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Gerald Genta, a famous swiss watch designer, created several iconic watch models. At age 23, he designed the Polerouter in 1954 to honor a historic flight, and this was his first major contribution to the watch industry. In 1959, he was asked by Omega to refresh their Constellation range, boosting their brand’s reputation and earning Genta a reputation as a star designer.
In 1970, Genta was approached by Audemars Piguet to design the Royal Oak, a luxury sports watch made of steel, inspired by a diving helmet. This was revolutionary for its time as steel was not traditionally considered a precious metal in watchmaking. He also designed the Nautilus for Phillippe Patek in 1976, inspired by the portholes of ships and named in tribute to Captain Nemo’s submarine from Jules Verne’s novel.
Genta’s Ingenieur, launched in 1976, was designed for professionals working near magnetic fields. It had a unique design with five screws on the bezel. The Bulgari-Bulgari, designed by Genta, was inspired by ancient Roman coins and became an emblem for the Bulgari brand.
The Gefica Safari, made in 1984, was designed for safari hunters and had a bronze case, which was revolutionary at the time as it didn’t reflect sunlight. In the 1980s, Genta also designed a Disney collection of limited edition watches featuring iconic characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
Genta redesigned the Pasha watch for Cartier in 1985, creating a balance between luxury and sport while keeping key features of the brand. In 1991, he created the Octogonal, a watch with a unique shape and features like a moon phase indicator and perpetual calendar. He also developed a new way of reading time in the Retrograde, combining two complications (jumping hour and retrograde minutes) in the same movement and on the same dial.