Gérald Genta’s Original Watch Designs Head to Auction at Sotheby’s – Barron’s

Gérald Genta’s Original Watch Designs Head to Auction at Sotheby’s – Barron’s

100 original Genta designs will be offered at Sotheby’s next spring.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

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Genta’s unique Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch, the world’s first luxury steel sports watch designed by the Swiss horologist, together with 100 of his original watercolor designs and their accompanying nonfungible tokens (NFTs), will be offered across a series of sales at Sotheby’s next spring.

The first leg of this series will be in Geneva from Feb. 10-24, featuring Genta’s original designs for the first Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch, including his never-before-seen unreleased first design for the iconic timepiece. 

Genta’s personal Royal Oak watch

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Hong Kong and New York sales are set for March 10-24 and April 13-27, respectively. The sale will culminate in the auction of Genta’s unique Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch (estimates: US$300,000-US$500,000) in Geneva on May 22, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of its release.

Each of the 100 watercolor paintings on offer will be paired with a unique NFT, which will feature an artistic digital replica of Genta’s masterful design. Sotheby’s has yet to release the estimates of the original designs, but each NFT will have a starting bid of  CHF100 for the Geneva sale, HK$1,000 for the Hong Kong sale, and US$100 for the New York sale.

A portion of the proceeds from the sales will benefit the Gérald Genta Heritage Association, founded in 2018 by his life and business partner, Evelyne Genta, to help launch the Gérald Genta Prize for Young Talent.

Portrait of Gerald Genta

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

“With this sale, we are continuing Gérald’s legacy of innovation. He was always at least five or ten years ahead of his time, working towards unprecedented ideas that radicalized—and sometimes scandalized—the industry, but ultimately transformed it,” Evelyne Genta said in a statement through Sotheby’s.

Genta (1931-2011) started his eponymous brand in 1969, which produced some of the world’s most complicated luxury wristwatches. Genta often hand-designed the movements, dials, and cases of his timepieces for clients ranging from royal families to world-renowned athletes and businessmen. He sold his brand to Bulgari in 2000.

Genta also collaborated with other brands in Switzerland and throughout Europe, including Omega’s Constellation (1959); Patek Philippe’s Golden Ellipse (1968); Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak (1970); IWC’s Ingenieur (1976); Patek Philippe’s Nautilus (1976); Cartier’s
Pasha de Cartier
(1985); and the Disney Collection (1986).

Known as “the
of watchmaking,” Genta was as superb in paint and canvas as he was at painting a picture through the medium of cool metal and delicate machinery, Sam
Sotheby’s worldwide head of watches, said in a statement. 

“Gérald Genta will always …….

Source: https://www.barrons.com/articles/gerald-gentas-original-watch-designs-head-to-auction-at-sothebys-01640119545