French luxury goods brand Chanel introduced its first-ever men’s timepiece at Baselworld 2016. Only 300 pieces of this unique model, which is called Monsieur, have been produced for 2016
It took five years to develop this unique timepiece, which was developed from scratch (we’re talking concept, movement and case!). This watch is the only one created by Chanel that boasts an in-house movement, which comprises 170 different components. Called the Calibre 1, the mechanically winding movement is a horological masterpiece.
The Monsieur, which is housed in a 40mm case, displays the hours in Arabic numerals within an octagonal window – this symbolizes Chanel’s Paris HQ on Place Vendome as well as the luxury brand’s iconic bottle stopper on the famous No 5 perfume.
The back of the watch is as handsome as the front; the case is transparent and showcases the circular inner workings of this exclusive watch. It boasts a matte, brushed and glossy black ADLC (that’s an amorphous diamond-like carbon) finish with two circular and skeletonized bridges in glossy and matt black.
What sets Chanel’s latest timepiece apart from the rest is the jumping hour with an hour display at the six o’ clock position and a retrograde minute. These iconic features are the reason that it took so long to create the masterpiece.
All the typography on the Monsieur is exclusive, too. Chanel has introduced a lion at the crown, on the buckle and movement, which will apparently be the signature of all the brand’s future timepieces. Another unique feature of the watch is its 72-hour power reserve.
Of the 300 individually numbered timepieces being created, 150 will be in beige gold, and the other 150 will be produced in white gold.
So, who helped Chanel create such a masterpiece? Firstly, Chanel hired a team of eight specialists in horology, adept at movement construction, testing and assembly. Then, the company collaborated with independent Swiss watchmaker Romain Gauthier, something Chanel has been doing since 2011 (they have been supplying components for all of Chanel’s women’s timepieces, and they also assisted in creating the exclusive and extremely limited edition Monsieur.
This magnificent timepiece is expected to be available in June this year. The 150 white gold versions of The Monsieur will be priced at $36,000 each, and the 150 beige gold iterations will be priced slightly lower, at $34,500.
Unlike the centuries-old Swiss watchmakers, Chanel only entered the market in 1987, when the company introduced its Premiere watch, which was a minimalist timepiece designed for women. But since then, the women’s luxury market has transformed into a force to be reckoned with, and watches have become more than just a necessity; in fact they are now considered very important designer accessories. Chanel has taken the designer element one step further by introducing its first men’s timepiece, which was created at the company’s assembly plant in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland.