Geneva based independent luxury Swiss watch brand GENUS has announced a new Damascene Titanium edition of its award winning GNS1.2 timepiece. Along with the launch of this new watch, the brand is also introducing the digital certification of all its timepieces. This certification is an effective and modern means of combating counterfeiting and guaranteeing authenticity for the owner of each GENUS wristwatch throughout its lifetime.
Introduced in 2019, the GNS1.2 has pioneered a new way of looking at and telling time with orbital hours and minutes. This timepiece is a combined result of ten years of extensive research, two clever inventions and three years of development. This creation also holds two patents that lay down the basic principles of the two innovative mechanisms behind the free-flowing time display. The timepiece won the Mechanical Exception Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in November 2019.
This year, GENUS has decided to explore the world of metal artisanship. The GENUS GNS1.2 TD is carefully carved from a block of Damascene Titanium, a successful fusion of ancestral metal-smithing technique and modern material. This ancient technique is traditionally called Mokume-gane in Japan, where the method has been used for making katana sword blades since the 17th century.
In 2019, GENUS introduced the GNS1.2 WG (white gold) and the GNS1.2 RG (rose gold) models. Now also available with a Damascene Titanium case, the GNS1.2 timepiece has 43 mm diameter and 13.3 mm thick case. The watch houses the caliber 160W-1.2 or 160R-1.2, a new movement consisting of 418 components, entirely created and manufactured by GENUS in their Geneva workshop.
This movement powers a novel complication for indicating time. Instead of the dial and hands, this movement drives twelve satellites, one for each hour for an unprecedented way of telling time.
The satellites make a complete revolution along the periphery of the movement, at the crystal’s edge, once every twelve hours. The fixed white arrow on the left, in front of which the satellites scroll, points to the current hour. To remain in the reading direction, the satellites re-orient themselves and pivot 90 degrees every 3 hours, i.e. four times. The hour numbers – moulded in SuperLuminova™ and affixed to the revolving time-indicating satellites – are the result of meticulous development and design.
The damascene titanium is a material virtually unheard of in fine watchmaking. The art of damascening consists of forging sheets of metal layer by layer. After having been hammered, each sheet is folded back upon itself, and the operation is repeated as many times as necessary. This homogeneous ‘stacking’ of homogeneous layers, each one annealed between each fold, gives the material an entirely new, particular aspect. Each incision, each bevel into the edge of the damascened metal reveals the strata, the shapes, the undulations, and the unique character of each layer.
The laborious work, at the heart of the forge’s embers, of folding and layering is usually done with iron or steel for katana blades. Damascening of titanium is a craft reserved for the best. Although 40% lighter, titanium is three times harder and can be forged at temperatures 300 degrees higher than for conventional watchmaking steel. This method, which remains largely manual, is quite laborious and complex.
To further enrich the distinctive appearance of this basic material, GENUS works with layers of various titanium alloys, each of which exhibits a different tint and reaction to heat. The colorful effect is rendered even more eye-catching by the final heat treatment that determines the general tone of the metal block, along with its subtle differences in tints and hues.
Each part of the GNS1.2 TD’s casing is cut at an angle to achieve a different, unique appearance. GENUS then works to coordinate the different parts that make up a watch. The brand is also offering the future owners to attend the ‘damascene revelation’ by open flame at the GENUS workshop in Geneva. [Click here to view the video of damascene process].
If desired, the future owner can intervene directly in the colouring as well as decide on a particular surface finish: matte, satin or polished. Only the owner shall be aware of the secrets of the manufacturing process and the artisans’ skills.
The 18K gold in-house calibre forms the established foundation of the authentic, genuine, and sincere watchmaking approach of GENUS.
Particularly attentive to its customers, and always receptive to their wishes and preferences, GENUS has made several adjustments to its masterpiece. For instance, the orientation of the ‘genera’ – the hallmark free-moving elements that flow in a pattern to indicate the tens-of-minutes – can now be personalised.
They can be set straight or inclined, depending on the wearer’s aesthetic preference for the watch. This option can provide a more comfortable legibility for some owners.
In addition, GENUS adjusted the curvature of the sapphire crystal which eliminated the perceived ridges on the upper perimeter. This mitigates any visual distortion of the hour indices, thereby improving clarity of the timekeeping mechanism.
The architecture of the movement is indicative of the genetics of the GENUS project. The intrinsic principles of freedom, flexibility and future evolution are based on its separation in two parts. The base of the movement groups the essential functions, including a single barrel. It ensures a 50-hour power reserve, which is considerable in view of the complexity of the calibre and the moving elements. On top of this are built the individual complication modules for managing the display of hours, and tens, and units of minutes.
All the components of the calibre 160W-1.2 have been designed and hand-worked by the watchmaker in accordance with the highest traditions of Haute Horlogerie. The main plate and bridges are made of 18K gold obtained through an ecologically and socially responsible supply chain, certified by the RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council). Gold lends itself extremely well to the finest finishing techniques. Gold is also anti-magnetic and is therefore largely protected from the harmful influence of magnetic fields.
The surface finishing treatments of the 418 components of the movement faithfully reflect the brand’s considerable expertise in high-end watchmaking. Each and every tiny part has been worked and re-worked with the most meticulous care and in strict compliance with highest traditions of Haute Horlogerie. The escapement bridge is mirror-polished, as are the two beautiful arrow indicators that show the hours (at 9 o’clock) and minute units (at 3 o’clock). You can also discover a few of the many other components finished in this manner.
The plate and the three bridges are micro-beaded, creating a matte effect that allows the glossy finishes to stand out against a contrasting background. All their edges have been bevelled and polished. The visually arresting effect is further enhanced by their shape with curves that vibrantly reflect any play of light.
To offer owners the guarantee of their timepiece’s authenticity and traceability throughout its life, GENUS has joined forces with the Arianee Project. It is an independent consortium whose mission is to establish a global standard for the digital certification of valuables. Based on blockchain technology, the decentralised and open-source protocol offers a set of new services for the watch owner. These dedicated services are directly accessible from the Certificate of Authenticity delivered with each GENUS watch.
The data of each timepiece, and in particular for bespoke orders, the sale and/or transmission to a new owner, the service book, proof of ownership/declaration of theft – the Arianee protocol allows GENUS liberate itself from paper-based authentication (which can be counterfeited) of its timepieces. This system also guarantees its customers traceability of their watch throughout their life, even if the ownership changes over time.
Thus, GENUS timepieces benefit from a unique and forgery-proof digital identity. If the owner desires, the ‘Digital Passport’ may be accompanied by an original photo of the acquired timepiece with its individual serial numbers. This opens up a new channel of communication – permanent, secure and anonymous – between the brand and the owner of the timepiece.
Collection: GNS 1
Watch name: GNS1.2
Material: TD (Titane Damassé – Damascene Titanium)
Watch reference: GNS1.2 TD
Material: Damascene Titanium
Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 13.3 mm
Crown: Damascene titanium, G-E-N-U-S letters in relief around its circumference
Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
Case back: Damascene titanium, screw-secured, sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
Water resistance: 30 metres (3 ATM)
Calibre reference: 160W-1.2
Diameter: 38 mm
Height: 7.7 mm
Frequency: 2.5 Hz or 18’000 vibrations per hour
Power reserve: About 50 hours
Regulating organ: Escapement with a Swiss anchor, hairspring, variable inertia balance wheel
Time display complication
Hours: 12 satellites/peripheral and axial rotation indexes (patent pending)
Tens-of-minutes: 12 free-moving components circulate between 2 counter rotating wheels (patent pending)
Units of minutes: Cut-away disc
Numbers & indexes With SuperLuminova™
Calf leather, folded edge and hand-stitched, navy blue (Alligator upon request)
Buckle: Pin buckle in damascene titanium with the GENUS logo
Clasp: Fold-over clasp available upon request
Suggested retail price
CHF 145’000.- Ex-works, without VAT