Gérald Genta was a legend of horological design. He’s responsible for some of the most iconic timepieces still rolled out by the great watch houses time and again, so much so that his name stands for itself. You can understand why then, that Bulgari are honouring the original Gérald Genta brand with the Gérald Genta 50th Anniversary Watch.
It’s an odd little release, if only for the fact that Bulgari snapped up Gérald Genta’s eponymous brand to up their own watchmaking game (which they did, massively). Plenty of brands in their position would pretend GG watches never really existed.
Fortunately for us Bulgari recognise how influential a designer Genta was and this new release bears all of his signature flourishes. The Bulgari caliber BVL 300 double retrograde movement is faithful to devoutness and the asymmetrical, 41mm platinum case could have come from the designer’s own collection. His signature tactile crown is in full effect and even the original GG logo has been used on both the dial and the automatic rotor on the back.
The only real difference is that this is a bit more… toned-down. Genta had a penchant for Disney characters and dials just the right side of wacky. Here it’s a relatively plain blue sunburst affair, lovely but not as eccentric. You can’t really blame Bulgari for that; this isn’t the relaunch of the Gérald Genta brand, it’s just a special edition and needs to fit with their current timepieces to some extent.
Whether that changes in the future only time will tell – that and how well-received this piece is. As far as we’re concerned, it’s a stunning watch, one we do hope to see more of. Provided, of course, it doesn’t affect Bulgari’s own watches. They’ve been killing it in recent years and deserve to continue doing so.
Either way, as a standalone piece, this is a perfect encapsulation of why Gérald Genta is still one of the most important names in watch design. It’s also not a limited edition, so there’s no excuse for not adding it to your own collection. Everyone should own a Genta in one form or another.
Price & Specs:
Model: Bulgari Gérald Genta 50th Anniversary Arena Bi-Retro
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter, platinum case
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre BLV300, automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42h
Functions: Jumping hours, retrograde minutes and retrograde date
Strap: Red textured padded rubber with stainless steel Gérald Genta folding clasp
Price/availability: CHF 55,000
More details at Bulgari.