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Luxe Life: Celebrating Two Decades Of Chanel J12 Collection

James Smith

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Luxe Life: Celebrating Two Decades Of Chanel J12 Collection

Chanel has always been known for their elegance and sophistication. And it is no different with their timepieces. Chanel watches are not only high-end and classy, but they are also durable and reliable.

Ever since the brand was founded in 1909 by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, it had continuously worked on building a name for themselves. Originally a millinery shop, it did not take long for the brand to capture the attention of women of fashion and be recognized.

Over time, Chanel had broadened its horizons and had started introducing a collection of sportswear. Coco then opened her first couture house in 1915, producing fashionable garments for women. A few years later, the brand unveiled its first fragrance, the infamous Chanel N˚. 5. Chanel established its name. Offering a variety of luxurious products ranging from hats, clothes, perfumes, cosmetics, jewellery and accessories, bags, and shoes. It was not long before it launched its first line of watches.

Chanel watches are an incredible collection. All of them are uniquely made. Distinct from each other, modern yet astoundingly timeless. Reflecting the stylish and sophisticated elements the brand is well known for.

A Little Background Story

The brand unveiled its first collection of timepieces in 1987 with the creation of the Premiere Watch. Designed by Jacques Helleu and with a dial that resembled both the shape of Place Vendome and the iconic bottle of Chanel’s first fragrance, it instantly became known and an emblem of femininity. This design is distinguished for its clipped corners that give its case a unique, elongated octagonal shape.

In 2000, Chanel launched its first sports watch, the J12 collection. The original model is fabricated with sleek, black ceramic designed for both men and women. Its core material made out of ceramic is its most distinctive feature establishing it as one of the most remarkable modern watches. This has brought a new concept to the watchmaking industry.

Five years after forming its internal watch development team, Chanel presented its first in-house caliber collection. Monsieur de Chanel is equipped with Calibre 1, an in-house movement with 170 components and integrated complications. The minutes have their dial, and so are the seconds. The hour is shown at the large window below the dials. The movement can be seen through the case back and has a black alligator strap completing its simple yet stylish look. This collection was designed for men.

BOY.FRIEND watch collection was targeted towards women yet purposely created in inspiration from masculine designs. Released in 2018, it intended to challenge established gender roles and erase the line between Chanel watches for men and women. It has a touch of boldness in it yet still fundamentally elegant.

And now, celebrating J12’s 20th anniversary, the House of Chanel is marking the event with a new J12 collection inspired by the original one.

Here are some of the timepieces from the said J12 line:

J12 PARADOXE

The Paradoxe is truly a masterpiece from this line. The two-toned feature of this watch is probably its most eye-catching part. The bicolor detail (a combination of white and black) of the wristwatch is not a paint job but crafted with two colored ceramic case components. Its case back is created with a sapphire crystal display and runs with Calibre 12.1 movement. The word paradox means contradicting; this watch is indeed a paradox.

Its case measures a relatively compact 38mm across and 12.6mm thick. It was built with a highly scratch-resistant ceramic bracelet that is secured by a steel triple folding buckle. It also features a 70-hour power reserve and is up to 200m water-resistant.

J12 BLACK

Artistic elegance backed by technical excellence, Chanel watches are the epitome of luxurious timepieces. A steel fixed bezel surrounded with 54 brilliant-cut diamonds, J12 Black surely lives up to Chanel’s brand. Its case is, just like other watches from the collection, made up of black highly scratch-resistant ceramic and steel. It features a black-lacquered dial set with eight diamond hour indicators. The strap is also a black ceramic bracelet adorning a Chanel patented steel triple-folding crown mirroring its case.

This sleek black timepiece is not only aesthetic and fashionable, but it is also durable and high-tech. The movement of the watch is mechanical with a self-winding mechanism and is up to 50m water-resistant.

J12•20

J12•20 is the main model for the two-decade celebration of the J12 watch collection. It is equipped with a white-lacquered dial set with 12 diamonds and a 38mm white ceramic and steel case. It has a white, highly scratch-resistant ceramic bracelet with a steel triple-folding buckle complementing the case. It runs with Calibre 12.1 self-winding mechanical movement.

Its main features are the rhodium-plated motifs across the dial and its bezel. These characters and patterns symbolize and signify the entire story of Chanel. These include a portrait of Mademoiselle Coco donning the infamous bell-shaped cloche hat, a tweed jacket, a shoe and bag, a lion’s head, an N°5 perfume bottle, a camellia, diamonds, comets, pearls, and lots of other things such as a Première watch. The six numerals are arranged diagonally, running from top-right to bottom-left. This timepiece also features a sapphire case back.

Two decades after, even with reinventions, improvements, and modifications, Chanel’s J12 line still had not lost its identity. It is truly worth celebrating.

James Smith is the writer for Munchkin Press. He is a young American writer from California and is currently traveling around the world. He has a passion for helping people and motivates others.

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