As we’ve explained in the past already, the name Gerald Charles might not be as familiar as Gerald Genta, but they actually belong to the same man. And behind the name Gerald Charles is an independent watchmaker that aims at reviving the spirit of the watches designed by the genius man in the mid-2000s. Something that we’ve demonstrated by looking at several editions of the signature Maestro watch, and specifically at the Maestro 2.0 Ultra-Thin. And now that you have this watch in mind, you can see that the new Gerald Charles GC Sport is part of the same family of watches… But there are important differences to be explained, and it has to do with the ability to take this unique design to unprecedented levels of sportiness. But without compromising anything regarding proportions and elegance.
Gérald Charles Genta (1931-2011) is known as one of the most prolific designers of the watchmaking industry and his unique touch has cemented the future of so many icons. Names like the Royal Oak or the Nautilus will immediately come to mind, of course, but many more models could be mentioned, such as the Universal Polerouter, the Omega Constellation, the IWC Ingenieur, the Cartier Pasha or the Bvlgari-Bvlgari. And of course, later came watches under the brand Gérald Genta, such as the Disney Collection, the Octagonal or the Retrograde models.
Following the sale of his eponymous brand in 2000 to the Bvlgari Group, Mr Genta decided to pursue his own watch brand in parallel, under the name Gerald Charles. The most emblematic model to come out of this newly created entity will be launched in 2006, under the name Maestro. Back in these days, the company was financially backed by investors from the Italian Ziviani family, and still is owned and run by the same people today. In 2020, almost 10 years after Genta passed away, Federico Zivani resurrected the name and this specific model with a new collection of high-end watches, including the sporty Maestro GC3.0-A Chronograph and the refined, elegant and thin Maestro 2.0.
The new GC Sport
At first, this new Gerald Charles GC Sport in titanium looks like a simple evolution of the habillage found on the Maestro 2.0. Well, it’s partially true but there’s more than meets the eye here. This watch is a new vision for the brand, and while it retains the overall look, refinement and elegance (understand thinness) of the classic model, it has been conceived to offer more robustness and comfort when practising sporty activities. It results from a field collaboration with a trio of ATP Tour tennis players, who came up with requirements in order to add a casual, sports-compliant touch to this watch.
The basic ingredients of the recipe are the same, specifically when talking about design. It would indeed be a bit of a sacrilege to alter the design of a watch created by Genta, don’t you think? In this instance, the case of the new GC Sport retains the overall shapes and proportions of the gold models we’ve discovered about a year ago. This means a compact case of 39mm in width and 41mm in height, with a slender profile of only 8.7mm. Yes, this new Gerald Charles wants to bring you some protection when you’re active, but it also wants to make you look elegant when you’re out of the playing field. In this respect, and it’s rare enough to be mentioned, it’s pleasant to see a sporty watch with 100m water-resistance at such a level of thinness and compactness.
The shape, this very special, unique shape that combines graphic forms in a typical Genta way, is retained too. It means a combination of a rounded octagonal shape with the signature concave depression, a sort of enigmatic ‘smile’ at the bottom of the case. The case is carved from eight pieces and features a double-stepped bezel, with both steps featuring beautifully rounded profiles. So, what changes then, compared to the regular Maestro…? Because, the brand claims that this watch has been tested for months on tennis courts around the world, just to make sure it was resistant enough…
First, the most obvious and visible of changes is the case material. The watch is now made of grade 5 titanium, allowing them to retain the polished finishing. Titanium is not only as hard as steel, it’s mostly 40% lighter. As such, the watch weighs just 50 grams (strap included) and thanks to the compact dimensions, should be pretty comfortable. Another evolution concerns the position of the crown, now with a Destro profile. The idea was, of course, to prevent rubbing during play – well, of course, only if you wear it on the left wrist. The rest of the evolutions in regards to the resistance to shocks concern the movement… but we’ll get there soon.
Still talking about habillage, the Gerald Charles GC Sport adopts a new dial design, more in line with its vocation. It now features applied Arabic numerals at 3, 9 and 12. All elements are largely filled with SLN and the date retains its 6 o’clock position. In addition, complementing the sporty look, it also adopts a deep Royal Blue colour, combined with a sunray-brushed finish. Since the dial results from the application of several layers of colour (and not all identical), it is fairly playful and changes depending on the ambient light – almost purple in warm light, ice blue in cold environments, or almost black in darker, diffusing conditions. This dial is complemented by a tone-on-tone Royal Blue vulcanised rubber strap, with the classic Clous de Paris motif. It is closed by a titanium pin buckle.
As for the movement, it also comes with its share of evolutions. The base is well known and has been used in the past models, being the Calibre GCA 3002, made by Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. This refined, ultra-thin automatic movement has been updated with the same spirit as the case. Still elegant, but up to 40 percent more resistant to shocks and stresses. The rotor, for instance, is now more resistant, so that it doesn’t wind the movement too quickly during intense physical exercise. As explained by the brand, “Through bespoke testing, a series of fine adjustments were also made to the movement’s architecture. By varying the tolerances in the screws, for example, watchmakers were able to make the movement more shock-resistant, without affecting its accuracy or long-term performance. The changes are similar to the adjustments an engineer would make to a car’s suspension to cater for differences in terrain. This additional shock-resistance has been achieved without adding a shock absorber and while retaining the movement’s ultra-thin, 3.7mm profile.”
The movement was also slightly adapted to meet with the left-handed crown, mostly for the date mechanism. What is retained is the nice decoration, with circular-grained plate, Geneva stripes on the bridges or diamond-polished bevels. It also features a gold-coloured openworked rotor.
Availability & Price
The Gerald Charles GC Sport in titanium (ref. GC2.0-TX-TN-01) is now available for pre-order on the brand’s website, with deliveries expected in March 2022. It retails for EUR 16,000. For more details and orders, please visit geraldcharles.com.