Unbridled creativity and traditional Swiss Haute Horlogerie, the unmistakable Gérald Genta signature
Ever rebellious and never simple, Gérald Genta timepieces marry the traditions of mechanical horology with the stylistic avant-garde! Right from the first creations by the brand in 1969, when man was taking his first steps on the moon while discovering mass-production digital watches, Gérald Genta watchmakers were reinventing the Perpetual Calendar readings, immersing themselves in the history of the first watchmakers whose horological feats were entirely dedicated to the mechanical and miniaturised measurement of time.
To this day, this mechanical complication is the exclusive preserve of Haute Horlogerie brands active in the field of Grand Complications. Justifiably proud of this know-how, Gérald Genta is launching within its Octo collection this year a 48-month Perpetual Calendar with cam mechanism, along with a double Northern and Southern hemisphere moon-phase display.
The particular feature of this perpetual calendar lies in the fact that all the indications concerning the date remain correct until the year 2100, while taking account of the months with 28, 29, 30 and 31 days. In that year, the date will require a one-day manual adjustment of the Gregorian calendar, which stipulates that years divisible by 4 and 400 are leap years, whereas the century years divisible only by 100 are not. That explains why the year 2000 was a leap year, whereas the year 2100 will not be and its month of February will thus have only 28 days.
Representing the heart of the complication and an essential component of the perpetual calendar, the month indication is a mechanical memory-bank composed of sequences of 28,29, 30 and 31 days that are repeated every 48 months to correspond to a full leap-year cycle. On the Octo 48-month Perpetual Calendar, this single-hand counter located at 3 o'clock imposes its aesthetic radiance across the entire dial. Its mechanism is composed of a month cam connected to the month star which determines the length of the latter. This month star, which completes a full turn in 4 years, features 48 notches, each representing one month.
The calendar plate, a magnificent piece of mechanical craftsmanship, is entirely developed, built and assembled in the workshops of the brand's Manufacture. Each of the parts is meticulously trimmed, drawn out with a file, polished and bevelled around the rim, according to the most stringent definitions of Haute Horlogerie. The plate is then fitted on a Manufacture-made base personalised according to Gérald Genta criteria; the Octo 48-month Perpetual Calendar is a precious object dedicated to lovers of detail. Exquisitely decorated above and below, the mainplate, additional plate and the bridges are circular-grained, bevelled, countersunk, engraved and coated with an old-gold finish, giving this imposing model a noble traditional appearance in terms of movement finishing. The bidirectional winding 18-carat gold oscillating weight placed in the centre also features the same concentric circular graining and engraving.
In accordance with the usual dial lay-out, based on the month indication at 3 o'clock, the date is displayed at 6 o'clock and the days of the week at 9 o'clock. As a reminder of a time that is measured not only by the daily cycle of the sun, but also by lunar cycles, a moon-phase aperture opens onto a disc at 12 o'clock, revealing the moon in the Northern hemisphere, while the lower part shows us the same heavenly body in the Southern hemisphere. Both appear against a star-studded black background representing the Big Dipper and the Horologium constellations.
The complexity of the mechanism is matched by the technical performances displayed in crafting the 18K (5N red or white) gold case and dial clothing it. The elegant and sophisticated case is composed of three parts in solid gold: a diamond-polished octagonal case middle, a round circular satin-brushed bezel with driven-in polished hour-markers, and an open octagonal back secured by 8 pentagonal screws. Each part is individually crafted and finished by hand, so that the angles and edges remain well defined and perfectly finished. To ensure a pristine vision of the details, the sapphire crystals adorning it are glareproofed, on both sides for the one protecting the dial and on the inside for the one fitted in the back.
The imposing beauty of the gold dial with its complex design is entirely worthy of an exceptional model. The full surface of the 18-carat gold dial plate is engraved and finely chased, revealing a polished pattern of “cloisons” or partitions. Layers of lacquer are then added to the corresponding parts, creating an harmonious contrast between the shimmering luminosity of the colours and the exquisitely delicate work on the “bare” parts, which are revealed in all their splendour by the engraving. The sleek sandblasted dauphine hands, including an openworked minute hand, enable optimal readability of the multiple indications.
Finally, to ensure that such beauty goes hand in hand with simplicity, the Gérald Genta master-watchmakers and the design-engineers working on time measuring mechanisms have decided to place the function correctors along the case middle, while manual winding and time setting are handled by the crown, instantly recognisable thanks to its distinctive shape surrounded by beads and set with a falcon's eye cabochon.
Each of these spectacular watches is numbered and complemented by a black hand-stitched creased alligator leather strap with folding clasp. It is distinguished by a degree of water resistance that is exceptional for a Grand Complication model: 10 Atm.
In a nutshell
Exclusive Gérald Genta automatic movement, entirely decorated by hand, “old gold” finish, endowed with a 48-month perpetual calendar indicating the days of the week, the date, the months of the year over a 4-year cycle and the leap years. 45-hour power reserve. Octagonal case in 5N red gold or diamond-polished white gold and circular satin-brushed bezel with polished hour-markers. 18K gold dial, engraved, cloisonné and lacquered, protected by an ultra-hard double-face glareproofed sapphire crystal. Beaded crown with hawk's eye cabochon, transparent sapphire case-back glareproofed on the inside and secured by 8 pentagonal screws. Exclusive Gérald Genta strap in black hand-stitched alligator leather with folding clasp circular-grained and enhanced with the brand logo and symbol. Water-resistant to 10 Atm.