Gérald Genta Returns with New Gentissima Oursin

New Watch! • 25 Jun 2024

Gérald Genta Returns with New Gentissima Oursin

The first gérald genta watch after its revival under La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton has been unveiled: a sea urchin-inspired Gentissima Oursin.

It has been a year since LVMH revived gérald genta as an eponymous stand-alone brand, and apart from the single unique piece created for Only Watch 2023, the new Gentissima Oursin is the first creation to mark the return of GG.

A watchmaking icon who identified as an artist first and watch designer next, Gérald Genta left the world with a portfolio of sketches, designs and concepts of which most never saw the light of day. Most were adventurous, experimental, and better described as a jewel for the wrist versus a pure horological piece. To house such freeing, creative spirits of Gérald Genta’s watchmaking, the Gentissima design lab was born and, from it, the debut of Oursin.

Like many of Gérald Genta’s creations, the Oursin is an eye-catching, statement piece. The inspiration, after all, is a sea urchin (oursin in French) which Genta sketched after a family vacation in Corsica. In horological form, he gave it a round case with deeply convex sides, surrounded by a spiny, globular exterior in the form of beads. The first prototypes were finished in 1994, which his wife Evelyne Genta fell in love with and received a special version a year later. It is still her favourite watch of his to this day, and the new iterations have received her stamp of approval.

Brought to life in three variations, the 2024 gérald genta Gentissima Oursin is intimately sized at 36.5mm in diameter, flanked by a convex titanium case studded with 223 beads in a radially expanding series of halos. Each of the beads is individually threaded and screwed down, and comes in a contrasting material to the underlying titanium—white gold, rose gold and diamonds or yellow gold.

Another common feature between the three models is the octagon appearance, a signature of Genta’s designs, in the dial’s centre via a reflection from the facetted crystal. The rounded baton hands are another nod to Genta’s go-to aesthetics, as is the familiar octagon-shaped inner edge of the case bezel.

The anthracite-dial model of the three Oursin variations is perhaps the most neutral-toned. It has a tone-on-tone colour palette, a finely etched guilloché dial, and polished round white-gold case beads.

The second model is opulently feminine with a pink mother of pearl for its guilloché dial, surrounded by a bejewelled halo of case beads in rose gold and diamonds.

The third Oursin model is the boldest of the trio where yellow-gold spiked beads form protective circles around a matte black DLC-coated titanium case, grounded by a gravity-dark dial. A familiar movement is found in the beating heart of the Gentissima Oursin: an automatic-winding Caliber GG-005 based on the Zenith Elite but customised for the Oursin. It’s a high-performance movement from the Le Locle manufacture de la haute horlogerie, and as another Easter egg, the Elite shares the Oursin’s 1994 birth date. The tributes to Genta extend even to the rotor, which has been reshaped into an octagon with bas-relief beads sculpted along the periphery of the mass.

According to gérald genta, the Oursin will have a limited lifespan, giving the Gentissima design lab time and space to explore Genta’s design codes and form subsequent Gentissima collections. Meanwhile, the new Gentissima Oursin is expected to be available in October 2024.


Tags: gentissima oursin gerald genta

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