Con­tin­u­ing with its tra­di­tion of bor­row­ing from the boys, Chanel gives its iconic Pre­mière watch a mas­cu­line touch with the new Boy.Friend time­piece. By Ly­di­anne Yap

Adore Gems & Timepieces - - CONTENTS -

Dis­cov­er­ing Chanel’s Boy.Friend watch

If there’s one thing that sets Chanel apart from other fash­ion la­bels, it would be its pen­chant for tak­ing de­sign cues from menswear. Founded by Gabrielle (or Coco, as she is bet­ter known) Chanel in 1909, the brand rose to promi­nence in the 1910s for its sim­ple and pared down aes­thetic that ex­panded the bound­aries of women’s fash­ion. In­cor­po­rat­ing tra­di­tion­ally male stylis­tic el­e­ments in its prêt-à-porter col­lec­tion, Chanel pre­sented jack­ets and pants in re­laxed sil­hou­ettes — a huge depar­ture from the ex­trav­a­gant dresses with cinched waists pop­u­lar then. Most no­tably, Chanel in­tro­duced jersey, a fabric more com­monly used for men’s un­der­wear at that point, to women’s wardrobes.

Nat­u­rally, when Chanel launched its wrist­watch di­vi­sion in 1987, in­fus­ing it with a slight boy­ish flavour came with the ter­ri­tory. This first be­came ap­par­ent with the launch of its now hall­mark J12 time­piece col­lec­tion in 2000. Draw­ing its in­spi­ra­tion from sail­ing and the sea, the first J12 horologe was sporty with a mas­cu­line edge, fea­tur­ing a sleek black ce­ramic case. The suc­cess­ful line went on to in­tro­duce vari­ants in­clud­ing the J12 in white ce­ramic, the J12 Chro­matic and gem-set ver­sions.

This year, Chanel chan­nels its spirit of in­fus­ing male el­e­ments into oth­er­wise clas­si­cally fe­male pieces by re­vis­it­ing its very first watch cre­ation — the now iconic Pre­mière time­piece. Con­ceived as a fem­i­nine ladies watch in 1987, the orig­i­nal Pre­mière pre­sented an oc­tag­o­nal case shape that was both rem­i­nis­cent of the brand’s sig­na­ture N°5 per­fume bot­tle stop­per and the ar­chi­tec­tural geom­e­try of Place Vendôme in Paris.

An ex­ten­sion of the Pre­mière fam­ily, this new time­keeper keeps in line with the de­sign codes of the col­lec­tion with its in­stantly recog­nis­able oc­tag­o­nal case shape and sleek aes­thetic. It is, how­ever, given a dif­fer­ent name: Boy.Friend. One might haz­ard a guess that this stems from the watch’s de­cid­edly more an­drog­y­nous aes­thetic, which is vastly dif­fer­ent from the Pre­mière’s tra­di­tion­ally la­dy­like ap­pear­ance. The ticker is also big­ger com­pared to most of the del­i­cate and dainty Pre­mière pieces. It is avail­able in two sizes: Large, which mea­sures 37mm by 28.6mm; and Medium, which spans 34.6mm by 26.7mm.

The Large ver­sion of the 18k beige gold time­piece is fit­ted with a man­u­al­wind­ing me­chan­i­cal move­ment that of­fers a small sec­onds com­pli­ca­tion, dis­played via a counter at the six o’clock po­si­tion on an opa­line dial. De­void of mark­ers or nu­mer­als, the dial is dec­o­rated with a fine guil­loché fin­ish for a touch of so­phis­ti­ca­tion and ele­gance. Com­plet­ing its look is a semi-matt Mis­sis­sip­pi­en­sis al­li­ga­tor strap with pin or triple-fold­ing buckle and a sin­gle onyx cabo­chon nes­tled on its crown. This watch comes with a power re­serve of around 42 hours and is wa­ter-re­sis­tant up to 30m. It is also avail­able in 18k beige and white gold ver­sions set with 66 bril­liant-cut di­a­monds to­talling about 0.92ct on its bezel and another 48 bril­liant-cut di­a­monds weigh­ing ap­prox­i­mately 0.28ct on its buckle.

Be­sides the ob­vi­ous size dif­fer­ence, the Medium model also of­fers dif­fer­ent func­tions from its heftier coun­ter­part. Pow­ered by a high-pre­ci­sion quartz move­ment, the 18k beige gold watch show­cases a date win­dow at the six o’clock po­si­tion in­stead of a sec­onds in­di­ca­tor, like that of the Large model. Apart from that, the Medium ver­sion is fairly sim­i­lar to its big­ger sib­ling in terms of aes­thet­ics. Its min­i­mal­ist opa­line dial is dec­o­rated with a fine guil­loché fin­ish and free of hour mark­ers and nu­mer­als, while its crown is set with a sin­gle onyx cabo­chon. The watch is wa­ter-re­sis­tant up to 30m and comes paired with a semi-matt Mis­sis­sip­pi­en­sis al­li­ga­tor strap with pin or triple-fold­ing as well. The time­piece is also crafted in 18k beige and white gold vari­ants, each set with an ad­di­tional 64 bril­liant-cut di­a­monds on its bezel (about 0.71ct) and another 48 bril­liant-cut di­a­monds (ap­prox­i­mately 0.28ct) on its buckle.

From top: Boy.Friend in 18k beige gold (Large size); Boy.Friend in 18k beige gold with di­a­monds (Medium size)

Op­po­site: Boy.Friend in 18k white gold with di­a­monds (Large size)

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