135 Some Men Get It

Chanel’s Mon­sieur de Chanel is de­li­ciously poised at the cross­roads of beauty, mas­culin­ity, and com­plex­ity

World of Watches (Singapore) - - Contents - WORDS YEO SUAN FUTT

Chanel’s Mon­sieur de Chanel watch for men em­anates beauty, mas­culin­ity, and com­plex­ity

Some of us have to look up the In­ter­net to check if Chanel made clothes for men; but even those of us who do, need no in­tro­duc­tion to the la­bel. It is, with­out doubt, a fash­ion be­he­moth with brand recog­ni­tion stretch­ing as far across the globe as there are paved roads. When a fash­ion la­bel with such clout and ex­pe­ri­ence dips its fin­gers into watch­mak­ing, it brings with it tremen­dous knowl­edge and sense about mak­ing beau­ti­ful things that con­sumers de­sire, even if watch­mak­ing is a spe­cialised field not tra­di­tion­ally within its area of ex­per­tise. But though rel­a­tively late to the party, Chanel is by now no stranger to watch­mak­ing, hav­ing demon­strated se­ri­ous in­tent from 2000, with the launch of its J12 watch, now an icon in its own right, in a be­wil­der­ing range of colours, beloved of women, and men.

For 2016, it has cre­ated a new time­piece from a clean slate, specif­i­cally for men. The Mon­sieur de Chanel is fit­ted with Chanel’s first in-house move­ment, aptly named Cal­i­bre 1, de­signed, de­vel­oped, tested, and as­sem­bled in-house. Ac­cord­ing to Chanel, Cal­i­bre 1 was five years in the mak­ing, and it looks a stun­ner for it. Of­fer­ing jump­ing hour, ret­ro­grade min­utes, and a fly­ing tour­bil­lon vis­i­ble from the case back, the move­ment is a hand­some play of matte and glossy black from ADLC coat­ing of its cir­cu­lar skele­tonised bridges. Two bar­rels cou­pled in series sup­ply the man­ual-wind­ing move­ment with a healthy three-day power re­serve. A lion’s head seal on the move­ment marks the Cal­i­bre 1 as an in-house cre­ation.

On the dial side, the Mon­sieur de Chanel looks to be yet an­other icon in the mak­ing for Chanel. Time dis­play is neat, or­dered, and sym­met­ri­cal to the say the least, and there’s won­der­ful clar­ity to the el­e­gance. Five-minute mark­ers in bold al­low in­stant read­ing of the time, as the gold minute hand sweeps across the 240-de­gree spread of the ret­ro­grade min­utes scale, while the in­stant jump­ing hour re­sides in an oc­tag­o­nal win­dow meant to evoke the lay­out of Place Vendôme. We like the blocky ty­pog­ra­phy, too. It is not dis­so­nant with the over­lap­ping cir­cles of the time dis­play and case shape, but in its re­strained way, brings an el­e­ment of retro-tech def­i­ni­tion and pur­pose to the aes­thetic.

Be­sides se­cur­ing patents for the jump­ing hour and ret­ro­grade min­utes dis­play, and bi-di­rec­tional set­ting for the min­utes, Chanel also cre­ated a new al­loy for the case – beige gold.

The Mon­sieur de Chanel is pro­duced in a lim­ited run in 2016, of 150 num­bered pieces each in beige gold and white gold. MOVE­MENT Man­ual-wind­ing with fly­ing tour­bil­lon, jump­ing hours, ret­ro­grade min­utes, and three-day power re­serve

CASE 40mm in beige or white gold, wa­ter re­sis­tant to 30m STRAP Black al­li­ga­tor leather with gold fold­ing buckle PRICE €31,500 (beige gold); €33,000 (white gold)

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