Gerald Charles Genta needs no introduction. His legacy as the greatest watch designer of the 20th century, basically introducing the nowadays extremely popular sports watch segment with his iconic Nautilus and Royal Oak designs, is set for eternity. His own brand Gerald Genta, including name and all patents, was sold to Bulgari in 2000 and almost immediately after he started Gerald Charles, the brand that covered his last designs before he passed away in 2011.
The Museum collection, carefully preserved by the brand, contains a series of designs and watches created by mr. Genta between 2000 and 2011 and gives a good impression of the direction he took in these years. The eye-catching Maestro case design stands out as an important element and forms the basis of today’s Gerald Charles watch collection. When you touch watches like the Maestro GC39, with sliding hours and the Maestro .99 Tourbillon from the early 2000’s and both bearing Gentas signature, you feel the magic of the master.
Fast forward to 2023, we see a dynamic brand that is much aware of the legacy they carry. The design signature is now carried by Octavia Garcia, who has taken the unmistakable Maestro case as a basis and turned it into a series of contemporary watches. Today we focus on two examples in the GC Sport line and the Maestro 9.0 Tourbillon, both 2023 novelties.
The GC Sport line is a new addition to the portfolio and adds a lightweight touch to the more traditionally positioned Maestro series. The titanium case, combined with rubber strap makes it a versatile watch. It’s sporty, yes, but with enough “chic” to make it stand out as a higher segment watch. The GCA 3002 movement is developed by Vaucher. The GC Sport comes in three dial colours, each connected to the surfaces tennis is played on: blue for hard court, green for grass and orange for clay/gravel. The dials are grained which makes the resemblance even greater, especially with the grass and clay versions.
The GC Sport watches have the crown positioned on the left, making it distinctively different compared to the family members and probably adding some comfort to a tennis playing wrist.
The Maestro 9.0 Tourbillon is the absolute masterpiece of Gerald Charles. We know that mr. Genta was not afraid of using complications such as a tourbillon in his earlier pieces, and the Museum collection has a few pieces to prove. The new model is powered by the GCA 3024/12 automatic calibre, developed again in collaboration with Vaucher. The flying tourbillon’s cage has a unique shape in the form of the Gerald Charles logo.
Observing and wearing the Gerald Charles pieces another Genta characteristic is very obvious: the wearability. From a designer perspective, especially one with the statue of Gerald Genta, the usability must be an important or even THE important factor when designing. In line with the icons developed by Genta in the 60’s and 70’s the GC Sport and Maestro series combine unique design and high-end watchmaking with a versatile touch. Whether on the tennis court, in the office or at a gala, a Gerald Charles will never be out of fashion. The legacy of Gerald Genta is in good hands.