Swiss Haute Horlogerie brand GENUS expands its award winning GNS1 series by presenting a new edition that incorporates a unique kinetic sculpture of dragon that indicates the passage of time.
This timepiece fuses high-end watchmaking, mechanical engineering, goldsmithing, sculpture and engraving. Boasting an innovative way to tell time, the GNS1 wristwatch by GENUS was awarded with the Mechanical Exception Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in 2019. In 2020, the brand launched the GNS1.2 TD carved from a block of Damascene titanium.
In the new GENUS DRAGON edition, the complex and fluid movement that is the hallmark of GENUS watches breathes life into the most powerful and evocative of all mythical beings – the dragon. The dragon’s body is a fluid sculpture of 18K rose gold, composed of eleven segments– the genera – that move freely, one behind the other, and form the whole creature. The head of the dragon also plays a role in this most kinetic and intriguing way of displaying the time.
In this new model, the genera invented for its tens-of-minutes display, become the dragon’s body. Eleven sculpted, decorated, hand-engraved rose gold segments follow the celestial trajectory of the analemma, the singular signature of GENUS.
Conscious of the artistic and engineering challenges, GENUS enhanced the dragon’s being by making its backbone stand out, like a wave in motion, to accentuate proportions and reliefs, with a lithe, long and narrow body, a delicate yet commanding head, legs and paws that convey sinewy strength.
A unique kinetic sculpture that GENUS calls onto the stage, and inaugurates with an elegantly shaped sapphire crystal that becomes an observation dome for this work of art. For it is not only a matter of seeing, but of being able to observe a dragon in its environment, watch it move, and enjoy its complex choreography.
Raising the artistic and artisanal dimension, the 18K rose gold elements are sculpted and delicately engraved by hand. This culture of the exceptional is reflected in the attention to detail given to every aspect of the dragon. The body, scales, paws, claws, the head with its mischievous little horns, the beard, tongue and expressive eyes – they all shine with the high level of finish associated with Haute Horlogerie.
This dragon is in constant motion, the result of an articulation between the calibre and the free-moving segments on one hand, and between the segments themselves on the other. Moreover, there is nothing simple about the trajectory it follows. It is neither linear nor circular, and it crosses over itself. At its core, the GENUS watchmaking concept is based on a movement along an analemma, or figure eight, the sign of infinity.
The ‘return trips,’ as it were, around the foci, the rotations to the right and left, tracing the curves and diagonals – the behavior of each segment of the dragon’s body has been studied along this path, where the speed of progression fluctuates depending on the position along the trajectory. Each one of the eleven segments – of a particular shape, height and weight – is unique. This in turn enhances the impression of unencumbered movement and realistically evokes a serpent-like undulation that is best observed along the dragon’s spine.
Experts from two prestigious arts – watchmaking and jewel engraving – came together to create the most realistic texture for the inside of the mouth and the tongue, down to the smallest detail. To achieve this, the delicate head was sculpted from 6 separate blocks of gold.
The gold thread tendrils that seem to float in the wind reveal the artist who inhabits the watchmaker. Absolute and uncompromising attention to detail pervaded each stage of the creation of this kinetic sculpture, where each element acquired a precise volume and dimension to allow the dragon to glide and cross over from one orbit to the other.
Whilst the case and movement of GENUS DRAGON are in white gold, the specifications of the sapphire crystal have been adapted to the requirements of this timepiece. Raised slightly higher and being more curved, it has become a display dome for the dragon in all its magnificence.
GENUS DRAGON is equipped with the Calibre 160W-1.2. Here, the tens-of-minutes are not indicated by a genus, but by the dragon’s head. The magical appearance of the dragon between crystal and movement is based on the same technical fundamentals as previous GENUS creations. By taking on the form of the dragon, the genera –the free-moving elements that transition from one orbit to the other on the tens-of-minutes display – demonstrate the flexibility and versatility of this singular interpretation of horological principles.
The architecture of Calibre 160W-1.2 reveals the nature, the driving force of GENUS. There are two parts, or modules, to the watch. The first, which can be described as the foundation, 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 masses in movement. The second module, overlaying the first, manages the display complication of hours, tens-of-minutes and precise minutes.
Entirely designed, developed and assembled in the Geneva workshop, GENUS DRAGON is the first and only watch in the world in which an articulated dragon expresses the passage of time. Here, the system indicating the tens-of-minutes takes the form of the mythical dragon creature and reveals the imaginative versatility of this unique calibre.
The plate and bridges are made of 18K gold sourced from an environmentally and socially responsible supply chain certified by the RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council). All the components of Calibre 160W-1.2 have been designed and hand-crafted by the watchmaker in the finest Haute Horlogerie tradition.
All 390 components show a degree and quality of hand-finishing achieved only with the most meticulous care, with the mirror-polished anchor bridge, the micro-blasted plate and bridges in particular bringing out mesmerizing contrasts. The shapes of the beveled and polished edges, too, multiply the ways in which light plays to the calibre’s intrinsic beauty.
The two main features that distinguish GNS are the subject of patent applications: the rotating and peripheral display of the hour indices; and the passage from one orbit of the analemma to the other. The trajectory of the dragon’s body segments around the foci was a major issue. They must be kept in place, yet at the same time be free to progress from one wheel to the other. Squaring this circle was rendered even more perplexing by the fact that the matter concerns each segment.
The dragon segments are much heavier than the genera of the other GENUS watches. For one thing, they are made of 18K rose gold, a material much heavier than brass or steel. A dragon for keeping time would therefore pose a major constraint on the movement, both in terms of energy consumption and friction.
As for the required energy, it is amply supplied by the movement’s configuration, which delivers on its commitment to reliability, precision, and power to absorb the additional loads.
Model name: GNS DRAGON
Reference: GNS1.2 WG DRAGON
Material: 18K white gold
Thickness: 18.8 mm
Diameter: 43 mm
Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal on face, flat sapphire crystal case back, with antireflective coating
Crown: 18K white gold – G-E-N-U-S lettering in positive relief on the circumference, providing grip for winding
Water resistance: Approx. 30 meters (3 ATM)
Calibre 160W-1.2, manually winding, manufactured at the GENUS workshop in Geneva
Material: Plate and bridges in 18K gold
Frequency: 2.5 Hz or 18,000 vibrations per hour
Power reserve: Approx. 50 hours
Regulator: Variable inertia balance wheel, Swiss anchor escapement
Modular Two modules:
– Power storage and transmission
– Power distribution and regulation
Hours: 12 satellite indices / peripheral and axial rotation (patent pending)
Tens-of-minutes: 11 mobile elements transitioning between two counter-rotating wheels (patent pending), crafted from 18K rose gold, stylized to form a dragon, and hand-engraved
Precise minute: Skeletonized disc
Numbers and indicators: Coated with SuperLuminova™
The display is read from left to right:
On the left, the hour is indicated by the fixed arrow
In the center, the tens-of-minutes are indicated by the dragon’s head
On the right, by the crown, the precise minute is indicated by the fixed arrow
Calfskin (alligator upon request), rolled-edge (‘rembordé’), hand-stitched, choice of color
Pin buckle in 18K white gold (fold-over clasp available upon request)
Suggested retail price
CHF 150000 excluding VAT, ex works – for gem-set versions and bespoke possibilities.
To provide owners the guarantee of their timepiece’s authenticity and traceability throughout its lifetime, GENUS has joined forces with the Arianee Project, an independent consortium with the mission to establish a global standard for the digital certification of valuables. Based on Blockchain technology, the decentralized and open-source protocol offers a set of new services for the watch owner that are directly accessible from the Certificate of Authenticity delivered with each GENUS watch.
The specifics of each GENUS DRAGON, including the transactions in which it is involved, e.g., sale and/or transmission to a new owner, service book, proof of ownership/theft declaration are recorded and protected. The Arianee protocol allows GENUS not only to emancipate itself from paper-based authentication (which can be counterfeited), but, most importantly, guarantees the traceability of the timepiece throughout its lifetime, even in the event of a change of ownership.