Four of the Maison’s most emblematic horological creations, now reimagined as kaleidoscopic limited editions fueled by the “authentic aesthetic culture” of electronic music.
Capsule collections are nothing new in the business of fashion, but if anyone is sufficiently equipped to translate the excitement and fleetingness of those limited releases to the world of horology, Chanel is surely top of the pops. This month, the house that Gabrielle built is unveiling its newest array of timepieces, inspired by the sights, sounds, and all-encompassing energy of electronic music in the 1990s.
“I conceived this capsule as if it were a performance program,” says Arnaud Chastaingt, Director of Chanel’s Watchmaking Creation Studio, “inviting our classics, the Première, J12, Boy•Friend, and Code Coco, to perform side by side”. In practical terms, the ‘Electro’ timepieces thereby invoke the sensation of descending into warehouses, clubs, and dancehalls on the precipice of the new millenium; contrasting the nocturnal blackness symbolic of those locations against the illumination resulting from light and colour. We cycle through each of the new Chanel Electro releases below:
A mainstay of Chanel’s watchmaking stable (and winner of the coveted Ladies’ Watch Prize at the GPHG in 2019) the new J12 ‘Electro’ consists of two limited editions: one, larger and mechanical; the other, smaller and quartz-powered. In the style of their splashier, baguette-set cousins these new Electros are decorated with a ‘rainbow’ of neon-coloured indexes — perfect for late nights spent in subterranean techno bunkers. Both editions available in a run of 1,255 pieces.
The Chanel J12 Electro is now available in two limited editions, with self-winding Calibre 12.1 movement in 38mm (HK$66,900) or quartz 33mm (HK$51,300). To learn more, visit Chanel online.
Popular among the glitterati set thanks to its sinuous chain bracelet, the Première is reimagined in this electronica-themed capsule with leather links aping the vibrant, fluorescent colours of a laser lightshow. The bracelet itself is fashioned from stainless steel (treated with a shimmering black ADLC finish) while the whole ensemble is more than capable of taking a poolside splash thanks to 30 metres of in-built water resistance.
The Chanel Première Electro is now available in a limited edition of 555 pieces, priced at HK$52,600. To learn more, visit Chanel online.
Easily the priciest model in the new collection, the Boy•friend does for ‘Electro’ what Daft Punk did for French house in the 90s — bringing a touch of the robotic to the party. The collection’s androgynous, geometric case shape makes a welcome return but is augmented in this case with a whimsical robot motif, assembled from 78 brilliant-cut diamonds. Consider this a mandatory part of your inventory whenever popping and locking.
The Chanel Boy•friend Electro is now available in a limited edition of 55 pieces, priced at HK$130,200. To learn more, visit Chanel online.
Code Coco Electro
One of Chastaingt’s newer, more unconventional designs, the Code Coco exists in a phantom zone somewhere between fashion and haute horlogerie. Not quite a watch nor a straightforward piece of jewellery, the Code Coco Electro pairs a quilted leather cufflet — immediately eye-catching, thanks to its neon-pink do — with two lacquered black dials. Rather perfunctorily, one of these tells the time; while the other is set with a single princess-cut diamond — the punctuation point to any rave-ready outfit.
The Code Coco Electro is now available in a limited edition of 255 pieces, priced at HK$55,300. To learn more, visit Chanel online.