The designer famous for his octagonal and stainless steel luxury sports watches also had other tricks up his sleeve. Bvlgari introduces a new version of another Gérald Genta classic: the Arena Bi-Retrograde Sport.
After the recent Octo Finissimo introductions (click here), I wondered what Bvlgari would show to us during the Geneva Watch Days. A few days in advance, I saw the brand’s Bvlgari Bvlgari watches in aluminum. So I reckoned that besides those, a new Octo Finissimo would be the news. And that’s the case as well, of course, but Bvlgari also surprised us with this Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Sport 103448.
Many years ago — I believe sometime in the early 2000s — when Gerard Nijenbrinks returned from the Baselworld show, he showed me some Gérald Genta models with retrograde complications. Later on, he had a Gérald Genta Gefica in bronze himself. I always admired these interesting Genta watches and I am happy to see that Bvlgari has decided to continue their production.
Genta has been designing these retrograde models since 1996, and when Bvlgari acquired the Genta brand in 2000, it decided to continue creating these watches. Last year, Bvlgari celebrated the 50th anniversary of Gérald Genta as a brand. As you probably know, that was the year that Genta started his own company, after having been designing for other brands (Universal Genève, Omega, and others). This year, Bvlgari presents a new Gérald Genta watch, the Arena Bi-Retrograde Sport. It has a beautiful 43mm diameter case, made of titanium. As you can see, the case has this entirely brushed finish, giving it a very understated look.
In the picture above, you can see the interesting pattern of the case band. The crown is on the right side, which is used to set the time and — if you want — wind it. On the left, you will find a small corrector for the date. With a thickness of 12mm, the watch wears nicely on the wrist and definitely does not wear too thick. I would rather say it is a slim watch, considering the diameter of 43mm. On the crown, you will find the typical Genta pattern, ensuring an easy grip.
Reading the time is very easy on this Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Sport reference 103448. The “digital” window shows the hour, while the scale above shows the minutes. In the picture above the time shown is 10:13. Once the 59th minute is finished, the minute hand will return to the 00 position on the left in a quick sweep. On the lower positioned scale, you will find the date. In this case, it shows the 13th. The same system (hence the “bi”-retrograde) is employed here. When the 31st day is finished, the small hand will return to the first position. So on the 1st of the month, after 23:59:59, both hands will sweep to the left.
Those retrograde hands and jumping hours need to be controlled by a movement, of course. In this case, it is the in-house developed caliber BVL300 movement. It has a power reserve of 42 hours and ticks at 28,800vph. The minute scale runs in a 210° arc while the date track occupies just 180°. Caliber BVL 300 features the jumping hour complication as well, and the aperture is located at 12 o’clock. Moving the hands back to the first position and making the hours jump requires quite a bit of energy and precision. Through the sapphire display back, you can admire the nicely decorated BVL 300 movement. Geneva stripes adorn the bridges and the engraved GG logo has pride of place on the rotor.
Price And Availability
On the wrist, this watch didn’t feel like 43mm but wore a little smaller. That might well be down to its short lugs, but I would have believed a smaller size specified as well. The Bvlgari Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Sport comes on a matte black alligator strap with a titanium ardillon buckle. It matches nicely with the anthracite dial. The yellow accents on the dial look good in my opinion and add the “Sport” to this model. All specifications can be found in the chart below.
Bvlgari has put a €15,000 price tag on this Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Sport. Unlike the new Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph and the new Bvlgari Bvlgari aluminum watches, this Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Sport will only be available online. It will become available in December 2020. More information via Bvlgari online.
Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Sport
Anthracite with yellow accents
Diameter: 43mm, Thickness: 12mm
BVL 300, self-winding, power reserve: 42 hours, ticking speed: 28800vph, jumping hours, retrograde minutes, date
100 meters / 10 bar
matte black alligator strap with titanium ardillon buckle
Time (retrograde minutes, jumping hour), Date (retrograde)
Available online only, starting December 2020