Gerald Charles is a Swiss watch company, founded by the iconic watch designer, Gérald Charles Genta, in 2000. Driven by the legend’s legacy of 'artistic creativity, technical mastery', the watches, created by the brand, boast cutting-edge ergonomics, precision, and superior craftsmanship, marrying Swiss mechanical watchmaking traditions with modern technologies. Producing approximately 2,000 pieces annually, Gerald Charles has now launched the Maestro 8.0 Squelette in 18 ct rose gold 4N and the Maestro 8.0 GC Sport Squelette in grade 5 titanium with a left-mounted, screw-down crown. GMT India takes a closer look at the watches.
Maestro 8.0 Squelette in Rose Gold (Ref. GC8.0-RG-06)
The Maestro 8.0 Squelette in rose gold is a testament to the success of the 2022 skeleton watch debut. Crafted under the guidance of Octavio Garcia, the Maison's Creative Director, the watch features the iconic Maestro case, inspired by the original designs of Gérald Charles Genta. Exceptional ergonomics ensure a comfortable fit for various occasions, from sports to formal events, thanks to the precise alignment of the caseback, the lugs, and the strap in a single straight line.
Inspired by 17th-century Roman monuments, the Maestro case has square and octagonal elements, resulting in a distinctive "smile" at 6 o'clock. With 35 precise components, sleek 40 mm diameter, and 8.35 mm thickness, the model carries forward the legacy of the brand’s meticulous craftsmanship. In an effort to enhance legibility, the Maestro Core Collection introduces design refinements, such as larger 4N gold-coloured, polished, baton-shaped hands and a poudré rose gold 4N minute track. Super-LumiNova is added to the hands' tops for improved low-light readability.
In line with the Maison's core values, the Ref. GC8.0-RG-06 represents two years of research and development, culminating in the introduction of Gerald Charles's first bespoke openwork caliber. The bespoke caliber, GCA 5482, developed with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, is powered by a decentralised 22 ct rose gold 4N micro-rotor and features unique dual-face finishing. The movement's intricate design, including a star-shaped space housing the oscillating weight, underwent numerous iterations and is secured by nine star-shaped screws. Ceramic ball bearings ensure durability and visibility. The micro-rotor reduces the movement's thickness to 2.6 mm, making it the slimmest in the collection, at 8.35 mm overall. Despite having a slender profile, it offers a 50-hour power reserve and 5G shock resistance.
The timepiece's case features flat sapphire crystals on top and bottom, with multi-layer anti-reflective treatment on the top. A custom gasket ensures a sealed sapphire crystal while a screw-down crown, adorned with a Clous de Paris motif, guarantees 100-metre water resistance. The meticulously polished case, the bezel, the lugs, and the pin buckle are in contrast with the brushed caseback and the GC logo on the buckle. The double-faced vulcanised rubber strap showcases Clous de Paris on one side and the GC logo tapisserie on the other, complementing the 18 ct rose gold 4N Maestro case. Sandblasted bridges with anglage and anthracite-NAC treatments, along with a protective galvanic coating, ensure durability. This results in an elegant, highly technical timepiece, meeting the Qualité Fleurier precision and accuracy standards.
Maestro 8.0 GC Sport Squelette (Ref. GC8.0-TX-TN-0)
The Maestro GC Sport Squelette is a sporty yet elegant watch that demonstrates a high level of technical expertise. Designed by Creative Director Octavio Garcia in collaboration with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier in Switzerland, this timepiece draws inspiration from Genta's original designs as well. Despite its outward simplicity, the watch conceals unique and innovative features, including a left-hand, screw-down crown, designed for left-handed wearers.
The GCA 5482 caliber has been cleverly rotated by 180°, placing the crown on the left side of the Maestro case and the balance wheel at 1 o'clock. Crafted from grade 5 titanium, this watch represents an architectural fusion of space, time, and light. With an ultra-thin 2.6 mm skeletonised movement and a total thickness of only 8.35 mm, the watch ranks among the slimmest watches in the Maestro collection. Weighing a mere 59.5 grams, the timepiece offers exceptional comfort and lightness. The movement complements the asymmetrical shape of the Maestro case, creating an interplay among levels, reliefs, and light.
In response to the success of the GC Sport models and the brand's association with tennis, the new skeletonised version is designed and tested in collaboration with ATP professional tennis players. The lightweight construction, thanks to the openworked movement and the grade 5 titanium case, is suitable for both sports and everyday wear. With a watch head weight of only 40 grams, the piece remains versatile both on and off the court, with 5G shock resistance. It is water-resistant for up to 100 metres and equipped with a bespoke gasket for sealing the sapphire crystal. Despite its slim 2.6 mm movement, this timepiece offers a power reserve of approximately 50 hours.
The grade 5 titanium case features a unique sandblasting finish, resulting in a shade of grey, which is darker than that found on sandblasted bridges in rhodium plating. The micro-rotor in 22 ct rose gold 4N, adorned with the Gerald Charles "honeycomb" motif, and the yellow gold-coloured train wheel enhance the chromatic contrast. The "bleuissage" treatment for the screws improves dial readability and matches the blue, baton-shaped hands, the minute track, and the strap. It also comes with a royal blue vulcanised rubber strap, featuring a Clou de Paris motif on one side and the GC logo tapisserie on the other.