The LVMH revived maison Gérald Genta
The LVMH revived maison Gérald Genta
Image: Supplied

In The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society, complexity economist Eric Beinhocker argues that traditional economic models fail to capture fully the rich entanglement of our world and wealth creation, primarily owing to societal irrationality and altruism, among other factors. Wealth encompasses not only financial assets but also social, intellectual, and environmental capital, presenting a loaded concept depending on culture, values, or circumstances.

As a sustainability-oriented scholar and advisor, I am acutely aware of the urgent transitions required to curb both environmental degradation and social injustices while reconciling the tension between prosperity and morality. This begins with transformation from within.

In a few weeks, I will confront this dichotomy head-on at the Watches and Wonders fair in Geneva, where I will have a privileged hands-on encounter with numerous timepieces, although I personally may never acquire them. Nonetheless, I find contentment in appreciating objects without necessarily owning them. Fortunately, sustainability is now deeply ingrained in many luxury watch brands’ DNA and I constantly remind myself of the incredible power of design thinking and creative arts in challenging our worldviews and the status quo.

While many luxury brands perpetuate conspicuous consumption, there is a growing cohort grounded in the time-honoured traditions of watchmaking. This translates into inherent sustainability through longevity, but still necessitates a reduction in the use of precious materials and production limits, posing a challenge for the industry and its shareholders.Unless our digital tools crash completely, wristwatches primarily serve as kineticart for the wrist.

In contemporary watch design, one man arguably appreciated this more than anyone else: Gérald Genta. An artist at heart, his whimsical approach challenged the Swiss industry’s tired classicism. Informed by his love of nature, furniture design, and Picasso, Genta’s creations, including the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, IWC Ingenieur, and his own-brand pieces such as the Octagonal and Grande Sonnerie, are some of the most highly prized avant-garde timepieces of our time.

Founded in 1969, maison Gérald Genta has been revived by LVMH’s La Fabrique du Temps under the supervision of master watchmakers Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini. The one and “Only Watch” showcased at the recent LVMH Watch Week in Miami was the Minute Repeater Jumping Hours Minute Retrograde crafted for the charity auction that regrettably got postponed last year.

There is much to celebrate, though, through this single timepiece: 100 years of Disney; the 50th anniversary of the first watch under the Gérald Genta name; and Genta’s introduction four decades ago of his Disney character watches, a partnership that brought pop culture into the realm of watchmaking. The playfulness of the Mickey Mouse dial adds an optimistic touch for 2024, while also setting the tone for future collections that spotlight the three pillars of the eponymous brand: the octagonal shape, the chiming sound, and high-watchmaking complications.

Encased in a 40mm-wide white-gold case, the new in-house manually wound calibre GG-001 brings Mickey’s right arm to life as he points out the passing minutes. A truly unique piece, available at

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