic as the first Royal Oak.

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