When the House of Chanel first embarked on its watchmaking journey, it was a move that was unanticipated. 30 years on and it appears that the House has established itself in the art of fine watchmaking, creating beautiful watches that don’t compromise on craftsmanship and technical expertise
In 2000, the House once again did the unexpected when it introduced the revolutionary J12. In creating the line of timepieces, Chanel took ceramic and transformed it into a precious material. Throughout its existence, the J12 has remained true to ceramic which has appeared in numerous manifestations, from its original black, then white and through multiple variations, series and editions.
17 years on and the Chanel J12 continues to be reinterpreted in the most ingenious of ways. That was evident in the House’s showing at Baselworld 2017 with the Mademoiselle J12, a charming ode to Mademoiselle Chanel, taking centrestage.
Imprinted on the sapphire glass plate is an illustration of Coco Chanel, whose rhodium-plated and black, white and silver lacquered arms, that point to the hour and minute. The watch, which is 38mm in size, has an automatic movement with a 42 hour power reserve. It is water resistant to 200 metres. It has a screw-down crown and as is in the DNA of J12, the bracelet is high-tech ceramic. High-tech, meaning highly scratch-resistant material. The Mademoiselle J12 comes in two colours – white and black – each limited to just 555 pieces.
Another variation of the J12 is the J12 Graffiti in white high-tech ceramic and steel. Available in 38mm and 33mm, the timepiece stays true to its name with an artistic display of rhodium plated numerals on white lacquered dial. Limited to 1200, in high-tech white, the timepiece is powered by an automatic movement with a 42 hour power reserve, featuring hours, minutes, seconds and the date.
Also in white high tech ceramic and steel is the J12 Collector, in 38mm. It showcases a bezel in pastel pink, with a white mother of pearl dial set enhanced with eight diamond indicators. The hands that show the hours and minutes are rhodium plated but the hand that tells the seconds is in pink. The movement is automatic with a 42 hour power reserve, with hours, minutes and seconds functions. It is water resistant to 200 metres.
Adding glitz to the J12 Collection is the J12 Ganse. It dazzles with 22 baguette-cut diamonds, and 22 baguette-cut rubies in an 18K white gold case that is 38mm in diameter. The dial and bezel is 18K white gold set with 236 baguette-cut diamonds while the crown is 18K white gold with one round-facetted diamond. The bracelet and buckle is white gold with 346 baguette-cut diamonds and 156 baguette-cut rubies. The total diamond weight is a whopping 31.64 carats while the total ruby weight is 14.34 carats. At the heart of the timepiece is an automatic movement with a 43-hour power reserve, featuring hours, minutes and seconds. The J12 Ganse is water resistant to 50 metres.