The Gérald Genta relaunch begins with the unexpected Gentissima Oursin

The Gérald Genta relaunch begins with the unexpected Gentissima Oursin

Borna Bošnjak
  • The eponymous brand of watchmaking’s favourite designer releases a trio first made as a piece unique made for Genta’s wife, Evelyne.
  • With a case inspired by a sea urchin, the Gérald Genta Gentissima Oursin sports a pebble-like titanium case with 223 beads evoking a sea urchin’s test.
  • Genta’s unmissable octagon is represented in the dials, while time-telling is tasked to the Zenith Elite-based GG-005.

Louis Vuitton’s most recent watchmaking efforts haven’t just centered around getting LV’s watchmaking cred up, but also restoring two household names to their former glory – Daniel Roth, and Gérald Genta. The latter was famously sold to Bulgari in 2000, the designs eventually integrating into Bulgari’s modern offering, with a Mickey release here and there reminding us of the once-great name. All that, it seems, is due to change. We already had a glimpse of Louis Vuitton’s future plans for Daniel Roth with the Tourbillon Souscription, but the first revival Gérald Genta model is set to be a lot more surprising. Named after the sea urchin that inspired its case, the Gérald Genta Gentissima Oursin also introduces “a fascinating preview of the brand’s in-house experimental design lab, codenamed Gentissima”, according to Gérald Genta.

gerald genta gentissima oursin grey case profile

At first glance, the echinodermic connection may not be immediately obvious – I mean, where are the spikes? Rather than its spiky exterior, Genta must’ve taken an urchin’s hard shell as the inspiration, first sketching the originals after a Corsican vacation. The original Oursin models were first prototyped in 1994 according to the brand, a unique model being gifted to Evelyne Genta a year later. Interestingly, there is only a sketch of the original Oursin out there, with Evelyne Genta mentioning in an interview that it was a watch exclusively made for her by the manufacture.

gerald genta gentissima oursin pink dial close up

The dials harken back to Genta’s favourite shape – the octagon – separated into eight even portions and embellished with a stunning guilloché. The Pink is particularly impressive in this regard, as the rose engine work was done on a mother-of-pearl dial blank. The other two pieces (named the Grey and the Punk) go for much subtler, darker tones, the latter omitting the guilloché altogether, for reasons that I’ll get to shortly.

gerald genta gentissima oursin pink case close up

So, the 223 beads set into the titanium cases are the Oursin’s signature. The beads are individually screwed into the case for each model, made of white, yellow, or rose gold, with the Pink and Punk this time the most notable for their executions. While the Oursin Grey goes with understated (not sure if that applies here in any case), actual beads, the Pink opts for rose-gold rimmed diamonds for ultimate blinginess.

gerald genta gentissima oursin punk case profile

My favourite of the three has to be the appropriately named Punk which busts out the sharpener, replacing the rounded beads with spikes, the kind you might find on a leather jacket of a teen that’s not just going through a phase. Even the signature nubbins of the Genta crown are pointed. While the Oursin Punk matches its rowdy aesthetic with a black alligator leather strap, the other two models go for softer, dial-matching calf leather options – all three 17.5mm wide at the lugs. Good luck with getting a NATO on that.

Finally, the new Gentissima Oursin pieces are powered by a Zenith Elite-based movement that’s been modified to match their aesthetic. Gérald Genta points out that the GG-005, as the brand is calling it, receives an octagonal winding rotor with a beaded motif around its periphery, though other specs like the 4Hz beat rate and 50-hour power reserve suggest that the exact base calibre is the Elite 670.

Gérald Genta Gentissima Oursin pricing and availability

The Gérald Genta Gentissima Oursin models will be available in October 2024. Price (excl. tax): CHF 22,000 (Grey), CHF 25,000 (Punk), CHF 32,000 (Pink)

Brand Gérald Genta
Model Gentissima Oursin
Case Dimensions 36.5mm (D) x 9.6mm (T)
Case Material Grade 5 titanium, white gold (Grey)
DLC-coated grade 5 titanium, yellow gold (Punk)
Grade 5 titanium, rose gold, diamonds (Pink)
Water Resistance 30 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire crystal
Dial Antracite guilloché brass (Grey)
Black brass (Punk)
Pink mother-of-pearl guilloché (Pink)
Lug Width 17.5mm
Strap Coloured calfskin leather (Grey, Pink)
Black alligator leather (Punk)
Movement GG-005, Zenith Elite base, automatic
Power Reserve 50 hours
Functions Hours, minutes
Availability October 2024
Price (excl. tax) CHF 22,000 (Grey)
CHF 25,000 (Punk)
CHF 32,000 (Pink)