10TH AN­NIVER­SARY CHANEL J12 WHITE

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Not too long ago, be­ing stylish and fash­ion­able in

the world of “se­ri­ous” high-end watch­mak­ing counted for noth­ing. Me­chan­i­cal mer­its were val­ued

over de­sign virtues, and heaven for­bid if watch brands at­tempted to marry both – un­til the Chanel J12 White came along and changed ev­ery­thing.

When the timepiece de­buted, scep­tics (read: Nar­row-minded tech­ni­cal watch buffs) saw it as just an­other flashy watch from a lux­ury fash­ion house. Lit­tle did they guess that the J12 White, named for its all-white ce­ramic cloak, would in­spire a par­a­digm shift and spawn a host of im­i­ta­tors, in­clud­ing sev­eral

old-school watch­mak­ing com­pa­nies. Un­apolo­get­i­cally stylish and in-your-face, the watch’s pris­tine glam­our caught on quickly. An in­stant icon that has since be­come em­blem­atic

of Chanel’s de­sign-driven edge in mod­ern watch­mak­ing, the J12 White re­mains a best-seller cov­eted by style-meisters and watch lovers alike. More im­por­tantly, the watch’s phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess demon­strated to other watch brands, es­pe­cially those that re­mained en­trenched in form-ver­sus-func­tion co­nun­drums, that it was per­fectly all right for their

watches to look chic. That’s not to say that the J12 White is all flash and no sub­stance. Its all-white case and bracelet are made of high-tech ce­ramic, a ma­te­rial that is light­weight, yet ex­tremely hard (only sap­phire and di­a­mond are harder). High-tech ce­ramic is also ex­tremely re­sis­tant to ther­mal shocks, cor­ro­sive chem­i­cals and scratches – hard-per­form­ing virtues that belie its sen­sual shade and silky feel. In the past decade, the col­lec­tion also grew to in­clude tech­ni­cally com­plex mod­els such as the 12-piece limited-edi­tion tour­bil­lon range from 2005, and a piece-unique com­pli­ca­tion fea­tur­ing

a ret­ro­grade minute and tour­bil­lon move­ment cre­ated ex­clu­sively for Chanel by move­ment-mak­ing

spe­cial­ist Re­naud & Papi. To cel­e­brate its 10th year, Chanel marches out the J12 White Phan­tom limited edi­tion (see pre­vi­ous page). Fea­tur­ing all-white hour nu­mer­als against a like-coloured dial, it comes in two sizes – 33mm with quartz move­ment and 38mm with au­to­matic move­ment – each capped at 2,000 pieces. The white bri­gade is also well-rep­re­sented by other non-limited-edi­tion mod­els, from be­jew­elled

ver­sions set with baguette di­a­monds or blue sap­phires, to the sporty Su­per­leg­gera chrono­graph that boasts COSC-cer­ti­fied move­ment

for high pre­ci­sion.

J12 White High Jewellery 38mm 18K white gold and white high-tech ce­ramic, match­ing bracelet set with 520 baguet­te­cut di­a­monds, mother- of- pearl- dial set with 12 baguette- cut di­a­monds, white gold crown set with 1 bril­liant- cut di­a­mond,

and au­to­matic move­ment.

J12 White Su­per­leg­gera Chrono­graph 41mm 18K white high-tech ce­ramic, match­ing bracelet, and COSC

cer­ti­fied au­to­matic chrono­graph move­ment.

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