Heralding what was undoubtedly a key date in Chanel's watchmaking story, the launch of the J12 family saw the French luxury fashion house release some truly memorable unisex watches. Inspired by the watersports, the J12 watch made ceramic a central aspect of the model, venerating what is an amazing material. The first all black model was launched in 2000, then the white piece came in 2003, with the J12 combining day and night in an elegant, mysterious way. Chanel eventually into the world of horological grande complications in 2005 with the J12 Tourbillon, a model that has evolved a lot since then.
Available in white or black polished ceramic along with mirrored lacquered dials adorned with stunning Arabic numerals. There is a 38 mm case that is sizeable enough, whilst the and the removable ceramic link bracelet is home to a flexible triple fold clasp. The J12 is as sporty a Chanel watch as you will find and this is reflected in the water resistance up to 200 meters and excellent 70 hour power reserve. With rethought face details that just subtly open up the dial, what is extremely enticing about this model is the Swiss made automatic calibre 12.1 that you get a peek of courtesy of the gorgeous case back. This calibre is a true thing of beauty and what makes it truly special is the COSC certification that comes alongside it.
Based in a history that mixes the twin pillars of horology and jewellery, Chanel timepieces have a really unique way of seeing time. Since three decades ago, the company has chased an idea of watchmaking that reinvigorates the idea of horological pursuit. From the Premiere released in 1987 to the legendary J12. Then there is Monsieur, the brand’s initial men's watch, which perhaps best demonstrates how Chanel has consistently smashed down barriers and trialled new techniques of creation with a single goal of moving the craft forward their unique ambition in mind.
The luxury fashion brand which Coco Chanel found in 1920’s Paris brought out its first selection of timepieces as late as 1987. The Premiere watch remained honest to Chanel's essence with its octagonal silhouette inspired by both the famous Place Vendôme in Paris as well as the iconic Chanel N°5 perfume cabochon stopper. Another major development in the horological development of Chanel came In 1993, when the brand bought the Manufacture G&F Châtelain in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
Chanel launched a fresh palette of ceramic hues in 2011 that triggered the J12 Chromatic a year later in 2012. Indeed, the Mademoiselle Privé collection was released as a way to display the most subtle artistic ideas. In 2015, Chanel launched the Boy-Friend, a timepiece whose rugged, macho style was designed only for women. This watch became renowned for having an austere style with its simple, octagonal shape.
Then came yet another huge moment for the brand’s watchmaking, whose first movement to be designed, developed and made by Manufacture Chanel in Switzerland was launched in 2016. This Calibre 1 with jumping hours and instantaneous retrograde minutes came out in the Monsieur de Chanel family. Indeed, three decades after the Premiere, the art of Chanel watches is as strong as it always was. Regardless of size, the selection of substances, the gem-setting or the use of the calibres.