One brand stood out with its unmistakable style, setting itself apart from the rest of the exhibits at WatchPro Salon 2023. I was initially drawn to the pristine and captivating Maestro Ultra-Thin range, however my fascination grew when I was introduced to the Maestro 8.0 GC Sport Squelette.
Gerald Charles was founded in 2000 by the legendary Mr. Gérald Charles Genta (A.K.A. the Maestro), renowned for crafting signature watch collections like Gerald Genta, as well as collaborating on design projects with prestigious watch brands like IWC, Omega, Universal Genève, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. Though his work, he left an indelible mark on the horological landscape. His notable creations include the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, both of which remain the best-selling models for their respective houses. Widely acknowledged as one of the most influential figures in the history of horology, Genta’s legacy continues to shape the world of watchmaking. Gerald Charles is a family-owned independent watch company based in Switzerland. Each timepiece, rooted in Mr. Genta’s original designs, upholds the legacy of ‘Artistic Creativity, Technical Mastery.’ With a focus on ergonomic design, precision, and performance, Gerald Charles produces an average of 2000 pieces per year, staying true to its founder’s elegant sports style.
In September 2023, Maison Gerald Charles proudly introduced the Maestro 8.0 GC Sport Squelette, a timepiece that marries sporty allure with timeless elegance. Crafted in Grade 5 Titanium, the watch boasts a left-side screw-down crown and a Royal Blue vulcanised rubber strap. A masterpiece with the added consideration of having the crown on the left-hand side.
Designed by Creative Director Octavio Garcia in collaboration with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, this model not only embodies the brand’s core values but also achieves a new level of technical excellence. Drawing inspiration from Mr. Genta’s original drawings, the watch seamlessly blends design, craftsmanship, and precision. I would like to put the minds of those who shudder at the thought of rubber straps to ease – the watch is compatible with appropriate sized aftermarket straps, opening the doors to a multitude of custom options to suit every outfit/preference.
This marks Maison’s inaugural automatic skeleton watch featuring a left-side screw-down crown. The GCA 5482 caliber, meticulously rotated by 180°, positions the crown on the left, creating a distinct asymmetry. Octavio Garcia’s redesign ensures the movement harmoniously aligns with the Maestro case’s unique shape, offering a visual orchestration of levels, reliefs, textures and lights.
Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the Maestro GC Sport Squelette is a paragon of engineering, achieving a remarkable thinness at just 2.6 mm. Weighing a mere 59.5 grams, it is not only the slimmest in the Core Collection but also exceptionally comfortable, tested and endorsed for active wear.
The watch’s 5G shock resistance, a testament to Gerald Charles’ commitment to technical innovation, underscores the complexity of its creation. CEO Federico Ziviani notes, “The new GC Sport reference perfectly embodies the company’s vision: to manufacture watches which continue the legacy of our founder, Mr. Gérald Charles Genta, while adding our contemporary vision of watchmaking“.
Th euniquie shade of grey is achieved by introducing a sandblasting finish to the case that contrasts with the Rhodium-plated bridges and distinctive “bleuissage” treated screws. This attention to detail extends to the dial, enhancing readability and aesthetic coherence with blue details on baton-shaped hands, minute track, and strap.
Remaining true to Mr. Genta’s design heritage, the Maestro case draws inspiration from Francesco Borromini’s baroque architecture (possibly the San Alle Quattro Fontane church). The design marries classical references with contemporary craftsmanship. Water-resistant up to 100 meters and featuring a power reserve of approximately 50 hours, the watch exemplifies Swiss Haute Horlogerie’s uncompromising standards.
In the words of Octavio Garcia, the Maestro 8.0 GC Sport Squelette is a culmination of years of experience, achieving a perfect balance in case design, components, skeletonised movement, materials, and finishes. It not only showcases the spirit of Maison Gerald Charles but represents a contemporary vision of watchmaking that seamlessly blends audacious aesthetics with exceptional mechanics.
- Case: Grade 5 Titanium with left screw-down crown, 39 mm x 41 mm
- Movement: Automatic, ultra-thin Ref. GCA 5482, 2.6 mm thickness, 50-hour power reserve
- Crystal: Sapphire crystal with multi-layer anti-reflection treatment
- Dial: Sandblasted bridges, Rhodium plating, “bleuie” screws, blue details
- Case back: Brushed, flat sapphire crystal
- Strap: Royal Blue vulcanised rubber with Clou de Paris finish
- Water resistance: 10 ATM/100 m, Total weight: 59.5 grams, Total Thickness: 8.35mm
- Warranty: 5 years (following ‘Smart Warranty’ system registration)
Further information: https://www.geraldcharles.com/product/gc80-tx-tn-01/
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