Gérald Genta to be revived by Louis Vuitton high watchmaking

Gérald Genta, the Swiss designer behind some of the most iconic watches ever created, is set to be reborn under La Fabrique du Temps, Louis Vuitton's specialist watchmaking operation

By Joshua Hendren

The genius of the late Gérald Genta, one of history’s most groundbreaking watch designers, will be revived by Louis Vuitton’s high watchmaking atelier, La Fabrique du Temps, the brand has announced. 

Gérald Genta’s Grande Sonnerie watch of 1994, one of the most complicated watches at the time

La Fabrique Du Temps, a high-concept movement manufacture founded by the renowned watchmaking duo of Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini in October 2011, has been granted full access to the Gérald Genta archives, including many hundreds of designs that were never realised, with the blessing of Evelyne Genta, Gérald’s widow and business partner.

Production will focus on high complications made in small quantities under the creative lead of Navas and Barbasini, who previously worked together for Gérald Genta during the 80s and 90s, overseeing the minute repeater, tourbillon, and high complications workshops.

Gerald Genta Platinum skeletonised minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch
Gérald Genta platinum skeletonised minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch

Born in Geneva in 1931, Genta is the name behind some of the most iconic watches ever created. After completing his training as a jewellery designer in 1951, Genta started at the now-defunct Swiss watch brand Universal Genève. There, he designed the Polerouter, a watch that masterfully referenced the trans-arctic flight route linking the USA and Europe recently opened by SAS. Omega was another early client. Here, Genta reviewed and renewed the brand’s much-loved Constellation collection, first launched in 1959.

His best-known designs came in the 1970s, however. During this period, he designed the Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the IWC Ingenieur, and the Bulgari Roma. By then, he had also founded his eponymous company and began issuing work under his own name.

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