September 1st, 2016: What a day it was for Chanel Horology! The Monsieur de Chanel watch celebrated its arrival in boutiques yesterday in haute style: this new timepiece designed specifically for men and equipped with the CALIBRE 1, the House’s first in-house movement, was pre-selected and listed as one of the six GPHG 2016 finalists for the category “Mechanical Exception”, as published that same day by the Foundation of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
Watchmakers since 1987, with the launch of the “Première” watch in an octagonal case inspired by the shape of Place Vendôme, Chanel Horology drew attention in 2000 with the introduction of the J12 in high-tech ceramic, and again in 2008 when it partnered with Audemars Piguet to create the automatic J12 Calibre 3125 made exclusively for Chanel, followed by further collaborations with Renaud et Papi.
Today, Chanel has designed, developed, reliability checked and assembled its first high-watchmaking movement entirely in-house, at its manufacture G&F Châtelain in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Exclusively dedicated to the Monsieur watch, the CALIBRE 1 is a manual-winding mechanical movement of 170 components, with double complications of Instantaneous Jumping Hour and Retrograde Minutes integrated into the bottom plate — a double complication with a digital hour display that took 5 years to develop.
Highlighted by two circular skeletonized bridges, the CALIBRE 1 proudly bears strong codes of the House, starting with the matt and glossy black of its architectural movement in ADLC (Amorphous Diamond Like Carbon). The spokes of the balance wheel form the shape of a star, a number of custom-made parts take the octagonal shape of Place Vendome, and the lion is seen on its strap buckle and crown. The lion will also be the seal of all Chanel’s in-house Haute Horlogerie movements.
An anti-shock system protects the balance, and two barrels mounted in series provide a power reserve of 3 days. The retrograde minute with a 240° display on the dial features a bidirectional corrector that allows for easy adjustment. Frequency is 28,800 vph.
The CALIBRE 1 is housed in a brand new 40 mm round case with a thickness of 10.4 mm specially developed for the MONSIEUR collection, water resistant to 30 meters. Through the slightly domed sapphire crystal we see the silvered opaline dial with the jumping hour window at 6 o’clock and the 240° retrograde minute counter off-centred with small seconds counter, along with the exclusive typography for the hour. The aesthetics are stunningly pure and simple, contrasting with the complications housed within.
Of the total 300 numbered movements produced in 2016, 150 are for the Monsieur in Beige gold, priced at EUR31,500, and 150 for the white gold model, priced at EUR33,000. Both versions come with a 22mm black alligator strap. Exclusively at Chanel Horlogerie – Joaillerie Boutiques.
And for those who can’t wait to see it in the store, here is a short video to see it in movement: