In 1988, Gérald Genta presented the first Gefica, born from a discussion between friends during a Big Five gaming hunt in Africa. From the merging of the first two letters of their surnames – Geoffroy, Fissore and Canali – came a name: GEFICA. Initially intended to be a hunter’s watch, the revolutionary use of bronze for its exterior was driven by a concern for invisibility, because this non-shiny material avoided any risk of the sun glinting off it at an inopportune moment. In 2007, the Gérald Genta brand revived the model in a resolutely 21st century spirit.
Right from the outset, the brand has distinguished itself through its provocative and innovative approach to the use of materials. It was the first Haute Horlogerie brand to introduce materials such as carbon fibre, rubber, tantalum, bronze, wood and liquid ceramics into Haute Horlogerie models while combining them with precious counterparts. It has thereby acquired a legitimacy that is now firmly established, in an era where breaking with classic traditions seems an obvious choice. Thanks to this legitimate expertise in working with unusual materials that the Gérald Genta engineers have mastered for almost 20 years, the new Gefica Safari is crafted in bronze and combined with titanium, giving it a truly unique character. Thanks to the inherent properties of these materials, such an object evolves over the years as the bronze gradually acquires a patina and the harmony between materials is embellished with the passing of time.
This spectacular model with its complex architecture evokes the volcanic topography of Africa, the geometry of the Primitive Arts of this continent, and their aesthetic influence on the Art Deco movement of the early 20th century. Its statuesque shapes instantly propel us into a world of raw sensations, while radiating an aesthetic blend of reminiscences and contemporary character. The world of the early hunters is thus transposed and sublimated within the urban jungle of contemporary mankind.
Right from the start, the eye is drawn to the two-tone bronze and titanium case, gliding over its flaring shape before encountering the contrast between the raised convex sapphire crystal and the hollowed concave dial. From the edge of the bezel shaped like the rim of a volcano crater, the gaze follows the dome and plunges down the rounded slopes of the dial, admiring the sweep of the curved red seconds hand, before coming to rest on a back marked by horizontal grooves. Shapes, materials and colours unite to immerse us in the aesthetic and sensual world of African art and its multiple influences. The twin rows of titanium beads on the case middle and the crown, echo the body painting on bronze-coloured skin and the geometrical shapes represented in tribal Art; whilst the natural hues recall nature and the colours of the African Mother Earth. The graphic design of the numerals indicating the time also reflects the Art Deco world that was so strongly inspired by the same source.
For over ten years, the Gérald Genta brand has been refining, developing, enhancing the reliability and successfully marketing this original combination of complications featuring the so-called “incremental” hour display and “reinitialisation” minute indication. It is to date the only contemporary Haute Horlogerie brand to have earned genuine legitimacy in the construction of this type of mechanism in wristwatches through the experience it has acquired. Over the years, various issues such as shock-resistance, the precision of the instant minute and date jumps have had to be resolved, and safety systems relating to winding and time-setting have also been developed in order to ensure the reliability of the mechanism. Gérald Genta has filed three patents exclusively linked to this mechanism, which in terms of the technical difficulties involved in the various horological complications is fairly close to those implied by the making of a perpetual calendar.
The Manufacture-made self-winding movement, which is the engine driving this model, is equipped with the jumping hour, retrograde minute and date complication module entirely developed, built and assembled in the workshops of the Manufacture Gérald Genta, in the Vallée de Joux. In keeping with its approach to Haute Horlogerie, this calibre is entirely decorated with circular-graining performed on a movement featuring “Potter” finishing. The 18-carat gold oscillating weight is also entirely circular-grained and engraved with the “Gérald Genta” brand name.
Since the launch of its first models featuring this type of display, the aesthetic lines through which it is conveyed have never betrayed the sophisticated technical substance of each of its movements, nor the contemporary design of the collections. The launch of the Gefica Safari represents an additional step towards confirming Gérald Genta’s status as a Manufacture producing exceptional watch models, consistently equipped with mechanical complications protected by sophisticated exteriors and endowed with the potential to arouse emotions that is inherent in prestige objects.
Automatic, GG 1004 calibre on a GP3100 personalised base, 28,800 vib/h, 27 rubies, and additional Gérald Genta bi-retrograde plate
Potter finishing with concentric circular graining
18K gold rotor with concentric circular graining and engraved logo
45-hour power reserve
Jumping hours, retrograde minutes, central seconds, retrograde date
Sand-blasted bronze and titanium
Anti-reflective sapphire crystal front and back
Water-resistant to 100 m
Galvanised bronze/silvered or bronze/black
Central decor in relief
Jumping hours window at 12 o’clock, retrograde minutes between 9 and 3
o’clock, retrograde date between 5 and 7 o’clock
Hand-sewn alligator with titanium triple folding clasp