In this BaselWorld, Chanel is in line with its fashion origins, focusing on materials, colors and design of the new collection.
The concept is inspired by modern haute horology moving into high fashion and jewelry, adorning already famous and iconic models with gold and diamonds.
The styling result is faithful to past designs and a big push into material’s luxury, with a touch of exclusivity given by very limited editions, that could please every taste.
Let’s now dive into the whole collection presented by Chanel at BaselWorld 2019.
New collection’s common thread is the characteristic “Edition Noire”
55 examples per model are given a dark black coat, Mademoiselle Chanel’s favorite color.
This year choices are Première, Boy∙Friend, J12 and Monsieur Collections.
The Premiere was born in 1987 as Chanel’s first watch dedicated to women only. The octagonal case is inspired by N°5’s bottle cap and the geometry of Place Vendôme, where Gabrielle lived for a long time.
This year two new versions are introduced, both equipped with a quartz movement, but with a little kick…
In 2019 this icon is presented in a new yellow gold case and two different dial configurations: one in black lacquer and the other fully covered in 0,38 carats diamonds.
List price of 3.950€ for the black dial, 8.500€ for diamonds.
Première rock “Edition noire”
That’s the Première’s Edition noire, made in steel with black ADLC treatment and a round-cut diamond set in the crown.
The peculiarity of the model is in the strap, ADLC steel too but with a black leather ribbon between the links. Decision that reverse the Première’s style moving it towards a dramatic distant look from every other version.
(List price of 4.900€)
Only-pieces: Midnight in Vendôme
First, “the frog”, a table clock with a ring, whose idea was born in the apartment of Gabrielle Chanel (aka Coco).
The founder kept in her Parisian hous, a frog-shaped good-luck charm, gift from the famous dancer Jacques Chazot.
Legend says that Hubert de Givenchy, while in the house, found a chandelier dangle and, not to lose it, puts in the statue’s mouth.
From this story, the frog-shaped pendulette was born, realized in yellow gold and different gemstones, with a yellow sapphire and diamonds ring hidden in a drawer at the base. All available at 1.200.00€.
Three other only-pieces are presented: a manchette, a necklace and a “reversible” watch-ring.
The first two are both composed by a watch, pearls, onyx and diamonds, while the ring is meant to rotate the central part, allowing to show the dial or the onyx according to the environment, as pictured below.
List price of di 75.000€ for the ring, 120.000€ for the manchette and 90.000 for the necklace.
J12: the devil is in the details.
Successfully introduced in 2000, it’s inspired by J12 class America’s Cup’s sailboats, hence the name.
For BaselWorld 2019, Chanel’s horology creative director Arnaud Chastaingt, decided to redesign this icon, focusing mainly on details, with a result that may look similar to the previous version.
The parisian maison is proud to say that an icon shouldn’t be changed, it should be accustomed to the time instead, staying true to its origins.
“Changing everything without changing anything”
You need sensitivity to reinvent a product without making it different and looks like Mr. Chastaingt was able to do it, changing 80% of the watch.
Differences with the older models are many, only detectable by trained eyes.
To name a few, the crown is redesigned and the “swiss made” print has been moved.
The absolute news is the sapphire case back, that allows the automatic caliber 12.1 (developed by Swiss Manufacture KENISSI) to be seen. For this occasion, the oscillating mass has been redesigned in tungsten.
Remarkable the 70 hours power reserve and COSC chronometer certification.
List price of 5.300€.
Along with the “classic” just presented, the J12 also comes in a Phantom version, with a less contrasted graphic and available at a list price of 5.500€
J12 complete baguette diamonds set
Only-piece in white gold, it’s fully covered with 793 baguette-cut diamonds and 52 on the oscillating mass, for a grand total of 44 carats.
Excess’ triumph, if we think about ceramic’s minimalism of the standard version. It probably is the brightest creation from the maison, intended for a wrist that doesn’t fear prying eyes.
List price of 1.100.000€.
Other versions with diamonds on the case and the dials are released, way less flashy than the baguette only-piece.
List price, from the left, of 6.500€, 280.000€, 6.500€. Édition Noire 12.000€
Born from Boy Capel, Coco’s true love. Wants to be a younger watch, first companion for a young woman that wants to dive into haute horology. This year’s Boyfriend is introduced in three new variants, with manual wind movement.
First is the Édition Noire in black ceramic, skeletonized case, Caliber 3 movement and shiny black alligator strap.
(List price of 32.000€)
The second, limited to 20 pieces, comes in 18 carats beige gold and a cabochon onyx crown. The dial has a “Tweed” pattern in “Grand Feu” enamel, realized by Anita Porchet, master in this type of decoration.
(List price of 70.000€)
Another non-limited “Tweed” version is available where the dial is decorated with stickers instead of enamel, for the general public.
(List price of 3.900€ for the smaller one and 4.200€ for the bigger, both in steel)
The third version has beige gold or steel case, a Tweed strap, and features much simpler dials.
(List price of 4.250€ for the small size and 4.550€ for the big one, both in steel)
Monsieur de chanel
Presented in 2016, Monsieur is a watch explicitly intended for men. 42 mm in diameter, it’s equipped with a hand wind Caliber 1 and two complications: instantly jumping hours and 240° retrograde minutes.
Available only in Edition Noire, with case and dial in matte black.
List price of 26.000€.
This watch, inspired by Coco’s apartment, is presented this year in a dangling black onyx and beige gold version. The dial is made in mother-of-pearl over laquer, recalling chinese paintings in Gabrielle’s house.
(List price of 420.000€)
Introduced in 2017, this watch embodies all Chanel’s most iconic “codes”, mainly the 2.55 bag, where the bracelet clasp i got its inspiration.
The Code Coco is reintroduced, again with a quartz movement, in different materials: 18 carats beige gold, stainless steel and black ceramic.
Two special editions are then presented: 20 pieces for a white gold Code Coco fully covered in diamonds (case, bezel, clasp, dials and bracelet), and an only-piece fully covered in diamonds (bezel, clasp and dials) and rubies on the case, a part of the bezel and the whole bracelet, for a grand total of 349 rubies in different cuts.
(List price of 150.000€ for the diamonds and 1.750.000€ for the rubies)
Chanel definitely introduced the most feminine collection in BaselWorld 2019,
with an expertise and esthetic innovation that has nothing to fear from man-oriented horology.
A main player being the J12, a watch that isn’t yet famous to the masses, with a new design and big potential. We’re curious to see collectors’ reaction in the near future, and even more in the next few years.
Honorable mention to the savoir faire of the brand, mainly on the Tweed Grand Feu collection and for the gemstones, even though the real star of the show surely was the Midnignt in Vemdôme: original, complicated in taste and really unexpected.
Translated by Lorenzo Spolaor (@itsdoc_oclock)