THE HIGHEST CALIBRE
Chanel’s Boy.friend Skeleton Calibre 3 cements the brand’s watchmaking philosophy
Chanel’s Boy.friend is back with a hot new movement
“Our approach at Chanel is to think of design before the technical considerations,” says Nicolas Beau, the director of international business development for watches and fine jewellery at Chanel. He was commenting on the development of Chanel’s three in-house watch movements, which have come out in quick succession in the last three years, beginning with the Calibre 1 in 2016.
The Monsieur de Chanel watch was designed specifically to house the Calibre 1. Calibre 3, on the other hand, was created to fit the existing Boy.friend watch, which was first launched in 2015 and whose characteristic octagonal case recalls the shape of the Place Vendôme in Paris, or the glass bottle cap of Chanel’s famous No. 5 fragrance. The result is the Chanel Boy.friend Skeleton Calibre 3, a timepiece that is unmistakably feminine but with a generous dose of masculinity, thanks to its visible mechanics. Because Calibre 3 was designed to be on display, its movement architecture had to be beautiful and enhance the elegant lines of the Boy.friend case. According to Beau, the bridges of the Calibre 3 were designed first, to echo the dial design of the Boy.friend before creating the movement around them. The movement itself is constructed in a centralised linear fashion, which is unusual and brings attention to the blackened full wheels in the gear train. And because a rotor would detract from the clean lines of the movement, the Calibre 3 is a manual winding movement. The Calibre 3 also has beige gold— Chanel’s proprietary gold alloy—chamfering on the inside edges of the bridges to complement the beige gold case. The Calibre 3 is a picture-perfect fit for the Boy.friend watch, and the Boy.friend Skeleton Calibre 3 certainly cements Chanel’s watchmaking philosophy—that technical prowess is used to enhance excellent design, and is not an end unto itself.
The wheels on the Calibre 3 are blackened and kept full (not skeletonised like the rest of the movement) to add a masculine touch to the Boy.friend.