There’s no denying that Chanel has a predilection for monochrome. That Mademoiselle Coco Chanel loved her pearls and often dressed in black and white is no secret. It’s a palette that the House, and furthermore its watchmaking maison, have wholeheartedly embraced. Be the signature J12, the Première, the Boy.Friend or even the relatively new Code Coco launched in 2017, the range of colours of these timepiece collections have, at the most, extended to gold and silver. Even in its most artistic line, the Mademoiselle Privè, Chanel has remained loyal to a background of black and white.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that its latest pre-Basel line of watches toes the same line. Only, this time, the collection has been entirely dedicated to black. And in the spotlight are the Première, Boy.Friend, and Monsieur de Chanel lines.
A line created more than 30 years ago for women, and inspired by the design of the No. 5’s bottle-stopper, now comes in intense black. The dial is black lacquered, and the crown is set with a brilliant-cut diamond. It’s signature wound-around-the-wrist steel links come interwoven with ADLC-treated straps, and the watch is limited to 55 pieces.
The Boy-Friend is a line that borrows from the Première’s octogonal shape to create a design that appeals to men. Which is not to say that it is a wholly masculine watch; unisex is more like it. This year, the Boy.Friend comes in a skeleton version, a shiny, black-highly resistant ceramic case, and skeleton movement with manual-winding. The 37 mm piece also flaunts a shiny black alligator strap.
The only exception in the collection is the blue-strap Boy.Friend Tweed Art, which mimics the maison’s expertise in tweed. The dial is a tweed-patterned Grand Feu enamel, set inside a beige gold case and bezel. Add to that the satin strap, and you know why it is limited to 20 pieces.
This is where Chanel has showcased its watchmaking expertise. This version of the Monsieur, of course, comes in an intense black, but also features an instant jumping hour and retrograde minute, equipped with the Caliber 1, the House’s first in-house high-watchmaking movement. The case is matte, black, highly resistant ceramic, the dial is black, and the strap, matte black alligator. The 42 mm has a 3-day power reserve, and is limited to 55 pieces.
All images: Courtesy Chanel