It’s surprising just how versatile as off-kilter a case as that of Gerald Charles can be. The initial dress watch offering honestly didn’t catch my imagination all that much – though I have at least one friend that fell in love and bought one. The GC Maestro Sport Clay however changed things up nicely, offering a sportier (shocking) take on the stepped, Genta-designed formula. Now they’re going for a serious haute horology take instead with the new Maestro 8.0 Squelette in rose gold and Maestro 8.0 GC Sport Squelette in titanium.
Gerald Charles Maestro 8.0 Squelette Rose Gold
Squelette, for those uninitiated in Swiss watchmaking terms, is French for Skeleton. So, you kind of know what to expect here. The dial of the new watch has been removed and the movement underneath skeletonised to offer a view directly through the movement. This isn’t openworking (a few bits of dial removed), this is proper skeletonisation.
Of course, removing parts of bridges to show off the movement only really works if it’s a movement worth showing off. In the Maestro 8.0 Squelette, that movement is the proprietary Vaucher-developed calibre GCA 5482, the focal point being that it’s a microrotor movement. This means you have the benefits of an automatic watch – its autonomy – without the rotor getting in the way of the aesthetics.
The bridges themselves are also impeccably finished, showing off a shooting star motif, similar in concept to the Roger Dubuis Excalibur, just a lot more subtle. Which isn’t hard. It’s gorgeous, and works superbly well as a mechanical counterpoint to the portrait frame-ornate stepped case. It also offers a solid 50 hours power reserve, despite being just 2.6mm thick.
The case is 40mm of rose gold, in a lovely, classical contrast with the anthracite bridges. Finished on Gerald Charle’s signature chunky rubber strap in a steel blue, it’s one of the few watches I find improved by skeletonisation. Though the price tag makes it a little out of my reach at £66,800.
Gerald Charles Maestro 8.0 Sport Squelette
The sportier counterpoint to the rose gold version, the Maestro 8.0 Sport Squelette shares the same 40mm silhouette, just in lightweight titanium instead of precious metal. Its already a svelte watch (even more so with bridges and dial stripped away) and the titanium makes it incredibly light.
But don’t let that deter you – despite its haute horology nature, the movement has 5Gs of shock resistance. Hopefully that’s enough for everyday life, otherwise you probably shouldn’t be wearing a watch. Or have a driving licence. At the very least, it’s tennis proof, as tested by the likes of Dutch player Tim Van Rijthoven wearing the Maestro GC Sport Grass.
That DLC black case has been contrasted with silver bridges, a lot more modern and suited to the Genta vibe. It’s fitted on a deep blue take on that same textured rubber strap. But that’s of course not all; if you feel like you’re looking at a mirror image, you kind of are, given the entire movement has been flipped by 180 degrees.
This means the entire architecture has been turned upside down and, more obviously, the crown has been moved to the left-hand side of the case. That doesn’t necessarily make it a lefty though, as the crown being on the left gives your wrist a bit more freedom to move. It’s why dive watches sometimes opt for it and why, in what is ostensibly a sports watch, makes a lot of sense.
That said, I’m not sure I could ever wear a skeletonised, microrotor watch in a stepped case like this for a game of tennis or a round of golf, even with the shock resistance assurances. Though I would definitely wear it elsewhere, especially as it’s a touch cheaper than the gold version at £53,500.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Gerald Charles Maestro 8.0 Squelette and Maestro 8.0 GC Sport Squelette
- Ref: GC8.0-RG-06 (Squelette Rose Gold)
GC8.0 TX TN 01 (Sport Squelette)
- Case/dial: 39mm x 41mm diameter x 8.35mm thickness, polished 18K rose gold 4N with a right screw-down crown in rose gold with Clous de Paris finish or grade 5 titanium case with a left screw-down crown, skeletonised dial with sandblasted bridges with polished anglage and baton shaped hands filled with white Super LumiNova
- Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
- Movement: Vaucher calibre GCA 5482 manufactured exclusively for Gerald Charles, automatic, 160 parts, 29 rubies, Incabloc® anti shock system, stop second system, unidirectional rotor
- Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
- Power reserve: 50h
- Functions: Hours, minutes
- Strap: Grey vulcanised rubber with polished 18K Rose Gold 4N pin buckle (Squelette Rose Gold) or royal blue vulcanised rubber with sandblasted Grade 5 Titanium buckle (Sport Squelette), Clous de Paris finish on top side and Gerald Charles logo tapisserie on rear
- Price/availability: £53,500 (Sport Squelette) and £66,800 (Squelette Rose Gold)