Mittwoch, 11. März 2020

The legendary Gérald Genta pair, 3700/1 and 5402ST

Dear watch aficionado.

When it comes to watches that every high class collector should have in its collection then the legendary Patek Philippe 3700/1 and Audemars Piguet 5402ST-A Series are usually on the list too.





Both are designed by Gerald Genta, the 5402-A in 1972 and the 3700/1 in 1976. The case designs show both an octagon form, which is still present on the modern versions of these two references. But for me, the epitome is always the beginning, the first ones, the 5402-A and 3700/1.

One of the most interesting design parts on the two watches is the dial. The design was developed by Cadran Stern, Roland Tille who was back then the master developer at cadran stern. Gérald Genta approached Roland Tille in 1972 to develope a design for the dial of the Audemars Piguet 5402ST. Roland Tille then used the newly developed method of "tapisserie" to create 13 examples of different designs and Audemars chose the one design that is still in the DNA of the Royal Oak today. The A-series has a tapisserie finissage, black galvanic dial with a protective layer of lacquer on it.




The idea to create this design with the technique of "tapisserie" originates of a dial that Roland Tille created in 1971 for Movado, their St. Christopher model. As Roland Tille said, the design of this dial for Movado resulted in the development of the "tapisserie" technique and so into the legendary design of the 5402ST and 3700/1 dial design!


extract from the book "Le Cadran" by Dr. Helmut Crott


When Genta was asked by Patek Philippe to design in 1976 their Nautilus, he remembered the fabulous work of Roland Tille for the Royal Oak and approached him again to develop a dial design for the Nautilus. Roland Tille then presented 10 different designs for the dial and it was Henry Stern who chose the design of the legendary Nautilus, which still lasted till today. On the first 50 examples they used the same method as for the 5402ST, "tapisserie", but then they saw that it was too difficult to get a perfect result with this method of fabrication and changed then to a different technique which is called "rabotage". The rabotage is not made with the "tapisserie" machine anymore but with a manually operated cutter, each line of the dial is cut individually. The Patek Philippe 3700/1 has finissage rabotage, blue galvanic and a special black lacquer on it N50.






For me personally, the real Nautilus and Royal Oak will always be the first ones, the 3700/1 and the 5402ST A-Series. Octagon case, hours, minues and date, that's it, nothing less, nothing more.  It all started with these two models.

If you want to learn more about the legendary dial maker, Cadran Stern, I warmly invite you to order a copy of the superbly written book "Le Cadran" by Dr. Helmut Crott at www.vintagewatchexpert.com

I warmly invite you to take a look at the website of my boutique for the current offer of vintage and independent timepieces www.watchcollector.lu

Kind regards.
Christian




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