Chanel Monsieur de Chanel Watch

Categories:Jewelry & Watches



Back at Baselworld in March, Chanel created a stir by launching its Monsieur de Chanel timepiece – a sophisticated watch that targeted a male consumer. With a wealth of experience in women’s watches, it was an unusual step but six months on, Hodinkee has put the Monsieur through its paces and found its appeal to be lasting.

In a detailed analysis, Hodinkee praises its sleek 40mm x 10mm dimensions and an aesthetic that features what it describes as “a compelling balance and sense of geometric rigor that’s classical and contemporary.” Featuring a jumping hour display and a three-day power reserve, the Monsieur’s Caliber 1 movement – constructed in house – is also worth shouting about. The article then makes the point that gender means little when it comes to watchmaking – quality is far more important.

Monsieur de Chanel is a limited edition of 300 pieces, 150 in both white gold and beige gold, at $36,000 and $34,500 respectively. More information can be found at Chanel.com.


This is an unexpected but very impressive announcement from a truly iconic brand in the fashion world – Chanel – and they unveiled a brand new, men's dedicated wristwatch called the Monsieur. Oh, and it's damn impressive. It's a jumping hour, retrograde with three-day power reserve, a great profile and stunning view from the back. Let's get into the Monsieur de Chanel now.

Monsieur de chanel watch
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The Monsieur de Chanel is Chanel's first dedicated men's watch and certainly first with complication, and what makes that even more important is that it was designed and built completely in-house. And what makes that even more special is that the watch looks fantastic on both the front and the back, and wears like a dream. So what is it? Obviously this is a jumping hour watch, with a pronounced hour display at 6 o'clock. The font used here was indeed designed for this watch – just as the font seen on the Slim d'Hermes was designed for that watch (sidebar: is designing a new font for every new watch now a thing? bc if so, things just got intense).

Directly above the hour at 6 o'clock, you have a lovely running seconds, and above that, you have a retrograde minute display. What is interesting about this retrograde compared to almost all others is that it A) jumps more than 180°, and B) can actually be set going backwards. Both of these are small things, but still show the technical approach that was taken to this watch. Now about that – the Monsieur de Chanel was designed and manufactured completely in-house. Think about that. This jumping hour was made by your wife/girlfriend/sister/SO's favorite, favorite fashion house. It took them five years, and they've gone ahead and brought in some of the best and brightest to make this happen, but it shows how committed they are to fine watchmaking. Oh, and when you turn it over? This.

Caliber 1 from Chanel
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Look at that thing. And lest we forget, this bad boy says "Chanel" on the other side. The entirity of Caliber 1, as it's being called, is black anthracite, and the look is downright mean. We have a beautiful central, circular bridge and star-shaped balance wheel. What is interesting to note, and something I had never heard until today, is that Chanel became an investor in high-end independent watchmaker and protegé of no one short of Philippe Dufour, Mr. Romain Gauthier in 2011, and some of the wheels you see here were in fact produced by him, though to Chanel's specifications. The rear of this watch is simply stunning, and frankly looks and feels well above its weight class. Here is the official pic:


What else do you need to know about the Monsieur de Chanel? It has a three-day power reserve from one barrel. It wears wonderfully at 40 mm wide by 10 mm thick, and it will be a limited edition of 300 pieces, 150 in both white gold and beige gold, at $36,000 and $34,500 respectively. The watch should be available as of this June, and you can sign up to receive more information here.

For a bit more on the background of Chanel timepieces and in particular this very impressive new high-end men's piece, read this story in yesterday's New York Times.


The watch with Instant Jumping Hour and Retrograde Minute is equipped with the manual-winding mechanical movement Calibre 1, Chanel´s first in-house high-watchmaking movement.


 

The Calibre 1 which offers a double complication, took five years to develop. The manual-winding mechanical movement made up of 170 components is a movement with integrated complications, meaning that the complications are integrated into the bottom plate and are not simply modules attached to a base. Chanel told me: “It all started with a desire, a vision, and a drawing. This watch did not exist before, it was dreamt up. Its movement did not exist before. It was designed to bring it alive. Its watchcase did not exist before either. It was created to house it.”

 

Chanel Monsieur de Chanel

Chanel Monsieur de Chanel

 

This is a slow-motion video, so please be patient … The jump of the hour hand and disc will occur after 30 seconds 

 

The Instant Jumping Hour, required the full mastery of micro-shocks and the energy consumption caused by the passage of the aluminium hour disc. With two barrels mounted in series, the power reserve of the watch is 3 days.

The second watchmaking prowess, the retrograde minute with a 240°-display on the dial (by the way, that´s quite rare), combined both rigorous aesthetics and technical performance. The retrograde minute’s bidirectional corrector allows easy adjustment of the watch and illustrates one of the key elements of the Chanel fine watchmaking vision.

Calibre 1 multiplies the references to the strong codes of the House Chanel. Matt and glossy black predominate in its black architectural movement in ADLC (Amorphous Diamond Like Carbon). The trim emphasizes all the curves of its bottom plate and bridges. A number of custom-made parts serve as a reminder of the octagonal shape of Place Vendome in Paris, where Chanel´s flagship boutique is located.

Chanel chose the lion, its most masculine emblem and a symbol of strength and power, as the signature of the watch which is found on its buckle and crown.

In 2016, 300 numbered movements will be produced of which 150 are for the Monsieur de Chanel watch in “beige gold” (a Chanel gold alloy) and 150 for the white gold model.

 

Calibre 1

Heure sautante instantanée minute rétrograde

First in-house manual-winding mechanical movement with two integrated complications: instant jumping hour and minute retrograde on 240°
170 components; 30 rubies; Frequency: 28.800 A/h (4Hz); 2 fixed barrels in series, spring torque 700 g.mm; Anti-shock system to protect balance

Movement diameter: 32 mm or 14’’’3/4

Movement thickness: 5.5 mm

 

The watches are numbered editions …
40 mm diameter – 10.4 mm thickness
18 carat “beige gold” case and crown
Ivory opaline dial with retrograde minute counter, jumping hour window and small seconds counter
18 carat “beige gold” plated hands
22 mm black alligator strap
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds
3-day power reserve
Water resistance: 30 meters
Gold weight: 48.80 g

Chanel Monsieur de Chanel Watch

When Chanel dreams, they dream big. And in the case of their new watch for men, they went all nine yards and then some for the Monsieur de Chanel.

IMAGES: CHANEL

The design didn’t exist, it wasn’t inspired by something they already had in the archives, so it was dreamt. The movement didn’t exist, it wasn’t something already available in the market, so it was designed. The watchcase didn’t exist, the housing had to be something new, so it was created. A watch made for men that’s not only new, it stretched their dedicated watch manufacture G&F Châtelain SA to its fullest, where it was designed, developed, assembled and checked in-house by Chanel.

Featuring 2 patents exclusive to the watch, it features (amongst other highlights) retrograde minute with a 240° display and bi-directional adjustment. Even the typography on the dial was created specially for the watch, housed in a lightly domed sapphire crystal case that subtly plays with the effects of light. Of the 300 pieces made, 150 will come in beige gold (a hue that’s still unique to Chanel and was used most recently in their #CocoCrush jewellery collection), while the remaining 150 are in white gold.

IMAGE: CHANEL

Most importantly, it’s a breathtakingly beautiful watch, one that’s not only architectural and masculine that will sit handsomely on any wrist, but also one that expresses Chanel’s dedication to fine watchmaking to the highest degree. All you need to do is to head down to the Chanel Fine Jewellery Boutique at Ngee Ann City to try it on for yourself.






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