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INTRODUCING: Chanel Mademoiselle J12

Three playful versions paying homage to Coco Chanel’s likeness.

Synonymous with tweed, pearls and the camellia amongst other chic accoutrements, Gabrielle Chanel was the epitome of style and fashion in her time, her legacy enduring even today. And while she didn’t live to see her name imprinted on timepieces, Chanel watches today are everything Gabrielle Chanel would have loved, often incorporating her favourite design elements.

Since its foray into the horological world way back in 1987 with the Première, the House of Chanel has been proving itself to be more than capable of fine watchmaking. In fact, one of our all-time favourite offerings from the House was the J12 RMT (Retrograde Mysterieuse Tourbillon) from 2010, featuring a retractable vertical crown set into the dial.

Launched in 1999, Chanel’s J12 timepieces have come to be loved by both the fashion elite and watch aficionados alike, with their innovative time-telling functions, ceramic hardware and unisex sizes.

This year, the House once again unveils a collection of J12 timepieces, including the J12 Black Star and J12 Diamond. But what really caught our eye was the trio of Mademoiselle J12 watches, which incorporated the House’s founder’s likeness in fun, quirky ways.

Chanel Mademoiselle J12 La Pausa
Mademoiselle J12 La Pausa

The Mademoiselle J12 La Pausa comes in black ceramic and 18K white gold, with an animated Mademoiselle Chanel figure taking pride of place in the middle of the black lacquered dial, her hands used to indicate hours and minutes. Running on the in-house automatic Calibre 12.1, the 38mm watch offers 70 hours of power reserve and features a circle of 46 baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel, with one brilliant-cut diamond on the crown.

Chanel J12 Gabrielle Calibre 3.1
J12 Gabrielle Calibre 3.1 

Offering a more iconic silhouette of Gabrielle Chanel is the J12 Gabrielle Calibre 3.1 watch, which displays a side profile of the legendary designer dressed in black with her signature strands of pearls draping her neck. The two-hand watch comes in black ceramic with an 18K white gold bezel that, like the J12 La Pausa, is set with 46 baguette-cut diamonds. Running on the in-house Calibre 3.1 as its name suggests, the 38mm timepiece comes with a power reserve of approximately 55 hours.

Finally, the daintiest of the lot has to be the Mademoiselle J12·XS. An adorable figurine of Gabrielle Chanel in white gold and black lacquer, wearing a two-toned straw hat with a brilliant-cut diamond, clings to the 19mm case at 10 o’clock. The black ceramic bracelet comes set with 116 brilliant-cut diamonds and an 18K white gold triple-fold buckle. Unlike the other two Mademoiselle J12 pieces, the Mademoiselle J12·XS is equipped with a high precision quartz movement.

Chanel Mademoiselle J12·XS
Mademoiselle J12·XS

Each of the Mademoiselle J12 timepieces is limited to 55 pieces, as inscribed on the sapphire crystal or white gold caseback of the watches. For the woman who considers Gabrielle Chanel her style icon, the new Mademoiselle J12 collection is a must-have.

Having snagged multiple GPHG prizes over the years for its ladies’ timepieces, Chanel is certainly no slouch in the watchmaking department. The Mademoiselle J12 collection may be fun and cheeky at the same time, but also exhibits the essence of Chanel’s creativity and craftsmanship. And, that, is truly what the ladies deserve, isn’t it?

Ex Managing Editor

Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".