gérald genta Presents a Studly Trio of Watches in a Sea Urchin-Inspired Design

A time-only piece with lots of character à la Gérald Genta.


gérald genta Presents a Studly Trio of Watches in a Sea Urchin-Inspired Design



For those bold enough to embrace complexity and difference, it’s a gérald genta watch that rises to the occasion. After all, such designs channel the pioneering spirit of Gérald Genta himself, who would take the most obscure details from his surroundings and plaster them on a watch. They’ve ranged from diving helmets to transatlantic ships, Roman coins, steam locomotives, and even Pablo Picasso himself. 


Within the year since the revival of the gérald genta brand under LVMH, a new shapely watch has joined the fray: the gérald genta Gentissima Oursin, a 36.5mm creation that’s inspired by the sea urchin. Yes, the spiny sea creature.


gérald genta Gentissima Oursin in anthracite


Presented in three models, each in a convex titanium case, the watch is studded with 223 beads (diamonds or spikes), set in a radially expanding series of halos. Each bead is individually threaded and screwed down, contrasting with the underlying titanium in materials such as white gold, rose gold and diamonds, or yellow gold. The versatile diameter draws from the 1990s’ pursuit of structured androgyny and voluptuous allure. Think contrasts in color and texture, tricking the eye with its layered geometries and inviting touch with its tactile surfaces.


gérald genta Gentissima Oursin in pink mother-of-pearl


The line-up includes an edgy iteration of the Oursin in matte black DLC-coated titanium set with yellow-gold spiked beads, displaying extreme tonal contrasts. Secondly, a model that’s expressively feminine, featuring the opalescence of its guilloché dial in pink mother-of-pearl and case beads in rose gold and diamonds. Thirdly, an anthracite tone-on-tone version, exhibiting a finely etched guilloché dial and polished round white-gold case beads.

Gérald Genta and Gentissima: The artist and his realm

Before diving into the world of gérald genta, it’s essential to understand the man behind the name. Firstly, the legendary designer was as prolific as he was creative, amassing thousands of sketches and concepts, many of which never saw the light of day. Secondly, a gérald genta watch is meant to be adventurous. From hexagonal cases to bi-retrograde displays, the manifestations of his creative mind require one who is bold enough to wear them. Which leads us to the third point: Genta’s watchmaking isn’t always your conventional, good ol’ time-telling dress watch. Arguably, his designs are statement pieces, especially when compared to the next watch out there.


Gérald Genta

Gérald Genta


There’s a name for this somewhat chaotic yet refreshing materialization of Genta’s creativity: Gentissima. The name, which has been adopted as the brand’s in-house experimental design lab, is meant to depict a “transient domain that represents the ultimate expression of liberated watchmaking design, requiring equal measures of audacity and abandon to navigate.” Throughout his career, Genta reserved his most experimental work for his eponymous brand, indulging his creative genius without restriction — a hallmark of the Gentissima landscape.


Oursin: The sea urchin as his muse

Now out of this emerging Gentissima lab was the first of Genta’s designs that began in 1994: the Oursin. The story is that Genta first sketched the Oursin (French for sea urchin) after a family vacation in Corsica. 

“The Oursin was among Gérald’s few creations that he was the proudest of.”

Its spiny, globular exteriors found horological form in a round case with deeply convex sides, studded with beads that gave the watch its uniquely startling aesthetic. After seeing the first prototypes in 1994, Evelyne Genta fell in love with the Oursin and received a special version a year later. It remains her favorite watch to this day. “The Oursin was among Gérald’s few creations that he was the proudest of,” said Evelyne in a statement. “He would have loved these new versions! They are perfect evolutions of Gérald’s original design, retaining yet furthering the Oursin’s inimitable style.”


Today, the Oursin opens the Gentissima chapter at Gérald Genta, unveiling one of the most personal and intimate stories of Genta’s legacy. Like its 1994 predecessor, the Gentissima Oursin is designed for those who appreciate complexity, audacity, and difference. 

The Oursin design and aesthetic

The octagon, strongly associated with Genta’s designs, appears in the center of the dial via a reflection from the faceted crystal, traversed by the rounded baton hands. The exterior surface of the sapphire crystal bears a taut, subtle dome that is contiguous with the camber of the surrounding case.

The inner edge of the case bezel is cut in a specific shape—the familiar octagon combined with gently curved sides—echoing Genta’s later gravitation towards more biophilic forms.


Watchmaking Artistic Director Matthieu Hegi elaborates, “The Oursin is a fascinating model for a designer, with an almost infinite creative potential. The faceted crystal pays homage to Mr. Genta’s passion for the octagon, which is also hidden in the shape of the case, appearing round at first glance. In fact, I chose a bead-blasted titanium case: light and dark, it highlights the beads with which it is dressed.”

The Gentissima Oursin beats the automatic-winding GG-005 based on the Zenith Elite, a high-performance movement from the fabled Le Locle manufacture de la haute horlogerie. This iteration of the Elite has been customized for the Oursin, with the rotor reshaped in the form of an octagon, and bas-relief beads sculpted along the periphery of the mass.


According to the brand, the Oursin will have a limited lifespan — with availability from October 2024 — allowing the design lab to explore different aspects of undiscovered Genta. Nevertheless, the Gentissima Oursin has set the tone for subsequent Gentissima collections, where further varietals of the Gentissima Oursin are expected as the collection continues to gestate and develop.


Tech Specs: gérald genta Gentissima Oursin

Movement: Automatic-winding Caliber GG-005; 50-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours and minutes
Case: 36.5mm; titanium or DLC-coated titanium; water-resistant to 30m
Dial: Anthracite, black, or pink mother-of-pearl
Strap: Anthracite or pink calfskin leather; black alligator leather
Price: CHF 22,000 (anthracite); CHF 32,000 (pink); CHF 25,000 (black)
Availiabity: October 2024