The Gerald Genta Heritage Association is BornBy Keith W. Strandberg
When you talk about transformative watch designers, Gerald Genta is on the top of the list, if not at the No.1 spot. Behind some of the most famous and iconic designs in the watch world, Genta is indisputably one of the titans of watch design.
This month, Genta’s widow Evelyn has established the Gerald Genta Heritage Association. Tasked with paying tribute to Gerald Genta and encouraging and rewarding young talents in the watch world, the Association is chaired by Mrs. Genta, who worked with her husband for almost 20 years as Commercial Managing Director of their joint business.
“The mission of the association is to raise awareness about what my husband did and his contribution to the watch industry, and to support young talent,” says Mrs. Genta in an exclusive interview with Revolution.Watch. “Gerald thought there was not enough design in the watch world. The idea is to see what young designers are doing and support them. We will have events, exhibitions, awards and a lot of activities.”
In addition to events recognizing young talent, the Association will develop exhibits of Genta’s designs. “We have roughly 3,400 designs that have never been manufactured,” she notes. “It’s a shame – I feel like I have all these designs that are asleep, and I would love to see them developed.”
Genta’s legacy lives on in products like Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the Bulgari Bulgari, the IWC Ingenieur and the Omega Constellation.
“I think Gerald was an incredible artist,” Mrs. Genta adds. “I am proudest that he was really an artist, not just a designer, and he was capable of applying himself to watches and transforming an industry into art. He approached the business from a different standpoint than anyone else before or since.”
If the Association can broaden awareness of Gerald Genta’s work and help push design forward, more power to it.”My motivation is not only born from love for my late husband; it also comes from my unwavering determination to stoke the fire of his memory and share our passion for his legendary creativity, which generated many masterpieces in luxury watchmaking history,” Mrs. Genta says. “In addition to this, the encouragement and mentorship we want to bring to designers and pioneers of tomorrow is an integral part of our Association’s raison d’être. It is in this perspective that I would like to invite watchmaking enthusiasts and lovers of Gerald’s legacy to join us so that his innovative work and memory continue to shine, encourage and inspire the young talents of today.”
The first events are being put together now, and as soon as we know the exact details, we will communicate that here. In addition, Mrs. Genta confirmed that she is working with the FHH to put together an exhibition of her late husband’s designs that will be shown at SIHH 2020.