Chanel is not quite a name for watches — yet.
In a surprise, the French fashion house just announced their first ever watch for men, appropriately called “The Monsieur”.
In another surprise, the watch is a pretty impressive piece of machinery — this is no fashion watch made by another company with Chanel’s name slapped on.
The new model was revealed at Baselworld, the world’s largest watch industry fair held in Basel, Switzerland, in March.
It’s the first Chanel watch to be entirely Swiss-made. It will be crafted at the company’s factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The watch also houses the company’s first in-house movement — made and developed entirely by Chanel — called the Calibre 1.
The watch contains an atypical design, with two main complications: a jumping hour and a retrograde minute. The jumping hour is the box below the dials that displays the hour as a numeral, which many might mistake as the date. It changes suddenly when the hour changes.
Chanel told The New York Times it chose this complication to mimic the importance of other numbers in the company’s history, like the famous No. 5 perfume.
The retrograde minute refers to the half circle near the top of the watch, which ticks to the right as the minutes pass by. When the hour changes, the hand sweeps to the left again to restart the 60-minute cycle.
These unique complications took five years for Chanel to develop, enlisting help from eight different watchmakers and the expertise of Swiss watchmaking powerhouse Romain Gauthier, which Chanel privately acquired a stake of in 2011, according to the Times.
The run will be limited to 150 white gold units retailing for $36,000 and 150 beige gold units retailing for $34,500. They will both be available in June.
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