View all articles

Feature: They did THIS to Gerald Genta’s favourite watches

The late watch designer Gerald Genta was famed for speaking his mind, especially when it came to his own creations being changed. He was outraged, for example, at how his beloved Royal Oak had been transformed into a “whale” when Audemars Piguet unveiled the larger Offshore. However, as we’re about to see, that isn’t his only watch that got a make-over…

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore

Twenty years after the Royal Oak made its debut, Audemars Piguet marked the anniversary with the launch of the Royal Oak Offshore, which outmuscled its forebear. Fledgling designer Emmanuel Gueit took Genta’s creation and gave it the watch industry equivalent of a course of steroids and a gym membership. Genta hated it.

Patek Philippe Nautilus

Genta’s original steel Nautilus from 1976 featured nothing more than the time and date. Since then, it’s become the brand’s flagship model, incorporating everything from perpetual calendars to chronographs and made from precious metals. The case’s distinctive ear-like protrusions have remained, but these days they’re slightly curved, giving it a sleeker silhouette.

IWC Ingenieur

The Ingenieur existed before Genta got his hands on it, but he put it on the map in 1978, giving it a sport-luxe make-over. This 46mm model is much larger than that iteration and is made from ceramic. Too big for your tastes? Don’t worry, IWC launched a 40mm version at this year’s Watches & Wonders that closely resembles Genta’s design.

Omega Constellation

Yes, Omega has also benefitted from the genius of Genta. He was asked to work his magic on the already-popular Constellation line in the 1960s, giving it a distinctive C-shape case. Today the Constellation collection sports a Gentaesque look, with prominent, stylised bezels and integrated bracelets.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo

Though not a Genta-designed watch, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo channels the spirit of the great man, with its geometric case shape and integrated bracelet. This is hardly a surprise since Bulgari acquired the Gerald Genta brand in 2000, with the LVMH luxury goods group?now the owner of Bulgari?set to revive it. Expect a brand-new range of Genta watches to hit boutiques in 2024.

Shop pre-owned IWC watches

Shop pre-owned Audemars Piguet watches

Shop pre-owned Omega watches

Shop pre-owned Patek Philippe watches

Shop pre-owned Bulgari watches