The brand acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of striking watches has developed a new movement driving an exceptional Minute Repeater model, the first in the world to be associated with jumping hour and retrograde minute functions, in a collection issued exclusively in limited editions of one.
It’s been more than 30 years since Gérald Genta revived the popularity of striking watches, the incredibly complex mechanical models that tell the time through music. Formerly intended for nocturnal use in a world without electricity, they testify to a genius that continues to fascinate connoisseurs of contemporary watchmaking art. On request, a minute repeater model strikes the hours, quarters and minutes – each hour on a low-pitched note, each quarter on alternating low and high-pitched notes, and each minute on a high-pitched note. Gérald Genta watches chime the Gs and Cs at an optimally musical cadence. At 11:59, the 31 notes required ring out in about 15 seconds, a period that is neither too lengthy nor too rushed and creates a tune that is both melodiously and clearly audible.
The Octo Minute Repeater features baroque-inspired ornamental dials adorned with multiple geometrical motifs. Red or black lacquered, engraved in white or red gold, they form typically sophisticated Gérald Genta compositions each of which is produced in a limited edition of one. The jumping hour appears through an aperture cut-out in the traditional 9 o’clock position, while the retrograde minutes move across a 180° semi-circle exactly opposite. The brand’s signature read-off style is thus both instinctive and easy.
The Octo cases reserved for this exceptional edition are crafted in red or white gold with polished middles and satin-brushed bezels. On the surfaces, polished studs punctuate the sweeping run of the retrograde minutes. On the other side, a key of G sign discreetly signals the minute repeater pusher that replaces the conventional sliding bolt in order to ensure the case is perfectly water resistant, and also matches the beaded winding crown. Onyx and hawk’s eye cabochons subtly distinguish one from the other.
The self-winding movement constitutes a new feat from the Manufacture Gérald Genta. It is to date the only calibre to combine minute repeater, jumping hour and retrograde minutes, and its construction is remarkably slender. The central minute repeater calibre is the thinnest in the world (3.12 mm thick) and complete with the oscillating weight and the jumping hour-retrograde minute plate measures a mere 7.38 mm in all. Thanks to this major technical accomplishment, the watch itself features an extremely moderate size. Its undeniable elegance is further enhanced by the pleasure of hearing it chime with a delightfully resonant tone stemming from over five years of pioneering acoustic research conducted by the brand.
The innovative Grand Complication is sublimated by a hand-engraved personalised decorative pattern reflecting the style of the dials and extending over the bridges featuring twelve segments evoking the twelve hours. This refined touch complements the traditional fine watchmaking finishes such as bevelling, polishing, circular satin brushing and hand-drawn flanks, as well as the concentric circular graining and the “Potter finish” old gold colour typical of Gérald Genta movements. This work of art may be admired through a sapphire crystal case-back, complete with its solid gold oscillating weight exquisitely open-worked around a signature G motif.