Hernan Crespo and Arjen Robben scored the goals that maintained a 100% start to the season for Chelsea, who also set a record for Premiership clean sheets.
Crespo hit the post with a low shot in the first half before breaking the deadlock in the 55th minute with a powerful header into the top corner.
That was shortly after William Gallas had scrambled the ball against the upright as Chelsea dominated.
Robben then sealed the victory with a superb shot into the top corner.
The Dutchman's curled strike was an example of the sublime skill at Chelsea's disposal, allied to their combative and disciplined approach.
And at the back, Chelsea showed their usual assurance, with Charlton mostly reduced to long-range efforts.
Chelsea have now set a new English top-flight record of six successive clean sheets from the start of the season.
Both sides had made their best starts to a Premiership season with 100% records, so something had to give.
The outstanding Michael Essien had the first sight of goal, finding space on the edge of the box, but he scooped his shot high and wide.
The midfielder later demonstrated greater accuracy in his passing, along with his tenacity, when he robbed Radostin Kishishev and played in Crespo.
The Argentine striker raced through on goal but appeared a touch too nonchalant with his flicked strike and it cannoned back off the base of the post.
Crespo had already tested Stephan Andersen by then and, later, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff also failed to find a way past the Charlton keeper.
As the half wore on, Charlton - inspired by a determined Danny Murphy - began to create some chances of their own.
Jerome Thomas, who was enjoying success down the left flank, shot wide - as did Dennis Rommedahl.
But after the break, Chelsea stepped up the pace and Charlton looked overawed and overrun.
Defender Gallas almost opened the scoring when he bundled the ball against the post.
Then Lampard was denied by Andersen, who did well to smother the midfielder's deflected free-kick.
The breakthrough finally came when Crespo headed into the top right-hand corner from Essien's cross.
Five minutes later, Robben made sure of the points when he arrowed in a shot from the edge of the area.
Substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips went close to scoring a third goal for Chelsea but saw his effort well saved by Andersen as Charlton desperately tried to avoid a humiliation.
The teams had started the match first and second in the Premiership but the gulf in class, if not league positions, was very evident by the end of the afternoon.
Charlton boss Alan Curbishley:
"In the first half we acquitted ourselves quite well but did not get the goal.
"And Chelsea have players on the pitch who can turn the game. They have a feeling about them when they score they are not going to lose.
"Every Chelsea player is a World Cup player. They are hard to beat and the manager has them galvanised."
Chelsea assistant coach Steve Clarke:
"In the first half it was an even game. We asked the guys to step it up a bit and they did that.
"In the second half we played higher up the pitch and we scored two quality goals to win the game.
"When you are on top and in the ascendancy you have to kill the game and we did that."
Charlton: Andersen, Young, Perry, Hreidarsson, Powell (Spector 70), Rommedahl, Kishishev (Holland 67), Murphy, Hughes, Thomas (Ambrose 67), Bent.
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Myhre.
Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Gallas, Makelele, Duff (Wright-Phillips 63), Lampard, Essien, Robben (Joe Cole 79), Crespo (Drogba 67).
Subs Not Used: Geremi, Cudicini.
Booked: Ricardo Carvalho, Makelele.
Goals: Crespo 55, Robben 60.
Ref: H Webb (S Yorkshire).