For many of us, the name Gerald Charles is as unfamiliar as it is ordinary. But in the world of horology, the Gerald Charles name has held a status tantamount to that of a legend. Gerald Charles is the brand formed by the legendary Gerald Charles Genta in 2000. Gerald Genta, as many of you know, is the brainchild behind iconic watches like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus.
Following his death in 2011, Gerald Charles continued to produce timepieces in limited quantities for its clients until Gerald Genta's former business partner revived the eponymous brand with the Maestro, a wholesome timepiece completely evocative of its name, characterised by the revival of Genta's artistically creative mindset and approach to watchmaking, thus propelling Gerald Charles once again back into the public limelight.
The Gerald Charles Maestro seems a fitting tribute to the work that Genta produced over his half-century tenure in the watchmaking industry. Originally released in 2006, the Maestro features a distinct case shape which lies between that of a square and an octagon, perhaps a play between two of his most famous designs, the Royal Oak and the Nautilus.
In another fitting tribute to Genta's wonderful approach of duality, the Maestro's case is a mix between an elegant, classical dress watch and a watch that you can wear casually. The 40mm stainless steel case is completely three-dimensional, with an abundance of steps accentuated by grooves and curves. The multi-faceted nature of the case adds a level of complexity to the Maestro that works well, especially in stark contrast to the very simple and very clean dial.
Moving on to the dial, which in the case of this particular reference, mark GC20-A-01, has a stunning royal blue sunburst finish, again working well with the high gleam polished surfaces of the case body. The hours and minutes are indicated by SuperLuminova painted-markers, along with the Maestro Original Time's hands. Near the bottom of the dial lies an enlarged date window with a white background, matching the hour markers and hands and acting as a point of differentiation amongst the sea of blue.
Powering the Maestro Original Time is the GCA automatic movement which features COSC certification, a power reserve of 42-hours, Côte de Genève finishing and a gold-plated rotor with rhodium beaded bridges.
The Gerald Charles Maestro Original Time GCA20-A-01 is limited to only 100 pieces and is priced at $12,000USD.