Gérald Genta is one of the greatest names in watchmaking thanks to his role in the creation of both the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus. Yeah, you read that right, Genta is the man responsible for two of the most iconic watches of the 20th century. Thanks to LVMH’s acquisition of Genta’s unused designs, his name and brand are making a comeback.
Roughly a month ago, LVMH acquired Daniel Roth from Bulgari under Louis Vuitton’s haute horlogerie division, La Fabrique du Temps. As it turns out, it wasn’t the only thing LVMH acquired from Bulgari. The Genta brand will be revived at Louis Vuitton under the supervision of master watchmakers, Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini, with the blessing of Genta’s widow, Evelyne. Navas and Barbasini worked with Genta in the 1980s and 90s overseeing the minute repeater, tourbillon, and high complications workshops.
Louis Vuitton has said that they will make small quantities of high complications based on the unused designs of Genta.
A statement from Louis Vuitton read, “This combination of unfettered access to the design archive of one of the great masters of modern watchmaking and the unrivalled expertise of watchmakers who worked closely with him on his most complicated pieces creates a unique opportunity for La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton to take inspiration from the past achievements of the Gérald Genta brand in order to make 21st century timepieces once more worthy of the name.”
Louis Vuitton isn’t the only brand using old Genta designs. IWC showcased a Genta-inspired Ingeneur at Watches & Wonders 2023. While the Ingeneur was originally created in 1955, it was in the 1970s that Genta added his little touches to it, which in turn has inspired the 2023 releases.
No word yet as to how these new watches will look but we will find out in early 2024.