Unveiled at the Baselworld watch fair in 2016, the Monsieur de Chanel is the first men’s watch with a completely integrated proprietary movement from the luxury fashion giant. At a glance, it could be a hybrid smartwatch, but closer inspection reveals a stunningly minimalistic and complex analogue timepiece. The non-traditional and instantly legible design incorporates two complications –
a jumping hour and retrograde minutes, making it feel futuristic in its unconventional form and stripped-down style.
Chanel sought the renowned expertise of celebrated high-end independent watch-
maker, Mr. Romain Gauthier, who in alliance with the brand developed the Monsieur over a five-year period.
The manually wound Calibre 01 is fashioned in black anthracite and the view through the sapphire caseback is one of the most impressive in recent years – it’s a beautiful movement worthy of a watch manufacturer with centuries of history.
The 2016 editions with a silvery white dial and white and beige gold cases have been updated in 2017 with a deadly black grand feu enamel dial and a platinum case. Time is read by
starting with the hour aperture at the bottom of the dial, followed by the retrograde minutes spread like a fan at the top of the dial, concluding below with the sub seconds dial.
Chanel design codes are present with the hour window being
in the shape of the Place Vendome and
the Chanel No. 5 bottle cap and the retro-
futuristic font was specially designed for the watch. This $63,000 watch is another marker for the future in the respect that it joins other fashion brand giants such as Hermés, Montblanc, Fabergé, Bulgari and Louis Vuitton
in dedicating substantial investment towards creating watches that can be judged on their merits in the high watchmaking world.
By: Nick Rice