Gérald Genta, the esteemed Maison of High Watchmaking, is set to make its debut appearance in the prestigious Only Watch event with an extraordinary timepiece. This one-of-a-kind creation combines the playful charm of Disney’s Mickey Mouse with the intricate craftsmanship of a minute repeater complication, showcasing the brand’s innovative approach to watchmaking.
A Legacy of Creativity
Mickey Mouse has been an integral part of the Gérald Genta brand since the 1980s, when Mr. Genta, renowned as the “Picasso of watchmaking,” fearlessly merged cartoon characters with high-complication timepieces. This groundbreaking direction in watch design embodied a whimsical and audacious spirit, while maintaining an unwavering commitment to excellence.
Celebrating Milestones and Giving Back
Under the leadership of Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini, and in collaboration with La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, the Gérald Genta team proudly celebrates Disney’s 100th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Maestro’s first watch under his own name in 1973. This remarkable timepiece pays tribute to these significant milestones while supporting a charitable cause. Specially crafted for the Only Watch 2023 charity auction, which raises funds for Duchenne muscular dystrophy research, this unique creation will be presented and auctioned in Geneva on November 5th, 2023.
Mickey and Complications
For its inaugural participation in the Only Watch project, the Gérald Genta team embarked on a remarkable endeavor, blending Mickey Mouse with a minute repeater complication. Mickey’s swiveling arm playfully indicates the retrograde minutes along an arched scale from 0 to 60, while the minute repeater mechanism chimes the precise hour. These two elements are iconic to the Gérald Genta brand, and this masterpiece marks the first time they have been combined in a Gérald Genta watch.
The design holds great significance for Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini, who spent years collaborating with the esteemed Master Watchmaker Pierre-Michel Golay to bring Mr. Gérald Genta’s visionary designs to life. The enchanting animation driven by several watch complications is showcased on a white gold octagonal case, a hallmark design revered by Gérald Genta for its legible symmetry and spiritual significance. The champlevé enamel dial features a joyful enamelled Mickey Mouse holding a birthday cake aloft with one hand, paying homage to Disney’s centenary and the 10th edition of the Only Watch event.
The integration of a minute repeater with jumping hours is a rarity in the world of watchmaking. Developing two separate time calculation systems—one for the striking mechanism and one for the jumping hours—that are perfectly synchronized, reliable, and energy-efficient is a testament to the exceptional watchmaking skills of Michel and Enrico. They have crafted a system that ensures the precise synchronization between the time shown and the time struck. Mickey Mouse’s arm, indicating the retrograde minute, is equipped with a continuous shock-absorber, resulting in a smooth and captivating movement.
The dial, meticulously enamelled in-house by Nicolas Doublel, and the finely tuned gongs exemplify the unique expertise of La Fabrique du Temps. The steel gongs were specially soldered to avoid any interference with the transmission of the minute repeater’s sound. The same attention to detail is evident in the design of the octagonal case, which offers a water resistance of up to 50 meters. In a nod to the Maestro himself, Michel and Enrico designed an eight-sided flywheel bridge for the striking speed governor, adding a touch of homage and continuity to Gérald Genta’s legacy.
Only Watch 2023: A Decade of Giving Back
Only Watch, created in 2005 by Luc Pettavino under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, has become a significant event in the watch industry, uniting watchmakers worldwide for a charitable cause. This year marks the 10th edition of Only Watch, dedicated to raising funds for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Over the past 18 years, the biennial auction has raised nearly CHF 100 million, with all proceeds donated to the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies.
Gérald Genta Only Watch 2023: Technical Specifications
The Gérald Genta Only Watch 2023 timepiece showcases exceptional technical prowess and craftsmanship. Here are the primary technical specifications:
- GG-001 Manufacture Calibre, developed and assembled by La Fabrique du Temps under the supervision of Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini.
- Two-hammer minute repeater complication.
- Jumping hours complication with aperture display at 3 o’clock.
- Retrograde minute complication indicated by Mickey Mouse’s right arm.
- Octagonal white gold case with alternating polished and satin-brushed surfaces.
- Case dimensions: 40mm from 3 to 9 o’clock and 6 to 12 o’clock.
- Case thickness: 10.96mm.
- Hand-wound movement through a crown at 3 o’clock, adorned with a ruby cabochon.
- White gold minute repeater push button at 9 o’clock.
- Champlevé enamel dial entirely made by Nicolas Doublel at La Fabrique du Temps.
- Water-resistance: 50m.
- 80-hour power reserve.
- Frequency: 3Hz.
- Strap: red rubber.
- Buckle: tang type, white gold.
Reviving the Legacy of Gérald Genta
Founded in 1969, the Gérald Genta brand embodies the vision of a prolific designer who revolutionized high watchmaking. With its rule-breaking aesthetic identity and uncompromising approach to complications, Gérald Genta created extraordinary timepieces for extraordinary clients. Today, with the support of La Fabrique du Temps – Louis Vuitton and under the guidance of Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini, the brand continues to breathe new life into Mr. Genta’s DNA, merging high watchmaking with whimsical horological creations.
La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton: A Legacy of Excellence
Since 2014, La Fabrique du Temps has been exclusively producing complications for Louis Vuitton. Their exceptional work has resulted in groundbreaking timepieces, including the first Poinçon de Genève Tourbillon, the Escale Worldtimer, the Tambour Minute Repeater, and the Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon. With multiple award-winning creations, La Fabrique du Temps continues to contribute to the success of renowned watchmakers.
The Gérald Genta Only Watch 2023 minute repeater watch with Mickey Mouse exemplifies the artistry, innovation, and philanthropy that define this extraordinary timepiece. As it joins the esteemed Only Watch event, it symbolizes a commitment to pushing boundaries and making a meaningful impact in the world of horology. geraldgenta.com