GENUS is an independent luxury watch brand based in Geneva. Co-founded by Sébastien Billières and Catherine Henry, the brand made its debut in 2019 with the launch of their innovative GNS wristwatch. The timepieces are entirely conceived, developed and manufactured in its independent workshop in Geneva, in compliance with the standards and requirements of Haute Horlogerie.
In June 2019, GENUS submitted an entry for the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix (GPHG) as a launch pad and media springboard to unveil the first model in its collection. The debut model from the brand GNS boasts a world-premier time display mechanism developed in-house.
About Sébastien Billières
Watchmaker, instructor, entrepreneur, and co-founder of GENUS, Sébastien Billières successfully leverages an expertise in Fine Watchmaking acquired while working with some of the greatest in the field.
Barely a few days after obtaining his CFC as a watchmaker in 1999, Sébastien Billières joined at the workshop of Roger Dubuis, which had approximately ten employees at the time, and collaborates directly with the master himself.
Eager for experience, he came in contact with other strong personalities, like Felix Baumgartner in the early years of Urwerk. Sébastien Billières then joined the Opus V project team at Harry Winston, in charge of fine-tuning alongside Felix (prototyping), and testing and parts production. Until today he remains in charge of after-sales service operations for Harry Winston.
When Sébastien Billières decided to set up on his own, the workbench he rented from Svend Andersen turns out to have been previously occupied by none other than Felix Baumgartner, his friend and mentor, and Franck Muller.
The production of tourbillons, a specialization in automatons – just two of the fields in which the budding watchmaker has developed a wide range of skills that don’t go unnoticed for long. In 2006, Billières was approached by IFAGE, the Foundation for Adult Education in Geneva, to broaden the scope of its watchmaking curriculum. He became the Chairman of the departments he created: Modular Training in Watchmaking and Training in Industrial Quality, and still teaches there.
In 2007, he co-founded a company to develop new mechanisms and complications for high watchmaking “Maisons”. Then he established a shop on his own, and GMTI soon became one of the region’s leading subcontractors to the watchmaking industry with state-of-the-art facilities specialized in the manufacture and assembly of “Poinçon de Genève” calibers. His first creation participated in the 2019 “Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève” competition and marked the unveiling of the exciting and independent Fine Watchmaking brand newly co-founded with his business partner Catherine Henry: GENUS.
About Catherine Henry
Graduate in Management Sciences, mentor, entrepreneur and now co-founder of a Fine Watchmaking brand, Catherine Henry is Chief Operations Officer at GENUS and spearheading the start-up’s launch and business development.
After obtaining her Swiss commercial CFC certificate, she began her career in Zurich with an insurance company and then move to the stock trading desk at the headquarters of a major international bank. Thereafter which she multiplied her work experiences, and each of her positions served as a springboard for the next.
Building on her extensive and solid practical experience, acquired over more than 25 years in different fields and types of organizations, ranging from a multinational to the food industry to construction technology, she then chose to support SMEs and start-ups as mentor in organizing, managing and growing their businesses. Catherine’s working languages are French, English and German.
She was awarded the “Prix de la femme romandeentrepreneure” in 2011 (Female Entrepreneur of Romandie Award – Women In Swiss Business). She now holds an EBBA Degree from the Geneva School of Economics and Management (formerly HEC Geneva) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Sciences from the University of Savoie Mont-Blanc, having obtained her titles with distinction and graduated first in her class. Catherine is a mentor at the Career Centre of the University of Geneva.
Catherine Henry and her business partner in this remarkable watchmaking venture, Sébastien Billières, launched their first time piece in the 2019 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) competition.