A show-stopping timepiece for the individualist collector, in its vibrant shades of blue, the Genus GNS1.2 TD is an exceptional watch of daring mechanical innovation and pioneering use of materials. Cased in damascene titanium, this already extraordinary wristwatch takes on an entirely new persona, with its fascinating horologic novelty set within the layered texture of this lightweight, hardwearing metal composite.
The brainchild of Independent Master Watchmaker Sébastien Billières, the Genus GNS1.2 is a watch so profoundly sophisticated and technically diverse, that in its first year it was awarded one of the industry’s most cherished honours, the Aiguille award in the 2019 GPHG Mechanical Exception category. Seeing off competition from some of the most complex creations from established Maisons, this extraordinary timepiece reimagined the fundamentals of the time display, with its animated centrepiece of train-like connected ‘genus’ and rotating discs, presenting the time as a thought provoking puzzle to those seeing it for the first time.
Encased in a 43mm case of a special laminated alloy called Titanium Damascene, as well as being remarkably light and hard wearing, the layered effect of light and dark blue gives the watch a unique and dramatic presence on the wrist.
It’s what’s going on beneath the wide expanse of gently domed sapphire glass which really sets the Genus apart. In an astonishing vista which turns the conventions of the time display on its head, to the uninitiated eye, it will certainly take a moment or two to digest what is going on. This is because the dial is a three dimensional marvel of exposed mechanical components, rotating numerals and discs, and dominated by the two cutaway blue rings in the centre, around which a moving procession of twelve diamond shaped ‘genus’ circulate in a figure of eight cycle.
The hours and minutes can be read in a relatively straightforward format using the triangular pointers at the three and nine o’clock positions. As the pointers are static, that requires the numerals must therefore pass by them, and so for the hours, each of the twelve numerals are on individual metallic blue ‘pillows’ which rotate around the outer edge of the display, and are kept upright by correctors as they go around.
The minutes are displayed by way of the transparent sapphire disc at the three, which rotates every ten minutes and so breaks the hour down in to six ten-minute sectors. Knowing which sector of the six though is the purpose of the lead component which trails behind it the trainlike procession of ‘genus’. Circulating between the two blue cutout discs it shows the time as it passes the 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 numerals.
With the essential elements coated with powerful Super LumiNova, the already spectacular animated display becomes even more outstanding in low light, as the pointers and central Genus feature are illuminated in a vivid blue glow.
Behind the novelty of the Genus time display, and visible through the open worked frontal display and though the sapphire caseback, is a fully in-house designed and manufactured hand winding mechanism, which beats at 18’000 vib/hour and boasts a fifty hour power reserve, which is impressive considering the energy demands from such a complex mechanism.
Uncompromisingly finished to the exacting standards of Haute Horlogerie, each component of the 160W-1.2 movement is machined and finished by hand, and throughout, the mirror polished anglage edges, the finely frosted surface finish on the solid gold plates and the blued titanium detailing, all contribute to accentuate the wonderful symmetry of this feat of precision micro-engineering.
A genuinely breathtaking wristwatch, which defies convention and reimagines the time display, the Genus GNS1.2 TD is an exquisite piece of contemporary horlogerie which is practically impossible to resist returning to, time and again.
A watch for the connoisseur collector of independent watchmaking, and an award winning masterpiece, this is one exclusive and endlessly intriguing timepiece.