Gerald Charles, a brand founded by the late watch designer Gérald Genta in 2000, proposes a new iteration of the designer’s famous Maestro 2006 timepiece. Renamed the Maestro 2.0 Premier 2021 Edition, the watch comes in an 18k rose gold case with a striking emerald green dial and matching rubber strap. Thinner than the 2020 Maestro Anniversary in steel, the latest time&date model is fitted with an ultra-thin customised Vaucher movement, and the case size has been reduced to 40mm. Limited to 25 pieces, the Maestro 2.0 Premier is a winning combination of luxury and sportiness in true Gérald Genta spirit.
The name Gerald Charles might not be as familiar as Gérald Genta, but they belong to the same man. Gérald Charles Genta (1931-2011) has gone down in history as one of the most successful watch designers of the 20th century. The man behind icons like the AP Royal Oak, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the IWC Ingenieur SL, and even the classic Bvlgari Bvlgari, in 2000 Gérald Genta sold his brand to Bvlgari. However, Mr Genta decided to pursue his own watch brand in parallel.
Located in Lugano, Genta christened it Gerald Charles and was backed by investors from the Italian Ziviani family. Following his death in 2011, Federico Zivani decided it was time to revive the Gerald Charles brand. Last year, Gerald Charles reappeared on the watch scene with the resuscitation of an idiosyncratic 2006 Genta design in a 42mm stainless steel case known as the Maestro Anniversary and presented on a moulded rubber strap.
Maestro 2.0 Premier
In deference to Gérald Genta’s consummate design skills, he was often referred to by his colleagues as ‘maestro’. The star piece in the current line-up of Gerald Charles’ timepieces for 2021 is this Premier Maestro. The 2021 Maestro comes in two versions: an automatic three-hand & date and a chronograph (not covered in this review), both with vivid emerald green dials and luxurious rose gold cases. The unique case architecture with its concave depression featured on the lower half of the case was inspired by the ornate architecture of Rome’s famous Baroque architect Francesco Borromini.
The case, which is smaller than the 2000 edition, measures 39mm x 41mm and is crafted in polished rose gold. Like its predecessor, the combination of a rounded octagonal shape with the enigmatic ‘smile’ at the bottom of the case is a true Gérald Genta touch. The case is forged from eight pieces of solid 18k rose gold to form the two-tiered bezels. The top part of the double bezel features a beautifully rounded profile but the lower half, which is also rounded, reveals the curious indentation inspired by Borromini’s flamboyant architecture.
What is even more surprising, given the powerful architecture of the 18k rose gold case, is that the height of the watch has been whittled down by 3mm to achieve a slim case height of just 8.7mm. The flange surrounding the dial was reduced to achieve this slimness, and the lugs were redesigned to create a flatter profile to sit flush on the wrist.
Like so many Gérald Genta creations, the Maestro manages to pull off luxury looks and finishings with serious sporty credentials, in this case, offering water-resistance of 100 metres. A particularly challenging feat given the irregular-shaped crystal over the dial, technicians and engineers developed an innovative system that ensures equal pressure around the edges of the sapphire crystal to ensure its water-resistance. The rose gold crown, decorated with a Clous de Paris finish, is also screwed-down to protect the mechanism.
Sunburst green dial
The sunburst emerald green dial is truly eye-catching. The colour was developed exclusively for the watch and for the vulcanised rubber strap that comes with a rose gold pin buckle. A white minutes/seconds track placed on the periphery of the dial follows the asymmetric contours of the case. The applied rose gold hour markers and hour and minute hands are treated with Super-LumiNova, and there is a gold-framed date window just above the round hour marker at 6 o’clock. The brand name appears at noon, and the inscription Premier 2021 refers to the limited edition of the Maestro 2.0 of just 25 pieces.
vaucher Ultra-thin calibre
The rose gold caseback is brushed and features an anti-glare sapphire crystal to reveal the movement and the special engravings. To ensure the slim case height, the Maestro 2.0 Premier 2021 Edition is fitted with a high-end, ultra-slim Swiss movement made by Vaucher with a height of just 3.7mm. The calibre GCA 3002 is an automatic movement beating at 4Hz; it has twin barrels that ensure a comfortable 50-hour power reserve. The movement is equipped with an anti-shock Incabloc® system and stop seconds. Powered by a bi-directional rotating rose gold rotor, the movement showcases handmade Fleurier standard finishings, like the Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges.
Availability & Price
The Gerald Charles Maestro 2.0 Premier 2021 is limited to just 25 pieces and retails for EUR 30,000.
Maestro 3.0 Premier 2021
It’s worth mentioning that a chronograph model of the Maestro has also been released in tandem with the Maestro 2.0, but we didn’t have it for our Hands-On coverage. It marks the first Gerald Charles chronograph in rose gold ever produced and features a similar case construction in rose gold (with 100m water-resistance) and an emerald green dial. The movement, measuring just 6.07mm, is also produced in Fleurier and keeps the chronograph functions along with the hours, minutes and central seconds powered for 50 hours.
For more information and orders, please visit Gerald Charles’ website.