Chanel's Quiet Courtship Of The Masculine Demographic
June 27, 2018 | BY Brian Cheong
It's a fashion house whose name is synonymous with women, but Chanel has been discreetly wooing its core audience’s boyfriends and husbands with the Monsieur, a male-oriented wristwatch launched in 2016. This year, it's upped the ante by introducing a pocket watch and a table clock to the collection
The Monsieur wristwatch is endowed with
Calibre 1, Chanel's first in-house movement
When it was launched in 2016, the Monsieur received glowing reviews. For one, it featured a unique combination of retrograde minute and jumping hour. For another, the manual-winding movement, visible on the caseback, was a beauty, constructed to reflect Chanel’s famously chic aesthetic.
Designed, developed and assembled entirely at its manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, it boasted wheels created to Chanel’s specifications by independent watchmaker Romain Gauthier, whose business the French maison has secretly bought a stake in to bolster its manufacturing capability.
Venturing into hitherto unexplored territory–men’s luxury, not counting the fragrances–created plenty of buzz for Chanel, which launched its first watch, the Premiere, in 1987. Today, the Monsieur is one of Chanel’s haute horlogerie pillars, the sole but proud masculine representative in a family of feminine timepieces that includes the groundbreaking J12 ceramic watches and, most recently, the Boy.Friend which blurs gender boundaries.
Adding two new—and totally unexpected—
time instruments to the Monsieur range
only makes it more desirable
This year, the Monsieur wristwatch comes in a beige gold case with two dial options: the non-limited opaline silver dial, and the black Grand Feu enamel version with a miniature lion sculpture that recalls the lion symbol of Venice, one of Mademoiselle Chanel’s favourite cities. The latter is limited to just 20 numbered pieces.
The lion also features prominently in the chronosphere clock: a pride of four, crafted in bronze, is poised holding up a glass sphere containing a futuristic-looking clock. Limited to five numbered pieces, this magnificent table accessory was created in collaboration with Swiss clockmaker L’Epee 1839.
Monsieur also welcomes a pocket watch, endowed with Calibre 2.2, a new version of Calibre 2, Chanel’s second in-house movement that was first featured in the Premiere Camelia Skeleton in 2017. A unique piece, it comes in an 18k white gold case set with 57 baguette diamonds.
This article first appeared on my.asiatatler.com.
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