Home » The New Gerald Charles Maestro 8.0 Squelette GC.8.0 gem-set Collection

The New Gerald Charles Maestro 8.0 Squelette GC.8.0 gem-set Collection


The new and very special Gerald Charles Maestro 8.0 Squelette GC.8.0 gem-set collection, a series of four limited-edition watches based on the watch company’s famous first ultra-thin open-worked reference and themed around a set of precious stones.

The Maestro 8.0 Squelette GC.8.0 Gem-Set, a collection of 4 limited-run timepieces modeled on Maison Gerald Charles’s inaugural ultra-thin open-worked model featuring a micro-rotor design, was unveiled last spring. With the novel Gem-Set models, Gerald Charles’s extremely innovative and technically sophisticated method of open-worked pieces is continued.

The 66 baguette-cut gemstones of the finest purity are used in the latest variants. Each has a valuable gem motif (diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires) and is manually fitted into an 18-carat white golden bezel by fully trained Genevan craftsmen. Likewise, the casing is made of medical-grade steel, and the rubber band is vulcanized to complement the hue of every precious stone.

Each item in this limited-edition line is handcrafted for several months. Only a total of ten of each were created. Federico Ziviani, general manager of Maison Gerald Charles, stated that this gem-set series represents a significant turning point. It exhibits its capacity to employ sophisticated technical solutions with savoir-faire to the production of high-end watches. He also claimed that hand-integrating these huge baguette-cut stones into the Maestro’s distinctive casing design involve a complicated operation. Therefore, they had to devise engineering solutions for a smooth surface on this bezel in order to put the gemstones since the initial casing bezel was bent.

In collaboration with a small number of carefully chosen and reliable Swiss associates, Gerald Charles’ engineers and designers produce the Maison range of mechanical timepieces. Salanitro Genève, a specialized gem-setter, manually fits these contemporary references’ priceless gemstones.

 

Additionally, the open-worked GCA8.0 caliber featuring micro-rotor structure powers all the new editions. It is a remarkable movement created by the Maison following the aesthetic and technological guidance of the internationally recognized creator Mr. Octavio Garcia. Together with the artistic supervisor and specialized movement maker Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, Gerald Charles developed the movement. The caliber required 2 years to build and is the pinnacle of Maison’s movement’s architectural and technological accomplishments.

Mr. Octavio Garcia decided to build the GCA8.0 caliber around the concept of the celestial sky chart. As a result, the micro-rotor is held in position by a star-shaped enclosure. It is designed to resemble a shooting star containing rays that radiate amusingly over it.

The GCA8.0 caliber’s open-worked arches on the dial edge include satin-polished and rhodium-plated, while others are anthracite NAC-treated. Due to the gold micro-rotor, the movement features a powerful power reserve of 50 hours. Also, the yellow-golden rotors are embellished with round graining, a classic high-end craftsmanship treatment. On the other hand, all corners, bevels, and openings are diamond-cut and hand-finished.

Due to a few modest modifications, the design is flawlessly proportioned, and the Gerald Charles emblem is one of the cases. It has been moved towards the left side and now lies between the eleven and twelve o’clock marks. This gives the micro-rotor enclosure breathing space.

The ability to read an open-worked timepiece is crucial. The indexes on the rehaut are bright Super-LumiNova, while the minute indicators are coated white. The open-working has been carefully researched to ensure that the user can constantly see the 22-carat rose-golden micro-rotor under the dial. It is also secured in position by a set of 9 star-shaped bolts that have been invented and produced by the Maison.

The rear of the micro-rotor, which has a sandblasted and polished finish, is purposefully more subdued than the dial side, which displays the decoration’s sunray brushing. All of this can be seen via the sapphire case back of the timepiece, as can the balancing disc at seven o’clock and the bridging apertures on the display side. Furthermore, a screw-down crown guarantees that (like each Gerald Charles timepiece) the Maestro 8.0 Squelette is fully waterproof to a remarkable 100 meters, an element that is matched by the Clous de Paris motif rubber strap. The unique Maestro casing in which the movement is displayed is extraordinarily complex, consisting of no less than 18 parts. Above all, this astounding artistic and technological accomplishment is even further enhanced with valuable stone inserts in the Maestro 8.0 Squelette GC.8.0 Gem-Set Limited Edition collection.

Gerald Charles Genta: The Maestro

You have probably come across a “New Maison” with a title that promptly conjures the best watchmaker in history over the past few years: Gerald Charles Genta. Well, Gerald Charles is a renowned independent Swiss Haute Horlogerie Maison that Maestro Gerard Charles Genta founded in 2000.

Gerald, a premium sporting watch inventor (1931–2011), was responsible for its creation. Gerald Genta’s designer job started once his Constellation timepiece design was updated and enormously successful in 1959. His ascension in the 1970s and 1980s was solidified by masterpieces such as the AP Royal Oak, IWC Ingenieur, Patek Philippe Nautilus, Bvlgari-Bvlgari, as well as the revamped Cartier Pasha.

 

Photo: Gerald Charles

 

Genta sold his company to Bvlgari in 2000, although he continued operating his watch company with the moniker Gerald Charles. After his passing on August 17, 2011, at 80, a Ziviani family member started reviving a quirky Genta design from 2006 that friends and associates had given the moniker Maestro. Initially, Federico Ziviani supported the establishment of the Gerald Charles company in 2000.

Since then, the Maison, which merges Italian design with Swiss watchmaking expertise, has focused its collection on a limited and selected manufacturing of a small number of exceptionally high-quality watches. These pieces are intended for the most aspirational enthusiasts.

The concept of the Swiss company is, to some extent, the exact opposite of a classic one. Gerald Charles wants to follow, maintain, and actively pursue his clients, most of whom contact the company via social media before directing them to reputable shops.

During an interview with the Financial Times, Federico Ziviani claimed that Gerald Charles sells the majority of the products courtesy of Instagram. It’s a phenomenal platform for information sharing and fan engagement that has helped to establish a sense of community among the business and its clients. Furthermore, in order to guarantee complete and quick satisfaction of each client requirement, the connection that develops becomes virtually “familiar” and is truly and consistently sustained through WhatsApp.

The majority of the 20 or so Gerald Charles stores currently in operation are in Europe and Switzerland. The dials are made in La Chaux-de-Fonds, movements in Fleurier, and the casings in Geneva. However, the watch parts are put together in the Lugano head office.

Generally, there are two series of Gerald Charles watches—the Maestro Collection and the Museum Collection—all of which were created from Maestro Genta’s sketches.

The Open-worked Maestro

Octavio Garcia was issued the instructions by CEO Federico Ziviani to honor the basis Mr. Gerald Genta laid while projecting the company into tomorrow. Skeletonizing a movement in a circular motion is one thing, but Garcia acknowledges that it was not easy to skeletonize the Maestro since it was such a rare case. Nevertheless, Francesco Borromini, a renowned baroque designer from Rome, is credited with creating the ornate structure that serves as the Maestro’s distinctive case design.

Octavia Garcia, Gerald Genta’s Heir

The metropolis of Geneva immediately became its center when the watch manufacturing business was formally established in 1601 at the hammer of Calvinist beliefs. The trade also expanded tremendously, and watchmakers’ competition swiftly became fierce. Some of them decided to move yet further to the north, towards the Vallée de Joux and even the Jura Mountains. Families that had little else to do over the long winters started concentrating on making watch elements, thereby establishing a cottage market of part distributors.

A multibillion-dollar income-producing behemoth that appears to be entirely removed from its once modest roots is the outcome of decades of consolidation. Moreover, there are still some companies that have a distinctly familial vibe. Also, renowned families whose legacies are linked to the sector still manage the companies in their control.

There’s one family who has managed a company

With a vibrant history, but regrettably, they are hardly mentioned. These are the Zivianis, and Gerald Charles has been the company they have led since 2003. Gerald Genta, the most successful watch creator of the twentieth century, launched Gerald Charles in 2000 because he desired another platform to display his ideas autonomously. The first business he founded had gone through two distinct ownership transfers. Thus, Gerald Charles provided him with the new beginning he required at what appeared to be the end of his profession.

Nevertheless, after three years, Gerald required assistance overseeing the business’s commercial activities. In response, the Ziviani family appointed Giampaolo Ziviani to become the General Manager of Gerald Charles. Despite hiring new managers, Genta’s insatiable imagination continued to be the primary force behind the company’s development from its inception until his demise in 2011. During a 2019 A Collected Man interview, Genta’s wife Evelyne described her spouse as a “maker of prototypes” who was constantly switching between designs.

The Maestro (as his friends lovingly referred to him) worked throughout his 70s, producing custom pieces for discerning customers. Even after his death, the brand continued to make timepieces in small numbers using the extensive design library he had accumulated through the 11-year period.

Garcia and the Zivianis had been acquainted since his time at AP, at which he collaborated with Federico’s dad, Franco, who oversaw the Italian industry. Although Garcia was Ziviani’s senior and Ziviani’s younger newcomer, the two grew close over time. Once Garcia was asked to work with Charles on a novel piece, it was primarily out of the friendship that he took the assignment. Prior to his death, Garcia had the chance to speak with Gerald Genta in order to learn more about the Maestro’s artistic process, including his hopes for future collaboration on the Royal Oak’s 40th year.

Garcia gained a stronger appreciation for Genta’s enthusiasm

His viewpoint on dimensions, and his preference for skeleton models with incredibly tiny bridges as a result of their encounter. The Gerald Genta Octagonal Perpetual Calendar Skeleton from the 1990s, with its razor-thin bridges, which are barely holding the movement down, is arguably the most prominent example of that commitment.

According to Ziviani, Skeletonization gives a relatively broad space for creative exploration. Therefore, he intended to grant Octavio the most practical freedom to merge his style and that of Gerald Genta. Another reason for choosing a skeleton structure was to provide Garcia with artistic latitude.

Octavio created everything about the Maestro 8.0 Squelette collection except for the Genta-designed case. He also made each bridge, the weight that oscillates, the hues and components, as well as the screws. Moreover, designing a skeleton timepiece that satisfies specific aesthetics, readability, and technological criteria is truly a display of a company’s technical prowess.

Garcia was confident about retaining the enthusiasm of Genta’s creative process, spending numerous months and creating dozens and dozens of hand-drawn models to look at alternatives. He stated that it was not easy to merge a skeleton movement to the Maestro’s asymmetric casing form, both in contexts of appearance and practical manufacturing factors.

Typically, the ultimate concept was founded on Garcia’s very initial view of an original Gerald Charles skeletal timepiece Ziviani was sporting at the time they sat down to talk about the subject. However, he initially examined more structural variations. Gerald Genta studied the concept of skeletonized arches in the shape of a celestial sky chart early in his career. Finally, the idea caught on. Thus, the foundation was laid for Garcia’s dream to be realized through collaboration with movement associate Vaucher.

Overall, Garcia and Ziviani ought to be incredibly pleased with their achievements. In terms of conception and production, the Maestro 8.0 Squelette line completely honors the artist to whom it has been dedicated. Furthermore, with these timepieces, Ziviani and Garcia officially establish their horological cooperation. Both men were driven and dedicated to honoring Gerald Genta by continuing the business he founded. Hence, Gerald Genta’s heritage is in extremely excellent hands.

Conclusion

The Gerald Charles Maestro 8.0 Squelette Gem-Set are timepieces that bring together Mr. Genta’s distinctive Maestro casing shape plus an exceptional and one-of-a-kind open-worked movement that genuinely honors the “craftsmanship” of the mechanical piece. With the creative leadership of modern watch architect Mr. Octavio Garcia, this innovative and exceptional in-house manufacturing ultra-thin manual movement was created with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier specifically for Gerald Charles.

 

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