Watch & Jewellery
AN OG IS BACK... FOR GOOD: Bvlgari's Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retro Sport
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of Bvlgari
The Gérald Genta brand is finally being rebooted by owner Bvlgari
The Gérald Genta brand is finally being rebooted by owner Bvlgari
The Gérald Genta brand is finally being rebooted by owner Bvlgari

Even if you profess not to know anything about wristwatches, there’s one name in horology that you ought to remember. Mention the words Gérald Genta and even experts will be surprised his name exists in your memory bank. His greatest hits include the Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet, Ingenieur by IWC Schaffhausen, Nautilus by Patek Philippe, just to name a few. The state of his current business lies in the hands of Bvlgari after it acquired it in 2000. And as the story goes, Bvlgari made the decision just before his death in 2011 to stop labelling his name on the very same tech it acquired. But in 2019, Bvlgari had a change of heart by teasing a reiteration of a Gérald Genta classic in the Arena Bi-Retro wristwatch to celebrate the half-century milestone of the Genta label. First launched in the ’90s when The Hour Glass owned his company, this wristwatch model was popular for the clear and concise manner in which the date and time were displayed: the retrograde hand on the upper half of the dial indicates the minutes, the aperture at 12 o’clock indicates the jumping hour, and the retrograde hand on the lower half of the dial indicates the date. This was the clearest indication of Bvlgari’s intent to revive the brand in phases, keeping it as a wild card in its already formidable line-up to score nostalgic points. Now, Bvlgari is restoring another into the catalogue with the Arena Bi-Retro Sport. Giving the titanium wristwatch a custom fast car appeal, the anthracite dial plays up the striking visuals with accents of bright yellow. Gérald Genta fanboys will readily acknowledge that while this isn’t a new release it is a promising first step to a well-deserved reboot of watchmaking’s very own unsung hero.

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