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Why the World Still Loves Gerald Genta's Watch Designs

The legendary designer created the iconic Nautilus and Royal Oak watches.
Gerald Genta presents a watch in gold and 30 carat diamonds in Geneva, Switzerland on September 25, 1979.
10_14_GeraldGenta_01 Source: AP

“Genta, whose magnificent oeuvre of watch design spanned more than 50 years, designed not one but two watches that can be said without exaggeration to have changed the world of wristwatches forever.”

Although not my words—they appear in a Christie’s catalog for a sale in Dubai on October 19—I find it hard to disagree. His is a name little known beyond the watch industry, but Gerald Genta is the greatest watch designer of the second half of the 20th century.

I like to think of him as the horological equivalent to the great

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