With GENUS GNS1.2 watch, you’ll learn to read the time differently. For the first time in the world of Fine Watchmaking a mechanical component moves seamlessly from one orbit to another. GNS1.2 is competing for the upcoming 2019 “Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.”
Sébastien Billières, the Free Spirit of Watchmaking, launches a watch that marks the birth of the independent Geneva watchmaking brand named by the co-founders, GENUS. Hours are indicated at 9 o’clock, tens-of-minutes are shown by the lead traveling indicator – named “the Genus” – which moves freely from one central orbit to the other, and the precise minute is read on the rotating dial in the traditional 3 o’clock position.
To know the exact time, simply note the hour shown and add the precise minute to the tens-of-minutes indicated by the Genus.
Patents for two display complications are pending – one for the hours display complication, and the other for the circulating tens-of-minutes display. The timepiece is powered by a hand-wound manufacture calibre in 18K gold and features a variable inertia balance wheel. The main base plate is in two parts and separates energy regulation and distribution, from transmission.
All movement components are hand-finished in keeping with the exacting criteria of Haute Horlogerie and feature a hand- bevelled main plate and bridges, circular-grained and bevelled wheels, with most steel components that are black-polished (poli noir finish) and bevelled. All flank drawing is done by hand. The 18K gold display module has the same exceptional degree of finishing. The combination of a generous dial aperture and box-domed, flush-mounted sapphire crystal frees the view on the module’s architecture and its complexity.
“The lead element is called the “Genus” which is a term some of us might remember from studying taxonomic classification in biology; the trailing elements are called “Genera.” Whether or not you think the terminology is apposite for the complication, it is certainly unlike anything I have ever seen before in a watch,” commented hodinkee in their review of the watch.
“This is also one of those situations where if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand still images (this is one of those watches, by the way, where judicious use of Super-LumiNova makes for quite a PM light show),” added hodinkee.
Watchmaker, instructor, and entrepreneur Sébastien Billières perfectly embody the Free Spirit of Watchmaking.
A proud father of three, Sébastien Billières is the son of a watchmaker who devoted 35 years of his career to Rolex. Barely a few days after obtaining his CFC as a watchmaker in 1999, Sébastien Billières shifts into high gear at the workshop of Roger Dubuis, which had approximately ten employees at the time, and collaborates directly with the master himself.
Eager for experience, he enters the orbit of other strong personalities, like Felix Baumgartner in the early years of Urwerk. Sébastien Billières then becomes part of the Opus V project team at Harry Winston, in charge of fine-tuning alongside Felix (prototyping), and testing and parts production. Until today he remains in charge of after-sales service operations for Harry Winston.
There is no mistaking the signs of destiny. When Sébastien Billières decides to set up on his own, the workbench he rents from Svend Andersen turns out to have been previously occupied by none other than Felix Baumgartner, his friend and mentor, and Franck Muller.
The production of tourbillons, a specialization in automatons – just two of the fields in which the budding watchmaker develops a wide range of skills that don’t go unnoticed for long.
In 2006, Billières is approached by IFAGE, the Foundation for Adult Education in Geneva, to broaden the scope of its watchmaking curriculum. He is the Chairman of the departments he created: Modular Training in Watchmaking and Training in Industrial Quality, and still teaches there.
In 2007, he co-founds a company to develop new mechanisms and complications for high watchmaking “Maisons”. It’s a success. Sébastien Billières then sets up shop on his own, and GMTI soon becomes one of the region’s leading subcontractors to the watchmaking industry with state-of-the-art facilities specialized in the manufacture and assembly of “Poinçon de Genève” calibers. The team at GMTI is currently twenty-strong.
Throughout his watchmaking journey, Sébastien Billières’ guiding principle is and remains, “We live in an infinite universe, limited only by our beliefs.”