To know just how darn serious Chanel is about its watchmaking business, one just needs to be reminded of the money moves the brand has been making lately. It’s already got its first men’s timepiece, worked with the likes of revered indie watchmakers like Romain Gauthier, and more recently revealed that it bought a stake in Swiss watch manufacturer Kenissi. The collaboration with the latter has already borne fruit (read on to find out) for the latest crop of watches that Chanel revealed at this year’s edition of Baselworld which just kicked off. Here, we spotlight four of the most eye-catching timepieces in the brand’s repertoire this year.
The Statement Piece: Premiere Midnight in Vendome
This 18K yellow gold timepiece is a one-of-a-kind model and also a fun interpretation of Chanel’s first ever timepiece — the octagonal-shaped Premiere which debuted in 1987. Designed like a signet ring, this bijoux-ticker hybrid features a dainty watch measuring 19.7mm by 15.2mm that can be flipped to reveal a faceted onyx caseback. While it’s not the first time Chanel has created a novelty ring watch like this, its peekaboo factor is a smart idea that is bound to interest those who dig novelty designs.
The Minimalist Favourite: Code Coco
When the Code Coco debuted in 2017, it immediately became a favourite for its clean and sleek lines. The quilted motif pays tribute to the house’s heritage matelasse quilt in a graphic and modern way while the clasp pays homage to the one on the 2.55 bag in an almost industrial way. Now, for the first time, the model appears in beige gold — Chanel’s exclusive alloy which is more muted than regular yellow gold — and studded with 153 diamonds. The result: an understated way to do glamour.
The Anti-Hipster Timepiece: Boy.Friend Tweedy Strap
Nato straps have never quite shaken off their hipster image. For those who like to dress up their timepieces without the hipster quotient, the latest update of the dress watch-inspired Boy.Friend collection will do the trick. The strap is made from the same tweed fabrics that the brand uses for its jackets, bags and accessories and gives the watch a handsome sophisticated appeal.
The Collecatable: J12 Edition Noire
For its 20th anniversary this year, the flagship high-tech ceramic J12 model undergoes subtle but major updates. Cue a more refined bezel, redesigned indexes, a smaller width on the crown, and a slightly thicker case. As for the Kenissi connection mentioned earlier, the new J12 now comes in a one-piece ceramic case with a sapphire crystal caseback so that the new automatic movement produced by the manufacture can be easily admired.
But of all the facelifts given to the J12 this year, our favourite has to be the limited edition all-black Noire. Limited to just 55 pieces, this sleek timepiece features a black lacquered dial with a matte black bezel engraved with a baguette pattern. Dare we say, this is the most stylish and elegant update the J12 has ever received.