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Chanel: The Luxury of Audacity

A little over twenty years ago, Chanel went into watchmaking, setting up its workshops in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and presenting the Premiere. This sober, elegant watch, which perfectly reflected the stylistic codes of the brand, was redesigned for its tenth anniversary, appearing in a miniature version decorated with ceramics.

It was followed by such pioneering watches as the Mademoiselle, the Matelassée, and the very graphic Chocolat, inspired by patterns dear to Mademoiselle Chanel.

Identifiable at a glance, in the minds of all luxury aficionados, these models confirmed the impression that the double C brand had a gift for creating fashion trends. Devoted to light and the play of contrast between black and white, Chanel turned to jewellery, producing versions of its creations set with diamonds. While working with precious materials is one of the brand’s signature themes, at the dawn of the new millennium, it still lacked one string at its bow: a watch whose technology would reflect tradition, but break new ground too. With this in mind, the Chanel spirit found expression in a wild challenge the J 12.

Chanel J12 Watch
The Stunning Chanel J12 with Mother of Pearl Dial

With its classical diving watch design and black high-tech ceramic case, the collection opened the way for a new watchmaking trend with its eyes firmly on the future. Using a practically impervious, complex combination of zirconium oxide and pre-tinted yttrium, the Paris company was able to break with the usual codes and present a chic sports watch. With its iconic models equipped with an automatic mechanical calibre, the line won Chanel a place in the very exclusive circle of high-level watchmaking firms. Greatly encouraged by its immediate success, it made full use of the watch’s design potential. As a result, over the following years, different variations were decorated with white ceramics, and then it made a triumphant incursion into the world of mechanical complication with a unique tourbillon equipped with a ceramic plate, before being set with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, or ceramic baguettes in the style of Chanel’s jewellery collections and brilliant limited series.

To conquer a male clientele, the firm also produced a men’s collection: The J 12 GMT- a globetrotter’s watch- and the J 12 Superleggera chronograph on a rubber bracelet, soon to achieve iconic status.

Chanel also decided on a return to authenticity with an automatic Haute Horlogerie three-handed movement, a tribute to the roots of watchmaking tradition. To produce this watch, Chanel naturally turned to one of the most eminent Swiss luxury watch manufactures: Audermars Piguet. Their partnership led to the ceramic and eighteen carat yello w gold J 12 Caliber 3125, combining the graphic reflection with mechanical excellence.

Today, rich in passion and brimming with creativity, Chanel presents unique watches that clearly affirm the strength of their character and brand. A prestigious jeweller and watchmaker, Chanel combines audacity, watchmaking skills and expertise in the field of luxury jewellery.

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