A Watch For All Seasons
In the J12-365, Chanel creates the little black dress of watches.
Steeped in rich heritage and yet completely at home in one of the world’s busiest metropolises, the Asia Society Jockey Club in Hong Kong is a fitting venue to launch the latest timepiece by a storied house that has so seamlessly and successfully moved with the zeitgeist. First launched at Baselword, this marked the first time Asian collectors would see the much-talked about J12-365. The ceramic watch, which was first launched fo for men in 2000, has taken on many different forms. Now it has been given the chicest makeover and called the 365, to denote all the different roles the modern woman plays in a year. Luxurious in the most practical and classic of ways, it’s meant to be the watch to take her from school runs to board meetings, from Sunday brunches to black-tie dinners and exotic escapes the world over.
At first glance, the watch seems little changed from its previous black and white ceramic incarnations. The only brief the design team was actually given was that the watch needed to have a self-winding movement, the better to fit into the lifestyle of a woman on the go. The result? An incredible new 42-hour power reserve. Up close, the minute changes revealed themselves. The watch has been slimmed down; making it slightly lighter. With a dial of only 36.5mm in diameter, the J12-365 is smaller than its predecessors but the removing of the bezel makes it appear larger; a style statement for the woman in charge. The face also features a vintage-style guilloché-finished opaline disc that beautifully reflects light, giving it an elegant finish. Its credentials remain impressive (you can take the watch to a 100 metres), but unlike previous masculine versions, one look at this ladylike piece and it’s apparent that it is not your boyfriend’s watch.
The most striking change made by Chanel is the choice of precious metal used. Yellow and rose gold were both deemed too loud for this more subtle and feminine J12, so the house teamed up with a metallurgist to create the world’s first 18-karat beige gold. Gabrielle Chanel would have been pleased. Beige, after all, was Mademoiselle’s third favourite colour. One could easily imagine her sporting the J12-365, a watch that captures the effortless versatility she always strived for in her clothes.
J12- 365 watch in black ceramic and 18-karat beige gold with diamonds, Chanel
The cool J12 campaign
Originally created for men, the J12 is also widely loved by women
365 personal photographs were collected from the Chanel team worldwide for the launch
The J12-365 watch worn by a skier