If John Mayer is reading this, we’ve got a message for you: You can stop buying women’s watches at Chanel, mate (the singer is a die-hard watch collector who’s not shy to admit that he admires and owns timepieces the brand makes).
Thankfully for men like Mayer, the maison has released its first timepiece solely for gents. The ticker took five years to conceptualise and complete, but it’s well worth the wait. Called the Monsieur de Chanel, the manual-winding watch marks the first time Chanel is venturing into men’s timepieces ever since it started designing watches in 1987.
Despite being strictly a women’s brand, there have been some designs from Chanel that have garnered a male following. Take the androgynous-looking J12 Chromatic, with its sporty influence and sleek ceramic and titanium combination. And last year’s big debut, the Boyfriend, reminds us of a discreet gentlemen’s black tie watch.
What stands out about the Monsieur de Chanel is the highly readable and legible design, plus the gong fu that goes into its inner workings. For starters, the movement, named Calibre 1, is the first truly in-house produced movement by Chanel. Then there is the jumping hour display which is featured at the six o’clock counter. Just above that is the seconds counter. The prominent retrograde minutes – the hands jumps back to zero once it hits 60 – display sits above the latter.
A geeky fact: While most retrograde minute hands move in a 180-degree motion, the one in Monsieur de Chanel’s moves in a much bigger sweep of 240-degree. A bigger sweep equal to a more complicated engineering for the timepiece. That feature is good enough for the watch to earn its first patent. The other patent it holds: the watch could be set backwards.
On the back of the watch, the skeletonised movement comes in a chic matt and glossy black. While the movement is wholly made in-house by Chanel, some of the wheels were crafted by indie watchmaker Romain Gauthier. A total of 300 pieces of the Monsieur de Chanel are up for grabs: 150 in beige gold and 150 in white gold, and will be in Chanel Fine Jewellery stores this June (price upon application).