Luxury French designer brand Chanel celebrates the 30th anniversary since the launch of its first timepiece, the Première, with a brand new masterpiece of horology, the Chanel Code Coco. Baroque Access takes a look
Chanel has been making beautiful watches for 30 years, and what many considered a whim, or a fashion accessory, has become something of a horological masterpiece. Chanel’s signature J12, the first timepiece to ever be made completely from ceramic material, was first launched in 2000 with its iconic bracelet strap. Then Chanel introduced the Mademoiselle Privé range, and with it, brought Métiers d’Art couture craftsmanship to the watchmaking realm. In 2015 the Boy.Friend was launched, an instant classic timepiece. Finally, in 2016, the first in-house movement was used on the mens’ timepiece, Monsieur de Chanel.
2017 was a busy year for Chanel: they released both the Première Camélia Skeleton for women, and the Caliber 2 for men. And now, as 2017 comes to a close, Chanel has launched Code Coco, a women’s watch that is a combination of fine jewellery and quality horology. It’s also beautiful to look at, an exquisite fashion accessory and, much like the designer brand itself, it is completely unique and fresh.
What sets Code Coco apart from the other Chanel timepieces is that it is unconventional instead of conservative, but still a proper Chanel classic. The watch has a supple steel bracelet that was inspired by both the quilting and the clasp on the acclaimed Chanel 2.55 handbag, which Mademoiselle Chanel designed herself in 1955.
The new Chanel timepiece, like the first-ever Chanel watch created, the Première, is more like a bracelet than a watch. Like the first Chanel watch, this one is not a miniature version of a man’s timepiece; rather it’s a unique extremely feminine iteration. The Code Coco does not fasten like any other watch either; it wraps itself around the wrist and slots back into itself. It’s locked in place with that special clasp we mentioned earlier.
If you turn the clasp horizontally, you will see the watch’s numberless dial, but if you turn the clasp 90 degrees, it’s hidden. Above the clasp you’ll find a single diamond – like everything to do with Chanel, it’s effortless. The black lacquered dial is 38.1mm x 21.5mm and features a high-precision quartz movement. The dial is rectangular in shape, divided in half by a rotating metal bar that conceals or reveals the time.
The watch was released in time for Paris Fashion Week in September in stainless steel, with or without a diamond-set bezel, with a price tag of $5,000 for the stainless steel version with a single .05 karat diamond and $9,100 for the stainless steel version with a diamond-set bezel that contains 52 diamonds. There is also a limited edition of five pieces made of 18-karat white gold that are entirely encrusted with diamonds that each cost almost a million dollars ($956,000 to be exact).