Maestro 9.0 Tourbillon
The Maestro story continues
Geneva, 23 March 2023 - Maison Gerald Charles is proud to introduce the Maestro 9.0 Tourbillon, Ref. GC9.0-A-01, one of the most technically and aesthetically advanced pieces ever conceived by the family-owned Maison. The timepiece returns to the story of an original Maestro flying tourbillon created in 2005 by Gerald Charles’s founder, the great Monsieur Gérald Charles Genta.
The new model was designed in collaboration with the Maison’s creative director Octavio Garcia, and is powered by the GCA 3024/12 automatic flying tourbillon calibre, a bespoke manufacture movement produced by Gerald Charles’s long-time partner Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, the Swiss specialist high-end movement creator.
The case: a natural shape for a tourbillon
The watch’s form follows that of the now familiar Maestro, immediately recognisable by its playful asymmetrical case with its rippled bezel and “smile” at 6 o’clock. This time, the case is cast in 42mm of medical-grade stainless steel and has a royal blue sunburst dial, a signature Gerald Charles colour.
“The smile is such an inviting space to explore and creates a natural playground for a tourbillon,” said Octavio Garcia. “But it also contributes to a paradox: the Maestro’s form and volume make sense to the human eye. And yet when you come to hand-draw it, you realise it has one of the most complex case shapes in watchmaking. There are no straight lines. Even the indexes pose a challenge because they have to follow the case silhouette and underscore the Maestro design. The challenge as a designer is to find a balance between character and usability.”
In keeping with the Gerald Charles watch creation philosophy, the Maestro 9.0 Tourbillon is both highly technical and designed to be wear in everyday situations. This is a watch that conforms to the values of Swiss haute horlogerie and Fleurier Quality standards.
The flying tourbillon: a technical and artistic tour de force
At the watch’s heart is its 60-seconds flying tourbillon, a traditional fine watchmaking device perfected in the early 19th century to offset the effects of gravity on the accuracy of a pocket watch. For the Maestro 9.0 Tourbillon, Octavio Garcia worked with Gerald Charles’ technical teams and Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier to engineer a unique tourbillon cage in the shape of the Maison’s GC logo. This posed a technical challenge: how to deliver a tourbillon cage in the shape of the swooping GC logo without placing too much pressure on the watch’s power reserve.
The solution was to machine the cage from lightweight Grade 5 titanium. But even then, this presented a fresh technical challenge of its own. Titanium is notoriously difficult to manipulate when the tolerances are so fine. Nevertheless, in pursuit of Monsieur Genta’s vision of artistic creativity and technical mastery, the Maison’s creative and technical teams persisted, determining that the lightness, warm grey tones and resistance of titanium would deliver aesthetic and performance benefits that more than merited the time and energy required to take on the challenge.
Working with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, Octavio Garcia and Gerald Charles’s engineers achieved their goal by skeletonising the flying tourbillon cage and repositioning the screws that hold its striking 18-karat yellow gold bridge to the back side. The result is a highly sophisticated 60-seconds flying tourbillon that oscillates at 4hz, made all the more vivid by the natural, three-dimensional contrasts created by combining a surgical-grade stainless steel case, a gold tourbillon bridge and a titanium flying tourbillon cage. It also features a blue indicator applied to the “G” of the cage that serves as a small seconds indicator. A stop-seconds function delivers precise time setting.
“The tourbillon was always going to be the focal point of this watch, and so from the outset we applied ourselves to the design of the tourbillon cage. How could we create something that captured the mature narrative of Gerald Charles, the spirit of the Maison’s founder and the design language of a contemporary technical sports watch? It was a long process and we worked through countless iterations before we settled on a design based on the GC logo. The result is intensely graphic, as much sculpture as a mechanical watch.”
Octavio Garcia, Gerald Charles Creative Director
The movement: finished to perfection
The Maestro 9.0 Tourbillon has a sapphire crystal case back revealing the intricate design and finishing of the GCA 3024/12 automatic flying tourbillon calibre. This exclusive movement features bespoke bridge designs decorated with a special vertical Côtes de Genève pattern developed by Octavio Garcia, inspired by tailoring, thanks to Mr. Genta's Italian heritage. The plates and bridges all feature delicate aesthetic refinements, including diamond-polished anglage that gently reflects the light, building the watch’s sense of mechanical theatre.
Also visible through the case back is the movement’s 22-karat rose gold oscillating mass, which charges the watch’s mainspring as it spins during wear. This is decorated with the striking honeycomb motif inspired by an ancient Roman monument and originally conceived for Gerald Charles by Octavio Garcia for the Maestro 8.0 Squelette, introduced in 2022.
The performance: no compromise
To preserve the sporty elegant feel the Maestro collection is known for, the Maestro 9.0 Tourbillon is automatic and has a 50-hour power reserve, an uncommonly high figure in a 60-seconds flying tourbillon made possible by the movement’s twin-barrel system.
The watch also has a screw-down crown, ensuring water resistance to 100 metres, a stunning achievement in a highly technical mechanical watch that remains incredibly slim, measuring just 9mm thick. These properties are all core design requirements of the Gerald Charles contemporary watchmaking philosophy.
“Combining this level of finishing with this level of performance was a huge technical challenge. But the Maison’s ambitions were met by Gerald Charles’s engineers and Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. We are absolutely delighted with the result. Even the components you can’t see are finished to the same impeccable standards of Swiss fine watchmaking and according to the Gerald Charles standards: without compromise.”
Federico Ziviani, Gerald Charles General Manager
Production will be limited to 50 pieces in steel with a steel bezel.
There will also be 10 pieces a year in 18-karat white gold with a diamond bezel or with bezels set with sapphires, decorated by the master gem setters of Salanitro Geneva.
- Hours, minutes and 60-seconds flying tourbillon
- Case size of 39x42mm
- Case thickness. 9 mm
- Asymmetric polygon with smooth edges (“Maestro” original design by Mr. Gerald Charles Genta)
- Stainless steel crown with embossed logo
- Case material: mirror-polished stainless steel (1.4453 medical grade)
- Crystals: sapphire crystal front and back
Skeleton bridges and satin-finished and rhodium-plated, hand-finished angles
- Crown: Medical-grade stainless steel with Clous de Paris finish and embossed logo
Sunburst royal blue; flying tourbillon with 60-seconds indication at 6 o’clock, hands and indexes filled with Super-LumiNova®
- Manufacture movement
- Caliber: GCA 3024/12, automatic flying tourbillon
- Diameter: 28 mm
- Thickness: 4.87 mm
- Number of components: 196
- Number of jewels: 33
- Power reserve: 50 hours
- Balance: Gyromax®
- Frequency: 28,800 semi-oscillations/hour (4 Hz)
- Cote de Gèneve decorated bridges
- Cage: 60-seconds Titanium flying tourbillon cage.
- Blue indicator applied as small seconds indicator
- Bridge: 18-karat yellow gold bridge
- Mass: 22-karat rose gold oscillating mass with honeycomb motif
- Bevels, counterbores and apertures diamond-polished
- Ceramic ball bearing
- Pivots and flanges rolled
- Wheels circular-grained on 2 faces
- ANTI-SHOCK SYSTEM: “INCABLOC” Stop-second system
100 metres / 10 ATM
Royal blue rubber to Mr Gerald Genta Clous de Paris design
- Buckle in stainless steel
Production limited by capacity to 100 pieces per year
Five years (following ‘Smart Warranty’ system registration)
About Gerald Charles
Gerald Charles is an independent, family-owned watch company based in Switzerland. It was founded in 2000 by the great Mr. Gérald Charles Genta, the 20th century’s foremost watch designer.
Monsieur Genta, often referred to simply as ‘Maestro’, was a prolific artist and watch designer. After selling the company in 2003, he stayed on as its designer-in-chief until his death in 2011, leaving a treasure trove of watch designs in the company’s care. Every watch created by Gerald Charles is based on one of his original designs and carries his legacy of ‘artistic creativity, technical mastery’ forward into the future.
Gerald Charles watches are at the cutting edge of ergonomics and designed and manufactured to sit comfortably and elegantly on the wrist. Gerald Charles watches are produced without compromise and marry the finest traditions and most up-to-date technologies of Swiss mechanical watchmaking to deliver superior precision and performance, as well as exceptional water and shock resistant. Every piece is an elegant sport watch, the signature of the company's founder and eternal inspiration, Monsieur Genta.
MR. G.C. GENTA
Monsieur Gerald Charles Genta (1931-2011), born in Geneva, is deemed the most acclaimed watch designer in the world. In the early 2000s Monsieur Gerald Charles Genta – at the height of his success and willing to continue his creative production – founded the most modern of his brands: Gerald Charles.
He designed some of the most modern of his watches for the Maison Gerald Charles: amongst them the Maestro is one of his highest achievements. Its asymmetric watch case, one of its kind, has never been seen before and represents an exclusive innovation.