This highly exceptional wristwatch in rose gold belongs to the GENUS GNS 1 collection that won the ‘Mechanical Exception’ award in the 2019 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). The other GNS 1 models are GNS 1.2 WG (white gold), GNS1.2 TD (Damascene Titanium) and GNS1.1 RG (rose gold).
Equipped with the 160R-1.2 manual winding movement designed in-house and manufactured by GENUS, the GNS1.2 RG (rose gold) watch displays time in a unique way that deconstructs the conventional systems.
On the display side, you can discover twelve satellites (blue with Arabic numerals), one for each hour. They each make a complete revolution every twelve hours around the periphery, flush with the crystal. The current hour is indicated by the red stationary fixed arrow on the left, in front of which the satellites pass. They remain aligned in the reading direction, by rotating 90° every 3 hours, i.e. four times on their 12-hour journey. The numerals affixed to the hour satellites are luminous and the result of meticulous design and artisanship.
Minutes are precisely divided into tens and single digits and are not indicated as an approximation. The red stationary arrow on the right, near the crown, points to the precise minute digit on a skeletonised rotary dial that is graduated from 0 to 9. In the center of the timepiece, two large blue counter-rotating wheels are graduated in increments of 10 minutes by cut-out numbers that seem to float in space.
The two minutes wheels drive a procession of lozenge-shaped pieces that travel freely from one orbit to the other. The way they progress in single file to express the passage of time in a large 8, symbol of infinity is the genesis of the time display concept of this watch. The first element of the procession indicates the tens-of-minutes. This is the lead indicator, called the Genus. It is followed by 11 Genera (the plural of Genus) which evoke a trailing memory of the elapsed minutes.
A rosette forms on the watch face every 15 and 45 minutes, alternating between the upper and lower minute wheels as the procession of the Genus and Genera progresses. This corollary mechanism draws the eye, ever so subtly, and gives the timepiece an ever-changing face. In it, some see an analemma, the figure 8 drawn in the sky by recording the different positions of the sun, at the same time and from the same location during a calendar year – a most convincing illustration of the passage of time.
For enhanced legibility in low light conditions, the elements providing time information are treated with a luminescent coating.
The manufacture movement in 18 carat rose gold – entirely designed, developed and assembled at the Geneva workshop – combines the functions of energy storage (winding and barrel), transmission (gear box) and time regulation (balance wheel, hairspring and escapement).
A single large-diameter barrel stores enough energy to ensure a power reserve of approximately fifty hours, which is considerable given the complexity of the calibre and the time indication components that need to be kept in motion. This hand-wound movement operates at 18,000 vibrations per hour or 2.5 Hz. Regulation is assured by a traditional Swiss anchor escapement, coupled with a balance hairspring and variable inertia balance wheel.
Avant-garde from the front, the movement seen from the back appears to be more classic, reminiscent of pocket watch movements. Although the layout may be seen as traditional, the actual construction is quite unusual. That is because the movement is made in two parts that separate power storage and transmission (cylinder & counter gear) from power distribution and regulation (escapement & hairspring).
The benefit is that the fluidity of each complication can be optimally verified and adjusted, by simply removing the power distribution and regulation part of the movement if additional adjustment steps are needed. A ruthenium treatment visually distinguishes the ‘separation of powers’ underscoring this aspect of the design with contrasting finishes and color choices.
The distinctive time display complication, being at the nexus of tradition, innovation and creative renewal, epitomizes the cornerstone of GENUS’ singularity: The arched bridges, the shape of the steel components (springs, scales) and wheels create a sophisticated style with contrasting points and curves. These inflection points create zones of variation in light giving added effect – the pleasing result of aesthetic choices combined with an extremely high level of finish. This ingenious, complex, and meticulously finished mechanism animates the passage of time in what we might describe as a fractioned manner.
Thanks to a sophisticated construction, the indices and Genera move with fluidity, precision, and reliability. The impression of the whole is that of an architectural object animated by moving elements that each plays a role in indicating the passage of time. Distilling the essence of the concept is the hypnotic display of tens of minutes, like a kinetic sculpture. The generous aperture of the watch face and domed crystal, sitting flush with the edge of the case, together provide optimal visibility for appreciation of the intricacies of the time-telling complication
The choice of 18K gold for building this watch is driven by a double ambition. Firstly, the nobility of GENUS resides in its watchmaking substance and legitimacy. It is therefore logical for it to be crafted in a noble material. Secondly, besides being synonymous with high value and exclusivity, 18K gold offers other advantages. It is largely immune to the detrimental influence of magnetic fields on a timepiece movement and it is extremely suitable for high levels of finishing and decoration.
All components have been designed and hand-worked in the brand’s Geneva workshop, in accordance with the exacting standards of Haute Horlogerie. The gears, main plate and bridges are all hand-bevelled, angled, and straight-grained by hand and most steel parts are mirror-polished.
In Haute Horlogerie, the mirror polish – also called “black polish” – represents the highest level of finish achievable on steel components. The steel parts are skillfully and delicately polished by hand in a circular pattern using diamantine powder on a zinc plate. The result is a perfectly pristine surface without the slightest hint of a mark, even under high magnification.
More than 4 hours of painstaking polishing and attention to detail are dedicated to achieve such a high-quality finish on components of such small dimensions – not counting the work that goes into hand-bevelling the sides.
The Manufacture movement comes with the same high standard of finishing. Meticulous care is taken at every step. The ratchet is snailed, the click spring is satin finished, the plate and four bridges are micro-blasted, creating a matte effect that gives more depth whilst allowing those parts that are polished to a shine, to stand out. All edges are hand-chamfered and polished by a demanding and uncompromising watchmaker.
The GNS1.2 watch features a meticulously designed 18K rose gold case, which is ergonomically comfortable and wearable on a daily basis. The case dimensions are dictated by the needs of the movement – 43 mm in diameter and 13.1 mm in thickness. The search for the ideal balance in terms of case style resulted in a subtle, downturned form. Distinctive yet understated as well as stable and very comfortable, the case naturally follows the curves of the wrist.
Like a jewellery display case, the minimalist cladding unobtrusively protects and at the same time showcases the inner workings of the GNS1.2WG architecture. The seamless integration of the domed sapphire crystal offers a spectacular and deep view into the lace-like intricacy of the time display complication.
The water resistant case (30 meters) shields the precision in-house movement and its complication module, from particulate matter, water, and perspiration. This impressive water resistance rating ensures optimum reliability for daily wear.
The case, movement main plate, bridges, and buckle are made of ethical 18K gold, certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). The leather strap is sourced from a supply chain with certified traceability.
Material: 18K Rose Gold
Thickness: 13. 3 mm
Diameter: 43 mm
Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
Crown: Gold 18K, G-E-N-U-S letters in relief around its circumference for winding grip
Water resistance: 30 meters (3 ATM)
Calibre: 160R-1.2 manual winding
Designed in-house and manufactured by GENUS
Material: 18K solid gold, including main plate & bridges
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
Modular construction in two parts: One for power storage and transmission, the other for distribution and timing adjustment
Hours: 12 satellites/peripheral and axial rotation index (patented)
Tens of minutes: 12 free components circulating to-and-from between 2 counter rotating wheels (patented)
Units of minutes: Skeletonised disc
Numerals & indicators: With SuperLuminova™
Time is read from left to right
– Left: Hour (12 moving indices, pass in front of a fixed arrow)
– Center: Tens-of-minutes (free-moving lead element – called the Genus – followed by its procession of 11 Genera)
– Right: Minute (near the crown, fixed arrow)
Calf (alligator upon request), folded-over and hand-stitched– Gold-brown
Buckle: 18K rose gold pin buckle
Clasp: Fold-over clasp available upon request
Recommended Retail Price
CHF 148 000 w/out tax
Gem-set version: Price upon request (is dependent upon personalization)