It may come as a surprise to new collectors that the world's most popular luxury sports watches was designed by one man - Mr Gerald Charles Genta.
During his early phenomenal professional life, Genta was hired by various watch brands to design sports watches for them.
Genta designed the famed Pasha watch for Cartier; the Ingenuier for IWC; the Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet; the Constellation and Seamaster for Omega; the famed "Bulgari-Bulgari" watch for Bulgari and the Nautilus for Patek Philippe.
How important are these models to these brands? These designs are still in production since the seventies and in most cases are unchanged from the original. Two in particular are still manufacture the models as designed by Genta continue to draw new fans and collectors are the Nautilus and the Royal Oak.
Gerald Genta also created the brand with his name that he had sold some years ago. That brand is now synonymous to Mickey Mouse watches, jumping hour movements and retrograde hands. Genta the watchmaker moved on to create a new brand called Gerald Charles - Charles being his middle name. Despite the successes of the Gerald Genta brand or Gerald Charles, none of the current designs have yet to achieve the iconic status of the watches he designed for the other brands.
Admittedly, the revelation that Genta was responsible for so many iconic designs came as a huge surprise - not because of his capability and capacity to create such beautiful watches - but how coincidental that almost all the sports watches he designed are amongst my favourite timepieces.
What an amazing legacy and impression he has left on the Swiss watch industry. Over the following weeks, I will be featuring Genta's early works featuring the Royal Oak Jumbo and comparing it with the Patek Nautilus. So for fans of the original sports watches, keep a look out.
Image of Gerald Genta from Gerald Charles.com. For more information about Gerald Genta and his designs visit Hodinkee.com.