Boys Club

L'officiel Singapore - - Contents - BY KENNY LOH

As the watch in­dus­try shifts its fo­cus to women, Chanel proudly goes the other way and presents the Mon­sieur, its first time­piece cre­ated for men.

In 2000, Chanel struck gold with the J12, a stun­ning all­black time­piece, which, en­gi­neered in high-tech ce­ramic at the French la­bel’s G&F Chate­lain man­u­fac­ture in La Chaux-de-fonds, was touted as in­cred­i­bly ro­bust. Its make, de­spite hav­ing picked up head­lines across the in­dus­try (an all-black ticker was un­com­mon then, let alone one in high-tech ce­ramic), was not the only big deal. “I wanted a time­less watch, in a bril­liant black, and in­de­struc­tible,” said Jac­ques Helleu, Chanel’s late artis­tic direc­tor and de­signer of the J12, whose goal was for the look of the time­piece to re­flect the spirit of “cer­tain mas­ter­pieces in the world of au­to­mo­biles”. Not only was the J12 Chanel’s first au­to­matic watch, it was the house’s first foray into an un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally mas­cu­line de­sign.

Then, in 2015, Chanel un­veiled the Boyfriend, which, like the J12, ex­uded a sub­tle man­nish charm. The pol­ished time­piece – in beige gold (a fem­i­nine al­loy de­vel­oped by Chanel), white gold or, most re­cently, steel – had an elon­gated, oc­tag­o­nal case that was shaped af­ter the stop­per on the iconic No. 5 per­fume bot­tle as well as Place Vendôme in Paris. Its de­sign also re­called the brand’s clas­sic Pre­mière time­piece, but in a tough-girl kind of way. “The Boyfriend is a watch de­signed for women with the stylis­tic in­flu­ences of a man, and, re­ally, there’s noth­ing sex­ier than that,” said Chanel’s in­ter­na­tional watch direc­tor Ni­co­las Beau.

This year, in a string of firsts, Chanel presents a new time­piece which doesn’t just dab­ble in ma­cho ideas, but also em­braces men 100 per cent. Aptly named the Mon­sieur, it is the brand’s breath­tak­ing horo­log­i­cal de­but for the boys. What’s cool? The watch boasts a tech­ni­cally-com­plex dou­ble com­pli­ca­tion – a jump­ing hour and the ret­ro­grade minute – which is pos­si­ble thanks to Cal­i­bre 1, a 170-part move­ment that took five years to build at the G&F Chate­lain man­u­fac­ture. And in place of the typ­i­cal 180-de­gree ret­ro­grade minute is a wider 240-de­gree scale, which is more chal­leng­ing to as­sem­ble.

Like all of Chanel’s creations, the Mon­sieur ef­fort­lessly man­i­fests the house’s most trea­sured codes: the jump­ing hour win­dow takes on the shape of Place Vendôme (com­plete with a dig­i­tal-look­ing num­ber dis­play); the em­blem­atic lion, and the colours black and red grace the hand­some Adlc-coated Cal­i­bre 1; and, last but not least, the mys­ti­cal comet finds its way onto the move­ment’s bal­ance wheel.

Tak­ing apart the Mon­sieur.

Named Cal­i­bre 1, the 170-part, Adlc-coated move­ment comes with a three-day power re­serve.

Sketches of the Mon­sieur.

Only 300 models of the Mon­sieur – 150 in beige gold and 150 in white gold – have been pro­duced. 18k beige gold with ivory opa­line and al­li­ga­tor strap.

The Mon­sieur is de­signed by the Chanel watch cre­ation stu­dio in Paris. 18k white gold with ivory opa­line and al­li­ga­tor strap.

The lion is one of Chanel’s most fa­mous em­blems and is stamped on the Cal­i­bre 1.

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