Prior to designing the watches, he’s actually most famous for, Gérald Genta – the designer behind the Royal Oak and Nautilus watch designs – also founded his own watch brand in 1969.
Bulgari acquired Gérald Genta in 2000. The acquisition was instrumental in developing Bulgari in to the watch manufacture they are today. Both the intellectual property (the watch movement technology being the most significant) and the staff of Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth, based in the Vallee de Joux, were crucial elements of the deal.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the founding of Gérald Genta, so even though the GG brand no longer exists Bulgari created a special the Arena Bi-Retro Gerald Genta 50th Anniversary. Presented in a 41 mm diameter platinum case, the watch has a blue lacquer dial, large skeletonized sword-shaped hands with jumping hours, retrograde minutes, and a retrograde date, powered by automatic caliber BVL 300, derived from the old intellectual property acquired from the purchase.
As you can see (up top and below), Bulgari’s modern Octo case design comes from the old Gérald Genta Octo watch line. You can also see where the jumping hours and bi-retrograde movement originated, as well as the lineage of the Arena case design.
The 50th-anniversary homage piece does not appear to be an exact replica of a previous Genta watch but the resemblance is pretty close to some of the old models. Bulgari has created a very interesting collector’s timepiece that will surely be in demand based on the provenance alone.
Limited to 50 pieces the Gerald Genta 50th Anniversary watch will retail for $59,000 in platinum.