The Watches and Wonders convention in Geneva once again proved that the timepiece community is a force to be reckoned with, especially when it comes to watches with diamonds.
While blinged-out watches can be controversial for the old-school watch aficionado, the Natural Diamond Council gets very excited to see a brand doing diamond watches right. Enter Chanel, whose diamond timepieces are both subtle and statement-making, from the classic J12 with diamond accents to the limited-edition Mademoiselle Privé Bouton featuring a diamond-covered dial.
Ahead, a rundown of the best new diamond watches Chanel debuted at this year’s convention.
J12, Caliber 5
“The Caliber 5 is the fifth Manufacture movement designed and developed by the CHANEL manufacture,” says Arnaud Chastaingt, Director of the Chanel Watchmaking Creation Studio. “The diamond was Gabrielle Chanel’s favorite stone,” he added. The diamond in this new iteration of the J12 “rotates in perpetual movement, creating a contemplating, almost hypnotic effect.” Hypnotic effect indeed. What makes this watch even more special is the made-to-measure cut for the diamond. “This 65-facet cut gives to the stone absolute brightness,” said Chastaingt.
The Mademoiselle J12 found some new iterations this year, all featuring diamonds. Coco Chanel herself “appears sometimes as a picture within a precious frame, sometimes tied to the watch as a punctuation, in a more playful way,” says Chataingt.
The Gabrielle Caliber and the Mademoiselle J12 both feature 46 baguette cut diamonds, weighing in at about 5.46 carats, and one brilliant cut diamond in the center. The adorable Mademoiselle J12 XS features a Coco figurine with a brilliant cut diamond on her hat plus 24 baguette diamonds on the dial and 116 brilliant cut diamonds on the bracelet.
J12 Diamond and Black Star
“If I have chosen diamonds,” Gabrielle Chanel once said, “it is because they represent the greatest value in the smallest volume.” But the new 12 diamond watch would definitely not be considered ‘small volume.’ The Black Star and Diamond Star are both covered in black and white baguette diamonds respectively. The Black Star weighs in at about 11.5 carats and the white Diamond Star weighs in at 35.6 carats.
J12 Baguette Bezel
Made with ceramic and white gold, the J12 Baguette Diamond Bezel is more understated than the Diamond Star, featuring a dial set with 12 baguette cut diamonds and a white hold fixed bezel set with 46 baguette cut diamonds. Both the 38 MM and the 33 MM feature the same number of diamonds, weighing in at 5.88 carats and 3.9 carats respectively.
Mademoiselle Privé Golden Pearl Motif
In this latest Métiers d’Arts collection, inspiration is taken from Gabrielle Chanel’s daily life. “Time is worn on the wrist but also around the neck or on the finger,” explains Chastaingt. “Gabrielle loved this freedom of style.” As such, each piece features brilliant cut diamonds and a golden pearl, adding a little sparkle to the classic Chanel black-and-gold color story.
Mademoiselle Privé Bouton
Each of these unique timepieces features a different motif, all familiar to the Chanel aesthetic. From a Byzantine motif sprinkled with diamonds and set on the classic quilted pattern leather to the famous Camellia motif, surrounded by golden cords and 52 brilliant cut diamonds and set on a velvet cuff.
Chanel also debuted a timepiece featuring the knot motif, adorned with cushion cut and brilliant cut diamonds and set on an embroidered silk cuff, as well as an Aubazine motif piece set with one cushion cut diamond, four pear cut diamonds and surrounded by 92 brilliant cut diamonds.