It saddens me to say that the watch industry lost one of the best watch designers of all time yesterday. Charles Gerald Genta was 80 years old at the time of his death. We have him to thank for some of the most classic watch designs of today. His influence was behind the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the IWC Ingenieur, the Omega Seamaster Constellation, the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Cartier Pasha.
Over five decades ago, Genta started his own brand, which was eventually sold to Bulgari in 1998. Genta’s true passion was for Grande Sonnerie watches, mechanical timepieces that combine a querter striking mechanism with a repeater. The Octo Grande Sonnerie Retro he created was the world’s most complicated watch and priced at $2 million. The movement has 950 parts and was worked on by a watchmaker for a full year. Check it out above.