Gérald Genta original artwork heads to auction


Much has been made this year about how high end watches are now being viewed — and traded — more like works of art than practical timekeepers.

But behind every great watch stands a great watch designer and artist and, in the case of the last century’s most iconic pieces, Gérald Genta stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Most designers would be content with one masterpiece in their archive.


Mr Genta has at least two, the Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet and The Nautilus for Patek Philippe, and many more besides including character watches featuring Mickey Mouse among others.

Original sketches and artwork of these and other Gérald Genta watches will be auctioned in 2022, with prices expected to top $500,000 for the most sought after works.

Each will be sold along with a unique NFT featuring an artistic digital replica of Mr Genta’s design. Select pieces will also including fascinating never-before-seen archive material and multimedia biographical content.

Sotheby’s is holding a series of auctions in the new year to sell 100 original Gérald Genta works.

A portion of the proceeds from the sales will benefit the Gérald Genta Heritage Association, and their mission to encourage and reward the next generation in the watch industry, notably with the launch of the first edition of the Gérald Genta Prize for Young Talent.

“With this sale, we are continuing Gérald’s legacy of innovation. He was always at least five or ten years ahead of his time, working towards unprecedented ideas that radicalised — and sometimes scandilised — the industry, but ultimately transformed it. When Gérald started his career, there were no true watch designers, there were no steel sports watches, there were no complicated wrist watches. He was the very first to usher in this new era, always bringing his absolute passion as an artist to his work, and never compromising on his vision. This is what set him apart,” says Gérald Genta’s widow Evelyne Genta.

Gérald Genta.

Three dedicated “Gérald Genta: Icon of Time” auctions will be held in Spring 2022 across Sotheby’s global locations, presenting a survey of the greatest hits of Gérald Genta’s career. Approximately thirty designs will be offered in each of the sales.

Gérald Genta: Icon of Time Sale, Geneva, 10-24 February 2022

Featuring Genta’s original designs for the first luxury steel wristwatch Audemars Piguet’s The Royal Oak including his never-before-seen unreleased first design for the legendary timepiece.

Gérald Genta: Icon of Time Sale, Hong Kong, 10-24 March 2022

Featuring Genta’s original design for Patek Philippe’s The Nautilus and three designs for the most complicated wristwatch in the world: The Grand Sonnerie, comprising 1000 parts, this watch took five years to develop.

Gérald Genta: Icon of Time Sale, New York, 13-27 April 2022

Including Genta’s original designs for the most impressive and valuable Disney watches ever made.

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