At Watches & Wonders 2022, Chanel unveiled a striking diamond-set Haute Horlogerie J12, equipped with the brand’s first in-house flying tourbillon, the Calibre 5. The brand also announced a new COSC-certified J12 33mm self-winding movement.
Traditionally seen as a luxury fashion house, Chanel has been taking its watchmaking seriously for some time, especially since the launch of the impressive Monsieur Chanel in 2016. The brand further enhanced its haute horlogerie credentials at Watches & Wonders in 2022 with the launch of the new J12 Diamond Tourbillon this week.
The striking new version of Chanel’s iconic timepiece features the brand’s first in-house produced flying tourbillon movement, the Calibre 5, while also showcasing the brand’s renowned expertise in gem setting and ceramic production.
The Calibre 5 was designed in Paris by Arnaud Chastaingt, director of the Chanel Watchmaking Creation Studio, and then developed and assembled by Châtelain, the company’s Swiss movement manufacturing division in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
The tourbillon steals the show on the face of the 38mm watch, emerging through a circular cutout on the black dial. While the outside of the tourbillon cage is set with 26 brilliant-cut diamonds, a large solitaire diamond is set in the center. Together with the surrounding gems, the complication’s design creates a mesmerizing, sparkling spectacle as the tourbillon turns. The upper hour and minute hands are also set with 22 brilliant-cut diamonds.
The Calibre 5 is equipped with a 48-hour power reserve, which is partially displayed on the dial side, but more details can be appreciated through the display caseback. There, we see that the movement has the same circular bridge construction and clever finishes found in Chanel Haute Horlogerie creations.
To start using the Calibre 5 in its J12 collection, Chanel has launched two limited editions of the J12 Diamond Tourbillon of 55 pieces: priced at €160,000, the first has a black glossy ceramic case with an 18K white gold bezel set with 34 diamonds Baguette-cut diamonds and white gold crown, also set with a brilliant-cut diamond. Its one-piece black ceramic bracelet features a white gold three-fold clasp.
This time in matte black ceramic, the black steel bezel is paired with a matte black baguette-cut ceramic ring and a black steel crown, again set with a brilliant-cut diamond. Its ceramic bracelet features a stainless steel three-fold clasp in matte black.
J12 33mm – now with COSC certified 12.2 automatic movement
Chanel has been busy working on not just the Calibre 5, but the new Calibre 12.2. This newly developed automatic movement now offers a mechanical option for those attracted by the J12 33mm’s sporty appeal, previously only available with quartz movements.
Turning the watch over, we can see the brand new mechanism – certified by the COSC Observatory and equipped with a 50-hour power reserve – showing its full glory through the back of the display.
Again, the circles come into play here, the main plate has circular steps and the rotor has a ring cutout. Polished and matte finishes as well as vertical and circular textures ensure that the mechanism has a strong visual impact.
The Calibre 12.2 was designed and developed exclusively for luxury Chanel by Le Locle-based Kenissi, which acquired a 20% stake in the company in 2019. Breitling and Tudor have also invested in the Swiss manufacturer, which has a reputation for making top-of-the-line movements.