For Its 19th Birthday, The Chanel J12 Watch Gets A Facelift
To celebrate the 19th anniversary of the Chanel J12 watch, the French house launched its new variant at Baselworld this year. Many may think it is blasphemous to modify a legend in the Chanel universe. But after taking a look at it, one will agree that the new and improved version is still the same Chanel J12 through and through.
On the dial, there is less visual clutter and its legibility has improved too. The fonts on its dial reflect the official Chanel one, while the Arabic hour numerals now made out of ceramic, have been reworked by a professional typographer. And it's not just aesthetic changes—the watch is now equipped with the calibre 12.1, a chronometer-certified self-winding movement developed and produced by Kenissi, a company originally started to make movements for Tudor. (Today, Chanel owns a 20 per cent stake in the movement maker.)
The new movement includes a beautiful oscillating weight with a circle motif cut out of its centre—Chanel’s watchmaking signature—which necessitated that it be made out of tungsten to maintain winding efficiency. It is visible through a new sapphire glass caseback, anchored to a new ceramic caseback plate.
According to Nicolas Beau, Chanel's director of international business development for watch and fine jewellery, "apart from the buckle, everything has changed”. But more importantly, the new Chanel J12 retains the essence of the original despite the major tweaks inside out. After all, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And we can't help but agree.
(Related: Here's How Chanel Celebrated The Arrival Of The New J12 Watch In Paris)