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Q&AThe Case Of The Genta Legacy: Gerald Genta’s Chief Talks About the New Masterlink And More

Founded by legendary watchmaker and artist, Gérald Charles Genta, the Gerald Charles brand continue to draw inspiration from Mr Genta’s work—safely preserved in their archives. Brand CEO Federico Ziviani tells us more about the brand’s only case shape—originally a Genta design—which is seen in their latest timepiece: the integrated-bracelet Masterlink

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Could you offer your perspective on the new Masterlink?

The Gerald Charles Masterlink is the new collection we launched at Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024. There are two models, one with a dial in blue, and the other in a silver hue. The maison’s archive has been essential for the creation of this new timepiece, since the watch is definitely a continuation of the iconic Maestro case—a bit smaller and squarer but still maintaining the ‘smile’ at six o’clock. We have conceived a timepiece with new case and new bracelet, yet keeping the strong bond with the brand key values of versatility, ergonomics and high-end craftsmanship. The first sketches of the Masterlink date back to 2020 but, actually, Mr Genta had created an integrated-bracelet watch in 2007 for the Sarawak royal family. It was a unique piece on request.

Gerald Charles Genta CEO interview Federico Ziviani luxury sport watch integrated bracelet chronograph skeleton watches CArousel
“The Gerald Charles Masterlink is the new collection we launched at Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024. There are two models, one with a dial in blue, and the other in a silver hue”

The Masterlink is one of the few watches with an asymmetrical integrated bracelet, since the links follow the shape of the case, straight at the top and curved at the bottom. Also, we managed to hide the butterfly clasp—the pushers to open and close it, as well as the screws, keeping the bracelet very clean and flawless. More elegant than a dress watch, better performing than a sports watch, the Masterlink is a contemporary evolution of the Maestro, which projects the maison into the future like a bullet train towards a new modern language, always respecting its important legacy. The name Masterlink clearly indicates the maison‘s intent to maintain a strong link with Mr Genta, who will always be known as the Maestro.

The Watch Guide

"The Masterlink is one of the few watches with an asymmetrical integrated bracelet, since the links follow the shape of the case, straight at the top and curved at the bottom"

The Watch Guide

"More elegant than a dress watch, better performing than a sports watch, the Masterlink is a contemporary evolution of the Maestro"

How long has Gerald Charles wanted to be in the segment of integrated sport watches?

All Gerald Charles watches are elegant timepieces with high-technical and sporty performance. Conceived to be extremely versatile and ergonomic, the watches are perfect to be worn across different lifestyles and generations, on and off the court.

Speaking of the ‘court’, could you talk a little bit about your association with tennis, and how it fits in with the brand’s DNA?

The Maestro GC Sport was launched in 2022 as an homage to the sport of tennis. Featuring a blue dial, set in a titanium case, with a left-hand crown to prevent rubbing during play, it’s the first watch of this family to be launched with the purpose of strengthening our relationship with tennis. In 2023, the Maestro GC Sport Clay and Grass were added, featuring special hammered dials, each reminiscent of clay or grass tennis courts. The last addition was the Mastro GC Sport Squelette with a sand-blasted titanium case and a skeletonised movement, which won the title of the most lightweight Gerald Charles watch, weighing approximately 50g.

Gerald Charles Genta CEO interview Federico Ziviani luxury sport watch integrated bracelet chronograph skeleton watches CArousel
“The Maestro GC Sport was launched in 2022 as an homage to the sport of tennis. Featuring a blue dial, set in a titanium case, with a left-hand crown to prevent rubbing during play, it’s the first watch of this family to be launched with the purpose of strengthening our relationship with tennis”

However, this is not the only link we have with tennis. In fact, Hubert Hurkacz, ATP professional tennis player and a ‘friend of the brand’, usually plays wearing our watch on his wrist.  Finally, we have been official timekeeper of two different tennis tournaments: the ATP 250 Generali Open Kitzbuhel 2023 in Austria and the Kooyong tournament 2024 in Australia.

How is the product line-up for the year decided, and how far in advance are the launches planned?

We have set the 2030 production horizon and we are now working at implementing it. The strategy is to develop new complications with proprietary calibres, which perfectly blend design and technology, leveraging the archives of Mr Genta. Our aim is to maintain our limited production, yet to deliver value to collectors with ‘artworks’ for the wrist, which are artisanal, mechanically technical yet aesthetically perfect. We won’t increase the volume for current models, but the only additions will involve the introduction of new timepieces.

This year we are going to have other two more important releases—one in June and one in September during Geneva Watch Days.

What complications are most important to the brand?

One of the most important complications that Mr Genta did in his life was the grande sonnerie (a variety of minute repeaters). Currently we have in our collection quite a few complications and our goal is to implement it by introducing at least one new one every year. Mr Genta used to design high level complications and he wanted the watches to be realised exactly as he conceived them in his mind. As in the past, we try to turn his sketches into reality remaining true to Mr Genta’s original drawings but using a contemporary vision for the creation.

  • The Watch Guide

    The case chape of Gerald Charles watches is strangely adaptable for various types of displays, including this

  • The Watch Guide

    The rubber straps feature a hobnail pattern, which is also seen on the crown, where it serves more of a functional purpose of making for better grip

  • The Watch Guide

    The Maestro Chronograph in steel comes in black, blue and green (seen here)

  • The Watch Guide

    It even works in a gold case

  • The Watch Guide

    The layers on the bezel lend added visual depth while also accentuating the case shape further

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Gerald Charles Maestro 3.0 Chronograph SHOP THE COLLECTION

What are the challenges of working within the confines of the same case shape for all your watches?

The Maestro case was designed by Mr Genta in 2005 and it was his last design. Thanks to the unique ‘smile’ at six o’clock, the case is perfect to host many complications and to be executed with different materials. We also managed to fit the skeleton movement inside this special case shape. That’s why we consider the case our signature, and we truly believe that it is extremely versatile.

Gerald Charles Genta CEO interview Federico Ziviani luxury sport watch integrated bracelet chronograph skeleton watches CArousel
“Thanks to the unique ‘smile’ at six o’clock, the case is perfect to host many complications and to be executed with different materials. We also managed to fit the skeleton movement inside this special case shape”

How difficult is it to handle the pressure of living up to the work of Gerald Genta?

It’s not a pressure, it is an honour to continue the legacy for Mr Genta. We feel a lot of responsibility but if we look at the success of the company so far, we are more than satisfied and are happy to have accomplished small steps that will lead us towards the goals we want to achieve. We have already proven something but of course there is still a lot to do. Mr Genta’s successful story inspires us every day and is a real treasure for us.

Gerald Charles Genta CEO interview Federico Ziviani luxury sport watch integrated bracelet chronograph skeleton watches CArousel
“It’s not a pressure, it is an honour to continue the legacy for Mr Genta.” Seen here is the time-and-date interpretation of the Genta design, in the Maestro 2.0 Ultra Thin

How does the Genta legacy continue to inspire the brand?

We have had the great privilege to have in our archives the last 11 years of Mr Genta’s original drawings. Those designs are a continuous source of inspiration as all Gerald Charles watches are based on one of the founder’s original designs. He was one of the greatest designers of all time and we have a lot of designs that are still hidden and ready to be unveiled in the right moment.

The Watch Guide

The Maestro 2.0 Ultra Thin is water-resistant to 100m

The Watch Guide

The gold version is a more opulent execution of the Genta design

What are the most prominent watchmaking trends you’ve observed over the last two years or so?

We’re living the best moment in history for independent watchmakers like us, thanks to the work of passionate colleagues of other independent brands and to the support of great collectors, who understand our values in terms of craftsmanship, design and excellence of the product. We noticed that there is always more and more space for the independent brands.

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