In 2007, Gérald Genta created a one-of-a-kind watch to be auctioned on behalf of the Theodora Foundation which brings a little pleasure into hospital wards around Switzerland.
While acquiring and consolidating its avant-garde image through watch collections that are loved and appreciated by trendsetters, collectors and connoisseurs, Gérald Genta has also continued to cultivate a particularly playful expression of its expertise through its Fantasy Line.
Depicting various Disney characters on colourful dials feature unique the brand’s unique combination of jumping hour and retrograde minute displays, these delightful watches are an opportunity for adults to remember the child that lingers inside every human soul. It was thus entirely natural for Gérald Genta to be drawn to the work of the Theodora Foundation and to draw inspiration from it for a unique watch.
Founded in 1993, the Theodora Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation devoted to brightening sick children’s time in hospital by financing and organising bedside visits by professional clowns who offer them “magical moments of fun, music, stories and laughter”.
As the founders André and Jan Poulie explain, training by leading nursing schools, specialised doctors and artistic directors enables the artists to visit children in paediatric departments, and especially those on long-term stays.
Embodying a truly border-less concept inspired by Michael Christensen (alias Dr. Stubs) of the New York’s Babies and Children’s hospital, the activities of the Theodora Foundation now span nine countries and cater to the needs of hundreds of thousands of children each year.
Its split-level white-lacquered dial features a playfully intricate ring motif graced with 13 different colours reflecting the Theodora Foundation logo. Each colour is individually applied and then successively dried in the oven, making 13 separate firings.
This fascinating geometrical and chromatic work of art is highlighted by a sparkling row of brilliant-cut diamonds circling the bezel. Powered by a self-winding movement with central hour and minute hands echoing the ring pattern, a 42-hour power reserve and the brand’s trademark 30-second retrograde seconds display complete with dedicated red pointer, it offers a technically sophisticated horological interpretation of a timeless design theme.
This model embodies the perfect Gérald Genta mix of serious watchmaking and inventively fun designs, completely in tune with the philosophy of the Theodora Foundation which is totally serious about bringing a touch of fun into the lives of children who so desperately need it.
The Théodora Foundation was born in Switzerland, in 1993, at the initiative of André and Jan Poulie. It is thus named in tribute to their mother, Théodora, who managed to brighten André’s daily life as a child during an extended hospital stay. The mission of its Dream doctors is to care for sick children through laughter.
They currently operate in over 40 establishments around Switzerland and the concept has been taken up in eight other countries. In all, around 30 specifically trained professional artists pay regular visits to 95 hospitals or specialised institutions and adapt their clown shows to the situation of each child they meet, around 220,000 times a year.
Gérald Genta, an Haute Horlogerie brand well versed in the use of humour, was naturally inclined to support the Théodora Foundation. For the second year running, it is donated a one-of-a-kind watch to the auction on its behalf. This self-winding ladies’ watch displays the hours and the minutes by central hands, and the seconds on one of the brand’s typical retrograde counters, appearing at 6 o’clock.
The particularly entertaining dial features a richly colourful and complex composition set against a white lacquered background. The thirteen individually rings appear on various levels and are individually coloured using a sophisticated technique. This enchanting decorative effect is further magnified by a circle of diamonds set on the bezel of the white gold case