If you don’t need any introduction to the iMac G3 and the Nintendo 64, chances are, you’re a child of the ’90s. For those in the dark, the personal computer by Apple and the video game console by the Japanese company were just some items that fuelled the decade’s so-called clear craze which was marked by the desire for everything see-through.
Thanks to Gen-Z‘s interest in the era’s touchpoints like Buffy (TV’s O.G. vampire slayer marks her 25th anniversary this year) and a ‘freed’ Britney, as well as the popularity of the period’s fashion on resale platforms like Depop (Ed Hardy is trending, by the way), ’90s mania is undoubtedly peaking.
The J12 X-Ray Red Edition Rouge is part of Chanel’s Haute Horlogerie Red Edition collection for 2022. Red is considered one of the five signature colours used by the Maison alongside white, black, beige, and gold. The importance of the fiery hue to Gabrielle Chanel is captured in this quote by the legendary designer: “If you’re sad or heartbroken, make yourself up, dress up, add more lipstick and attack.”
The appetite for see-through design inevitably influenced watches from that time too – or at least the ones produced by commercial brands that released designs in clear or coloured transparent plastic as a fun fashion statement.
This brings us to the timely launch of the limited-edition J12 X-Ray Red Edition Rouge which is one of the three watches in Chanel’s Haute Horlogerie Red Edition collection that makes its debut this month. The special J12 model in this outing builds on the raw crystal sapphire watch design that the Maison first debuted in 2020 to mark the watch’s 20th anniversary.
Everything from the transparent case and link bracelet to the skeletonised mechanical movement remains untouched for the new J12 X-Ray Red Edition Rouge. The only update lies in the 58 baguette-cut rubies that adorn the bezel and hour markers. Limited to just 12 pieces worldwide, this major ’90s redux comes with a major price tag of $1,010,400.