A very rare, attractive and extraordinary platinum and palladium perpetual calendar tourbillon wristwatch of the haute horlogerie Swiss watch brand Gérald Genta, founded in 1969 and active until 2010. Produced circa 2005. Case in platinum 950 (bezel and rim of caseback) and palladium 950 (caseband), diameter 41mm, 14.3mm thick, fluted caseband, sapphire caseback. Open-worked dial with partially visible perpetual calendar mechanism. Caliber GG 12110, self-winding, power reserve up to 64 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes at 3 o’clock, perpetual calendar with date and leap year indicators at 6 o’clock, day of the week and month indicators on discs at 9 and 3 o’clock respectively, moonphase in Northern and Southern hemispheres and power reserve indicators at 12 o’clock, tourbillon on back of movement. Black leather strap, Gérald Genta 18k white gold double folding clasp. Numbered edition.
Gérald Genta, considered to be one of the most important modern watch designers and actually the inventor of this profession, during his career collaborated with many renowned Swiss watch manufacturers including Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, IWC, Universal Genève, Omega, Bulgari, Cartier, Seiko and others. World famous as the father of the Nautilus and Royal Oak designs, he started his own line in 1969. The Gérald Genta brand is widely known for its outstanding, daring, sometimes provocative designs, fine craftsmanship, and extraordinary complications timepieces, including the uber-complicated Grande Sonnerie models.
The combination of platinum and palladium on this watch’s round Arena case is a convincing expression of the extraordinary character of the Gérald Genta brand. This is a kind of parody, a variation of A.-L. Breguet’s Empire design, adapted to a modern sporty style.
The present example refers to the late period of the brand, under the ownership of Bulgari, which undoubtedly had an impact on the collection. The calibers were upgraded, and previous developments were combined with base calibers from new suppliers. As an example, many calibers were transferred to the base movements of Girard-Perregaux. It should also be borne in mind that the interaction between the brands Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth intensified – the latter was also acquired by Bulgari in 2000 along with Gérald Genta. In particular, Daniel Roth gained access to the Grande Sonnerie calibers developed by Gérald Genta, and Gérald Genta took advantage of using the perpetual calendar module developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Daniel Roth in collaboration with Philippe Dufour, a well-known independent watchmaker and expert in traditional fine finishing techniques. It is this perpetual calendar module, of course customised for Gérald Genta, that appears in the present example. We rate the collector’s prospects of the Arena Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Moon Phase models highly, precisely because this watch, albeit indirectly, combines the touch of the experience and genius of three outstanding figures of modern high watchmaking art.
The caliber GG 12110 of the present example is based on the same self-winding movement with back-mounted tourbillon that was developed by Gérald Genta for the use in automatic Grande Sonnerie models.
The combination of platinum and palladium on this watch’s round Arena case is a convincing expression of the extraordinary character of the Gérald Genta brand. This is a kind of parody, a variation of A.-L. Breguet’s Empire design, adapted to a modern sporty style. On the present example, the fluted caseband is made of palladium, while the bezel and rim of the caseback are made of platinum. The triad of materials is completed by a double folding clasp in 18k white gold.
The present example is also peculiar in the extraordinary style of the dial. Disc sub-dials mounted on a vertical axis are complemented by two displays with turning discs, which are mounted horizontally. The harmony of the numerous circles is very appropriately emphasised by the perlage finish on the plate of the calendar movement, which is left partially visible thanks to the open-worked dial.
Reasons to bid
The Gérald Genta Arena Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Moon Phase Ref. ATM.X.75 ‘Platinum & Palladium’ would appear to be a very attractive purchase for the collector thanks to its outstanding multi-disc design, elaborate hand finishing and decoration of the caliber, and the extraordinary platinum and palladium execution. The combination of the tourbillon and perpetual calendar complications is regarded as traditional, but implemented in a modern way. Moreover, the present lot would also be a fine occasion for the collector to obtain one of the iconic timepieces of modern haute horlogerie, originating from Gérald Genta, one of the most well-respected names in luxury watchmaking.