When it comes to watch designers, we must mention Gerald Genta 1931 – 2011. During his long and prolific career, Master Zunda devised some of the most legendary timepieces. Although many of them are publicly recorded in his name, some are not so widely known. The first timepiece conceived, designed and produced by Master Zunda was the Universal Geneve Polerouter watch, and more works followed.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Watch, 2015
In history, many classic timepieces were written by Master Zunda, two of which established his reputation and status in watch collectors and connoisseurs. With the Royal Oak watch, Master Zunda issued a bold statement, and Audemars Piguet also promoted stainless steel to the rank of ‘precious’ material.
Patek Philippe Nautilus
Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph
Patek Philippe Nautilus is another icon exquisitely designed by Master Zunda. Although Nautilus and Royal Oak have the same target customer group and the same design age, the appearance of the two is obviously different. The birth of Patek Philippe Nautilus provides a more intimate (stainless steel) choice for fine watchmaking.
With his unique design, Master Zunda became the founder of many timepiece series. Master Zunda devoted his efforts in the design of multi-generation Omega Constellation watches. Although sometimes quite diversified, the early works did lay a solid foundation for a major pillar series of Omega.
IWC Engineers Constant Power Tourbillon Watch
Master Zunda played a decisive role in the history of IWC engineer watches. When the engineer SL watch came out in 1976, he added five iconic screws to the bezel. In the decades that followed, the design of engineer watches continued to evolve, but even in the latest and most modern versions, the design elements of Master Zunda were still clearly visible.
Bulgari date display watch, 2013
Master Zunda not only defined the stainless steel sports watch, but also left his own unique mark on the more sophisticated dress watch. The design of the Bulgari watch is allegedly derived from an ancient Roman coin. Master Zunda used this as inspiration to design the Bulgari watch. Bulgari not only became a big Bulgari logo series, but also influenced the style of other series, and later the brand introduced it into the field of jewelry.
In the past, Master Zunda was often mistaken for the designer of the Vacheron Constantin 222 watch, but in fact, the latter came from Jorg Hysek. Despite this anecdote, Master Zunda participated in the release of the 1985 Pasha de Cartier watch and contributed to the design of the Omega Seamaster and the creation of the Rolex Midas.
Designing for a major Swiss watchmaker may inevitably be constrained, relying on its own brand to better unleash wild ideas. From the time-hopping watch designed with the Disney cartoon image to the elaborate minute repeater watch, Master Zunda has everything. Gerald Zunda’s eponymous brand was originally acquired by Singapore’s luxury retail group Ocasi and sold to Bulgari in 2000, which fully integrated the brand into itself. Master Zunda’s design DNA has been inherited in the Bulgari Octo series, and doubles with Bulgari, complementing each other.