The new Gerald Genta Octo Tourbillon Sunray (ref. OTR.Y.20.925.CN.BD) automatic watch brings you an unusually styled yellow gold case combined with a complicated automatic caliber featuring a finely executed tourbillon escapement. Of course, the most interesting part of this watch is neither its brutal body, nor the mechanism (although the tourbillon does look like a real piece of art), it is the dial with its two squares (one for hours and the other for minutes) and an octagon that gets the lion’s share of attention here. Looking like an ancient puzzle box, the part makes a really strong, almost vaguely frightening impression when the first time you see it.
“The Hellraiser” — these where the first two words that came to mind when I first saw the new Gerald Genta Octo Tourbillon Sunray wristwatch in all its glory. Sporting an intricate yellow gold dial, which is combined with a complex-looking body with all of its angles and a combination of machine-brushed and mirror-polished surfaces, the timepiece surely looks like a highly expensive and an extremely portable Portal to Hell.
However, the intention behind the timekeeper’s design seems to be quite the opposite. In its press release, Gerald Genta says that the octagonal shape of the case was chosen because “eight” is a lucky number in China (and China also happens to be one of the most fast-growing luxury markets in the world, which, too, considerably increases GG’s chance of success when it comes to selling this particular model). It is associated with wealth and richness and the Swiss watch makers apparently plan to make the most out of it.
Combining a satin-finished fixed bezel with mirror-polished body, the 43 mm x 48 mm case of the watch looks like a peculiar combination of an ancient snuff box and some centuries old Chinese jewelry item built with the famous Bagua symbol in mind. However, as I have already noted, it is in fact the dial that really catches the eye.
Sporting two superimposed yellow-gold squares partially coated with black PVD, the dial of the watch features not twelve, but whole thirteen (tell me about lucky numbers!) hand-polished Arabic numerals. Optimized for the ideal retrograde time display, the complex face of the watch looks like the new Gerald Genta Octo Tourbillon Sunray was designed to just to tell time, but to actually open yet another layer of reality to those capable of solving its riddle.
The huge tourbillon at 6 o’clock that sits deeply inside a golden pit further increases the eerie feeling that the watch radiates.
It is not clearly stated what kind of movement was used to power the watch, but I assume that it is the gorgeous GG 9051 automatic caliber. Manufactured at Gerald Genta’s own facilities (at this moment I should probably note that the brand was sold in 1999 and is now a member of LVMH group meaning that it now probably has a virtually unlimited access to knowledge and expertise of such reputable watchmakers as TAG Heuer and Zenith,) the movement is plated with gold and is equipped with a skeletonized oscillating weight.
Well, however frightening the watch may look, the new Gerald Genta Octo Tourbillon Sunray is, to my taste, one of the best offerings in the whole Gerald Genta’s collection of watches available this year.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Gerald Genta
Gerald Genta Octo Tourbillon Sunray watch specification
Price: Approximately $125,000
Movement: Automatic, Caliber GG 9051, in-house, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 21,600 vph
Functions & Complications: Retrograde hours, normal minutes, tourbillon
Power reserve: 64 hours
Case material: 18-carat Yellow gold
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Dial: Yellow gold with black varnishing
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Crocodile leather strap with yellow gold foldover clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective