It has been all over the web these past few days: much-loved watch designer Gerald Genta sadly passed away on August 16th aged 80. There is no need to recall here how he contributed to the design of some of the most iconic watches of this past third of a century, from the Royal Oak of Audemars Piguet, to the Nautilus de Patek Philippe, through to the Ingenieur of IWC and Omega’s Constellation.
Humble and modest witnesses of the inexorable flow of the watchmaking life, many journalists dedicated some articles to this amazing man and his contribution. And there was no doubt that your brands, which owes him an incredible part of your current business, would give him a vibrant farewell and last goodbye.
But you did not.
As this article is published (things may change), none of you decided that Genta’s death was worth a few words. Not a single press release, not a single word on your homepage, nothing. Yes, Lebron James’ first visit to China as an ambassador is newsworthy, but surely so is this? The watchmaking industry lost one of its greatest designers, a man whom without many of you would not be where you are today if he had not stepped into your office one day, and yet it seems it’s just business as usual.
To be honest this was somewhat disappointing if not a bit shocking for us here at The Watch Lounge, with our very modest contribution to the world of watchmaking and its related news. We have always been strong believers in the strength of human creation, will and vision and constantly seek to re-enforce how important the people behind the watches are, like here or here. And whilst we think this especially important for small brands that do not have the same marketing capacities as their larger counterparts, we think it is even more important to show you that ‘references’ in a catalogue first started life as simple sketches.
Dear Manufacturers, you continue to enchant us with your mind-blowing creations each and every day, and we thank you for that. But the complete lack of ‘in memoriam’ words for Gerald Genta from you is a real shame…
We will always remember what this great man has contributed, but will you?