Apart from luxury bags, makeup, clothes, and high jewelry, Chanel offers high-end watches that combine mastery both in the meticulous art of watchmaking and Haute Joaillerie. One of its creations, in particular, is the Chanel J12 Watch — a timepiece ahead of its time. With its shape and design breaking the codes of what is considered a classic, it has refurbished the brand’s watchmaking landscape and has grown into one of the most sought-after timepieces among the fashion elite.
The creation of Chanel watches started in 1987 as the brand established a Wristwatch Division headed by Jacques Helleu, who has been Chanel’s artistic director — the eye behind Chanel — for nearly three decades. He was then followed by Arnaud Chastaingt in 2013 who is now leading Chanel’s Watchmaking Creation Studio.
While centered around a monochromatic palette loyal to the brand’s theme, each of Chanel's luxury watches features a design unique to its own. The Chanel Première collection features cocktail watches with an unconventional design concept. The Chanel J12, on the other hand, is revolutionary in its unisex appeal. The Chanel BOYFRIEND Collection, though considered under Chanel ladies' watches, is radically elegant on its own, blurring the lines between feminine and masculine style. The Chanel Code Coco, on the other hand, exudes ultra-chic style sporting Chanel’s signature quilt pattern — the iconic 2.55 purse in its clasp. The Chanel Mademoiselle Prive is pure perfection of its kind — deemed a true pioneer of Chanel ladies’ watches. And, finally, carrying the seal of the lion to signify the brands’ finest watch movements, the Chanel Monsieur Collection is defying conventional codes and represents everything masculine.
|Chanel Mademoiselle Privé H5429||$166,000 USD||37.5mm||18K white gold case, 64 baguette-cut diamond dial, white gold crown, black satin strap self-winding mechanical movement, 30m water resistance|
|Chanel J12 Flying Tourbillon Watch H4563||$160,000 USD||38mm||White ceramic case, 18K beige gold bezel, 18K white gold tourbillon cabochon dial, beige gold crown, manual-winding mechanical movement, 50m water resistance, flying tourbillon complication|
|Chanel Premiere Camelia Skeleton H5251||$155,000 USD||37mm||18K white gold bezel, 92 brilliant-cut diamonds, transparent dial, white gold crown, black satin strap, manual-winding mechanical movement, 30m water resistance|
|Chanel Code Coco Watch H6018||$139,000 USD||44.5mm||18K white gold case and bezel, white gold dial, quilted motif black calfskin strap, quartz movement, 30m water resistant|
|Chanel Boyfriend Skeleton Caliber 3 H6433||$121,000 USD||37mm||18K white gold case, 38 baguette-cut diamonds, shiny black alligator strap, manual-winding movement, 30m water resistance|
|Chanel Mademoiselle Prive Camelia Skeleton Watch H5471||$111,000 USD||37.5mm||18K white gold case and bezel, black satin strap, manual-winding mechanical movement, 30m water resistance|
|Chanel Monsieur Watch H5488||$102,000 USD||40mm||18K beige gold case and crown, black Grand Feu enamel dial, black alligator pattern calfskin strap, manual-winding mechanical movement, 30m water resistance, retrograde minute jumping hour complication|
|Chanel Code Coco Limited Edition Pixel Watch H6369||$99,800 USD||38.1mm||Beige gold case, bezel, and dials, 276 brilliant-cut diamond bracelet, quartz movement, 30m water resistance|
|Chanel Boyfriend Limited Edition Tweed H6129||$66,000 USD||37mm||Beige gold case and bezel, tweed pattern dial in Grand Feu enamel, satin strap, manual-winding mechanical movement, 30m water resistance|
|Chanel Monsieur Blue Limited Edition Watch H6432||$47,000 USD||40mm||18K white gold case and bezel, navy blue alligator calfskin strap, manual-winding mechanical movement, 30m water resistance, retrograde minute jumping hour complication|
|Chanel J12 Paradoxe H6515||$9,650 USD||38mm||White and black highly resistant ceramic, steel fixed bezel, varnished sapphire, white and black lacquered dial, ceramic cabochon, self-winding mechanical movement, 50m water resistance|
|Chanel Première Extrait De Camélia Watch H6361||$7,000 USD||19.7 mm||18K yellow gold case with Camelia charm set, black-lacquered dial, black rubber strap, quartz movement, 30m water resistance|
|Chanel J12 Phantom Watch H6345||$5,800 USD||33mm||Ceramic steel case, unidirectional rotating bezel, white lacquer dial, quartz movement, 200m water resistance|
From the feminine allure of the Chael Premiere collection, the sporty approach of the Chanel J12, to the perfectly executed blend of femininity and masculinity in the BOYFRIEND Collection, each Chanel watch is known for its distinctly recognizable style. Chanel diamond watches in the jewelry watches collection give Chanel the freedom to create beautiful diamond-studded timepieces. While the Monsieur and Mademoiselle Prive collections cater to both masculine and feminie tastes. Though different on its own, each one strikes the right chords with all Chanel aficionados.
Compared to many well-known Swiss watches, Chanel is fairly young in history. While it has been in the horology scene for a couple of years since the Premiere collection’s launch, it was only when the J12 model was released that gave Chanel watches the recognition it deserves — as a rarefied fashion item in the Haute Horlogerie.
In creating the Chanel J12, Jacques Helleu was inspired by sailing yachts, particularly of the 1930s 12-meter J-class racing yacht at America’s Cup, by which the watch was named after. He wanted to create a sporty and edgy watch injected with luxury in its straps. With these themes guiding the design, it was only logical to choose ceramic — as the best material to use as it is lightweight and scratch-resistant, and the color to be all-black and all-white.
Because of this choice in design and material, watch enthusiasts’ back then are split between regarding the Chanel J12 as a mere fashion watch breaking all the codes of luxury watchmaking, or as a revolutionary timepiece having an all-black or all-white ceramic design, a style you wouldn’t see very commonly in its time. One thing is clear now, though, Chanel had foreseen the modern trend — the regard for fashion items that are appropriate both for men and women’s style.
While the J12 is generally marketed as a sports watch for women, supported by the fact that female A-list celebrities like Blake Lively and Keira Knightley are spotted wearing it, some early versions were designed to appeal to men. One rare example is the J12 Watch H2129 having a Superleggera Chronograph, chromatic steel, and a large 44mm diameter. popular among the Chanel diamond watches is the Chanel ladies’ watch H1628 with a white ceramic case and bracelet.
Arnaud Chastaingt, the director of Chanel’s Watchmaking Creation Studio, redesigned the J12, losing the black steel case and replacing it with a black or white-lacquered dial. Chanel watches enthusiasts know that the J12 would always come in either black or white, Chanel’s signature colors that encompass class and luxury. More recently, Chastaingt goes for a hybrid approach creating the J12 Paradoxe Watch, so-called due to its unusual design interlacing black and white in one single creation.
How much is a Chanel watch in this collection? The Chanel J12 now has 46 models in its collection, including the J12 Jewellery Watch priced at $60,000 USD, the J12 Electro Dream Watch, one of the most expensive Chanel watches in this collection, is priced at $110,000 USD. Meanwhile, the famous Chanel J12 Flying Tourbillon is priced at $160,000 USD.
The Chanel Premiere Watch has an irresistible allure known for the most unconventional design concept and inspiration in watchmaking history. This cocktail watch originally has an octagonal case with inspiration drawn from the shape of Place Vendome’s aerial view. It is known as the mecca for luxury and flawless architecture, the perfect symbol for such fine accessories. It also resembles the shape of the bottle cap stopper of the most iconic Chanel No. 5 Perfume.
Almost synonymous with the Chanel brand is the Camellia flower, paying tribute to the bouquet given to Coco Chanel by Boy Capel, her alleged polo-playing lover. The Premiere Camelia Skeleton is just one of the models sporting the camellia charm as a decorative addition. Laced with a black-lacquered dial, the Camellia Skeleton also has a black rubber strap with a velvet touch and an Ardillon buckle. Priced at $155,000 USD, the Chanel Premiere Camelia Skeleton watch, made of 18K yellow gold and titanium, becomes one of the most expensive watches in this collection.
Finally, we have the Premiere Flying Tourbillon, another expensive Chanel watch in this collection. The watch is a result of the collaboration between Chanel and the Swiss Renaud and Papi Workshop. A tourbillon is added in the watch escapement to increase accuracy. There are several options for bezel sets including a baguette and brilliant-cut emerald, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds.
With its recurring steel-chain bracelets interlaced with black leather ribbon designs, the Premiere collection maintains a feminine allure. However, the concept of the collection as a whole is not just to showcase Chanel as a brand, but also to showcase the beauty of Paris itself.
One thing to notice about the luxury watches from the Chanel BOYFRIEND collection is its pure simplicity, sported with elegant pure lines and perfect shapes. Another thing that is apparent in the design is the smooth feminine features including beveled corners, and the size still within the feminine parameters which is not going further than 28mm.
So much confusion, however, is on its nomenclature. Taking reference from boyfriend jeans, and regarding the watch as something that a woman borrows from their boyfriend, is somewhat of a failed attempt at naming the collection. Although the brand claims that the design’s concept aims to blur the lines between femininity and masculinity, some watch connoisseurs can’t relate. Although named as such, the design is most obviously feminine, putting it in the Chanel ladies’ watches category.
Comparing the designs with the past Chanel Watches, you can almost see a resemblance with the Premiere Tourbillon Watches, sharing the iconic case shape, but a smaller sized version — something that you would wear more often than you would with the Premiere Tourbillon.
Chanel’s BOYFRIEND Watches sports a quilted pattern calfskin strap either with a steel diamond or beige gold case. It also incorporates the skeleton design in the bridges of its movements, as well as a tweed design. The BOYFRIEND watch also has customizable interchanging watch sizes and straps. All in all, the Chanel BOYFRIEND contains 35 models in its collection. Prices for the Chanel BOYFRIEND watches can go as high as $60,000 USD, depending on the materials used. The more diamonds and precious gemstones, the more expensive the watch.
The Chanel Code Coco watch has a modern design featuring a long, straight glossy black polished steel with cubes of ceramic meant to be draped on your wrist. Regardless of whether it is a piece of jewelry or a watch, the most important thing in the Code Coco collection is that it is a beautiful piece that is both art and accessory.
Apparent in all of Code Coco watches are the buckle-designed straps. This design is not accidental. To form the double dial, the design is drawn from the most celebrated 2.55 handbag as its fastener or buckle, hidden under the wrist. While it reminds you of the metal chain handle that you often see in many Chanel handbags, it was inspired by the military bags from the 1920s carried through your hands. This particular design was an innovation to bags that were later strapped on the shoulder. There are a total of 13 models inside the collection, all featuring buckled straps made of highly resistant ceramic and steel, beige gold, or white gold, or black calfskin leather interlaced with cut diamonds.
The latest addition to the collection is the Code Coco Pixel Watch encrusted with beige gold and diamond. Priced at $998,000 USD, it is a limited edition restricted to only 20 pieces, and is one of the most expensive Chanel watches in this collection.
The Mademoiselle Prive is a collection of watches with designs that pay homage to military clothing. Pearl, golden lions and the diamond camellia is a recurring detail that you would see in Mademoiselle Prive Watches.
But what is most loved about this collection is how it celebrates femininity with its playful yet still classy enamel display of Camellia petals and fine pearls. The Mademoiselle Prive H5429, priced at $166,000, features beautifully arranged brilliant-cut diamonds in full display — another of Chanel diamond watches that’s worth taking a look at. The white gold studded case just seals it all together, balanced with the black satin strap.
If the Chanel Mademoiselle Prive is marketed only for women, the Chanel Monsieur is most obviously for the men with its geometric details and graphic numeral designs. Some models have a huge size lion emblem on the display to emphasize the brand’s finest watch movement.
Take for example the limited-edition Chanel Monsieur H5488 with a miniature gold sculpted lion dial occupying almost half of the watch’s display. Priced at $102,000 USD, this luxury watch has a case size of 40mm. The black enamel displays a retrograde minute indicator and jumping hour complication, giving the finest watch movement.
Another limited edition is the Monsieur Watch H5487 with the same Grand Feu enamel display and complication as the H5488. This luxury watch, priced at $166,000 USD, is one of the most expensive Chanel watches in this collection. It features a black alligator pattern calfskin strap with a gold folding buckle.
The Chanel brand, a French luxury fashion house, sealed with an interlocking double C logo, is often attached to the high fashion industry. Exhibiting a full line of clothing, fragrance, makeup, skincare, and accessories, it would be impossible to witness a haute couture event without a celebrity wearing it. Considering how much is a Chanel watch, you would expect that celebrities would want to get their hands on these watches that automatically exude luxury and class. Now, it is sold in high-end New York department stores like Neiman Marcus.
Chanel wouldn’t be what it is today without its humble beginnings. Gabrielle Chanel, the founder of one of the most desirable fashion labels had one goal: create comfortable fashion for women. The kind of fashion in Chanel’s time featured tight-fitting corsets. Wanting to banish these constrictions, she is now known as the rebel designer of revolutionary fashion, creating timeless pieces and fashion rules that we still live by today. While she got the name Coco as a chanteuse singer in bars and cabarets, she gained recognition as a couturiere after opening up a hat boutique in 1910 at Rue 21 Cambon, a place at the heart of the most fashionable towns in Paris.
Since then, the brand took off as a luxurious brand for the women clientele. Starting with the famous Chanel No5 perfume said to smell like women, worn most notably by none other than Marilyn Monroe. The classic LBD or little black dress was a style that originated from Chanel itself. Finally, the classic quilted bag is known as the 2.55 handbag, marking the month and the year it was created, which almost appears synonymously with the interlocking C logo was popularized.
Coco Chanel passed away in 1971, leaving a legacy in the fashion industry that carries through the brand up until today. Chanel is now privately owned by Alain Wertheimer, the grandson of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of Coco Chanel. At the time after Coco Chanel’s death, the brand was losing its fame. And so they hired Karl Lagerfield in 1983, whose expertise was able to revive the exquisiteness of the Chanel brand, creating the most avant-garde looks in the fashion runways. In 2019, shortly after Lagerfeld's death, the art director position was passed down to his mentee, Virginie Viard.
Another collection under the Chanel ladies' watches is the jewelry watches that screams everything feminine. Chanel diamond watches are perfectly designed cases that are interlaced with the emblematic icons of the House of Chanel including the Camellia, Matelasee, Plume, Coco Crush, Comete, Ruban, and Lion on top of either leather, white gold, or pearl strap.
If you’re wondering how much is a Chanel watch from this collection, the price starts from $23,000 for the Camelia Jewellery Watch J10943, an elegantly sleek white pearl, mother-of-gold, and diamond-studded case on a black satin strap. You can go up to the price of $144,000 USD with the beautiful Matelassee Jewellery J61324 with a diamond-shaped case with a strap that is also studded with diamond, white gold, and pearl.
The inclusion of luxury watches in the Chanel brand is a careful step-by-step journey meticulously taken by art director Jacques Helleu himself. While injecting his concepts in the designs, the signature motif of monochrome, tweeds, and pearls, along with quilted themes is still present in all models.
Premiere, the very first Chanel Watch, launched in October 1987 first became available at a boutique in Paris’ posh shopping district at 40 Ave. Montaigne. It was then followed with the Mademoiselle watch in 1990 which utilizes the matelasse, a french term for quilted patterns. Three years later, Chanel acquired the Chatelain Watchmaking Manufacturer in Switzerland.
In 1999-2000, the creation of the Chanel J12, Chanel’s first sports watch completely threw the luxury watch industry off-balance with its revolutionary black ceramic style. In 2003, Chanel then released the white J12. It was the same year Chanel joined the Baselworld Watch Jewelry Show. In 2007, Jacques Helleu, the man behind the design died. The position was later assumed by Arnaud Chastaingt in 2013, opening a watch studio. Three consecutive years under Chastaingt’s supervision, from 2015-2017, the team created three different collections: BOYFRIEND, Monsieur, and Code Coco.
In 2016, Caliber 1, Chanel’s very first in-house Haute Horlogerie movement was made for Monsieur. To celebrate the Premiere collection’s 30th anniversary, another in-house movement, the Caliber 2, was designed to create the Premiere Camelia Skeleton, with bridges of the skeletonized movement shaped like the petals of Camellia.
More recently, in 2019, Chanel became a stakeholder of Kenissi, a Swiss manufacturer for an automatic movement, partnering with Tudor and Rolex. The ‘new’ J12 in white ceramic was launched in the same year, which also got the title of Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for the ladies’ category.
Marilyn Monroe swore to only wear the iconic Chanel No. 5 to bed. Famous people like Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, and Jane Fonda, to more recently celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Cara Delevigne, and Kirsten Stewart also were spotted wearing the brand from head to toe. Kiera Knightley, Lily-Rose Depp, and Naomi Campbell are just some of the famous faces of Chanel.
The Chanel J12 most particularly is among the most popular watches A-list celebrities are seen wearing. Sandra Bullock wore the white J12 Ceramic throughout the movie The Blind Side.