The name Gerald Charles might not be as familiar as Gerald Genta, but they actually belong to the same man… Gérald Charles Genta. The man has gone down in watchmaking history as one of the most successful designers of the 20th century, being the genius mind behind the Royal Oak, the Nautilus, the Omega Constellation, the UG Polerouter or the Cartier Pasha – among many, many other creations. Although the Gerald Genta brand was sold to Bvlgari in 2000, Mr Genta ended up pursuing another own watch brand in parallel, Gerald Charles. And it is back, with watches inspired by his own designs, such as the Gerald Charles Maestro 2.0 Premier 2021 Green Limited Edition we review in the video above!
Now located in Lugano, the brand was backed by the Italian Ziviani family. Following Genta’s 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 a 2006 design in a distinctive 42mm stainless steel case known as the Maestro Anniversary. For 2021, the Maestro comes in two versions; an automatic time-and-date and a chronograph, both with vivid emerald green dials and rose gold cases.
The case of the Gerald Charles Maestro 2.0 Premier 2021 measures 39mm x 41mm and is crafted in polished 18k 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 distinctive design was inspired by the architecture of Rome’s Baroque architect Francesco Borromini – one of Genta’s recurring themes.
With this 18k rose gold of the case, the height of the watch has been whittled down by 3mm to achieve a slim 8.7mm. The flange surrounding the dial was reduced to achieve this, and the lugs were redesigned to create a flatter profile to sit flush on the wrist. Like many Genta creations, the Maestro manages to pull off luxury looks and finishings with serious sporty credentials, offering water-resistance of 100 metres – a particularly challenging feat given the irregular-shaped crystal over the dial. The rose gold crown, decorated with a Clous de Paris finish, is also screwed-down to protect the mechanism.
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.
Turning the Gerald Charles Maestro over, a sapphire crystal reveals the movement. To ensure the slim case height, the Maestro 2.0 Premier 2021 Edition is fitted with a high-end automatic movement made by Vaucher that is just 3.7mm in thickness. Beating at 4Hz, it has twin barrels that ensure a comfortable 50-hour power reserve. The decoration is traditional with Côtes de Geneve and perlage. The rotor is openworked.
The Gerald Charles Maestro 2.0 Premier 2021 is limited to 25 pieces and retails for EUR 30,000. It is now available for orders at geraldcharles.com.