Metal smithing, a mysterious art of the ages that has always fascinated mankind. The Greek God, Hephaestus was the god of fire, metallurgy and blacksmiths and was the blacksmith to the Gods. They mastered fire, taming the dangerous element to their will and needs. Metal forgers, like blacksmiths, were often revered in villages for their mastery of metal and fire and still are today in some parts of the world. Damascus steel is a name for high-carbon steel swords created by Islamic civilization craftsmen in the Middle Ages and which were fruitlessly coveted by their European counterparts especially during the Crusades. The Ancient Syrian blacksmiths were able to produce a finished product with a filagreed surface. And today the watchmaking house of Genus has brought out a stunning timepiece in blued Damascene titanium, the GNS1.2 TD. The TD stands for Titane Damassé. This is a centuries-old metal working technique that is listed on the inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in France, while titanium is a modern material. The result is a beautiful watch in a striking and vivid cornflower blue. Although we don’t like superlatives here at The Gourmet Gazette, a watch case in blued Damascene titanium appears to be a first.
The master case maker at Genus welds together various titanium alloys which turn blue at varying temperatures. In the heart and the heat of the forge, the hammering and folding of layer upon layer of titanium unfolds. Titanium is three times as hard as steel and is worked at much higher temperatures between 1200 and 1400 Celsius (2192°F and 2552°F). It has historically been used for making swords and daggers, notably in 17th century Japan where the technique is called Mokume-gane and is used in making katana sword blades. The hues obtained through blueing by hand are accomplished over an open flame and they are unique to each watch. The buyer can attend this finishing stage and choose the intensity of the color. Genus introduced a new way of looking at and telling time with orbital hours and minutes, which garnered the Mechanical Exception Prize at 2019 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) for its GNS1.2 WG watch. The GNS1.2 TD shares the same signature time display and movement as the GNS1.2 WG, the calibre 160W-1.2, which ensures a 50-hour power reserve. Genus was launched in 2019 by its co-founders Sébastien Billières and Catherine Henry. ©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette. https://genuswatches.swiss/