January 17, 2019
by Rob Nudds
As a brand inextricably associated with legendary watch designer Gérald Genta, it makes perfect sense that Bulgari should look to honor the late master with a new release celebrating 50 years since the foundation of his eponymous company. The Bulgari Gerald Genta 50th anniversary watch celebrates one of watchmaking’s best-known figures, produced by the company that went from a forgettable fashion brand to a technological trendsetter, thanks to the acquisition of his brand in the year 2000.
Model: Gérald Genta
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Material: Platinum
Crystal/Lens: Sapphire crystal
Movement: In-house Bi-retro BVL 300 (based on the BVL 191 Solotempo Caliber)
Frequency: 28,000vph (4Hz)
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Blue alligator leather
Price & Availability: $59,000 (unlimited run)
Honoring the great Genta would be a daunting task for any independent watchmaker. It is difficult to emulate his style without treading on his toes directly, but for Bulgari — Genta’s rightful successor — there is no such pussy-footing. Consequently, Bulgari has been able to deliver a modern interpretation of his design principles. The crown is a classic Genta style, and the platinum case sees the renaissance of the Arena style he favored.
While some of the more complicated pieces produced by Genta himself were rather ostentatious, this watch is pleasingly restrained. As a result, there is plenty of space for the retrograde function to breathe. Set against a bewitching blue dial, the effect is opulent, without being meretricious, as some of the more storied pieces from the Genta line.
Everything about this watch is strong and deliberate. The functionality is typically intricate, while its display is peaceful, rather than noisy.
During Genta’s lifetime, it was uncommon for the brands who became famous for his work to reference the man directly. IWC started this trend, which was taken to so strongly that others followed suit. Bulgari has gone one step further with this model and put Genta’s name on the dial. Certainly, this watch hits the mark by recalling many respected tropes made famous by the godfather of watch design, while remaining true to Bulgari’s style and high-quality standards. The Bulgari Gerald Genta 50th anniversary watch will retail for $59,000. bulgari.com