We are not only referencing watches that can display the hours and minutes in multiple time zones simultaneously, but rather adopting the broad vision of seeing the world with your trusted Chanel J12.
J12 Cybernetic x Lecce, Italy
Sitting serenely at the heel of Italy’s proverbial boot in the region of Puglia, baroque enthusiasts have long nicknamed Lecce the ‘Florence of the south’. It gets this title from the unique deposits of Lecce stone, whose unique property makes it soft, malleable and easy to work on when taken from the tajate (quarry) but hardens once exposed to the elements. The talented zoccaturi (stone masons) have been carving the most ornate patterns and wonderful designs onto the pietra Leccese for centuries now, giving the great historic buildings of the city a delicate lace-like beauty. In contrast to the intricate, otherworldly beauty of delicate Lecce stone, the J12 Cybernetic watch is crafted from highly resistant ceramic and steel case and exudes a futuristic, science fiction vibe. Having made its debut at Watches and Wonders 2023, the 38mm J12 Cybernetic pushes boundaries with its strong pixelated concept and jagged-edged design on the right side of the watch face.
J12 Calibre 12.2 x Amsterdam, Holland
In the design world, going Dutch is actually quite a compliment. Beginning with Hendrik Petrus Berlage, widely hailed as the father of modern Dutch architecture, and now with modern-day masters like Jacob van Rijs and Rem Koolhaas, nothing remains as iconic as the humble, sometimes-awkward looking, narrow canal house that is a feature of Amsterdam. Characterised by overhanging eaves, heavy doors and gambrel roofs, another common design aspect of these houses, especially the historic ones, is that they are all built and balanced on wooden poles that have been sunk deep into the marshy ground of the low-lying Dutch capital. Evoking purity and brilliance, the white ceramic and steel J12 Calibre 12.2 is a trustworthy companion for anyone who appreciates stellar design. And just like the new generation of Dutch Masters who express themselves via architecture and not painting, the J12 Calibre 12.2 is a perfect study of design, balance, classicism and functionality. The movement is self-winding while the power reserve ranges from between 38 to 70 hours, depending on the exact model.
J12 Paradoxe x Fes, Morocco
Marrakech might be the more glamorous destination, quite possibly due in part to the 1960s international jet-set like John Paul Getty and his boho-chic wife Talitha, but Fes, located northwest of the Atlas Mountains and believed to be the oldest city in Morocco, is the grittier, more authentic deal. Its ancient, maze-like medina, called Fes el Bali, and a Unesco World Heritage Site, is studded with palaces, madrasahs, fondouks and mosques. The narrowness of its passageways, always teeming with life, is, naturally, a pedestrian zone. The only kind of problematic congestion you might encounter is that of a bad-tempered beast of burden, most likely a donkey. There is no better time than now to plan a journey to the Maghreb. Battered by recent earthquakes, its tourism industry needs the world’s support and has called for anyone planning a visit to not cancel or change their plans. In times of turbulence, a steady and strong timekeeper is your best friend. And as the heart of the J12 Paradoxe beats with the thump of the Calibre 12.1, a self-winding movement with date indicator and power reserve of between 38 to 70 hours, you can’t ask for a better travelling companion, regardless of the destination.
J12 Phantom x Chiang Rai, Thailand
Smaller and not as frenetic a tourist destination as its northern sister city of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, just 150km away, is renowned for its quieter pace, where cultural bursts often comprising temple visits (this is where you would find the famous and famously-ornate Wat Rong Khun or White Temple) are tempered by invigorating dips in waterfalls, treks through green jungles or tea plantations or relaxing soaks in natural hot springs. Its proximity to the Golden Triangle, the mountainous point populated by hill tribes and where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet, at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers, is one of the main draws for visitors as well. Life is all about contrasts. So, to offset the milky brilliance of Wat Rong Khun, opt for the midnight-hued 38MM J12 Phantom. Although its name alludes to an otherworldly quality and a spectral-like gift to hide under a cloak of mystery, the J12 Phantom, crafted from highly-resistant black ceramic and steel, has a hardy and palpable presence you will not be able to miss – or ignore.
J12 Comic + J12 Interstellar x Kochi, India
A trading port since the 1300s, Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, is a jewel of India’s famed Malabar Coast was not named the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ for nothing. An important component of the world’s maritime trade then, Cochin is also a jumping-off point for Kerala’s renowned backwaters, a network of serene waterways, canals and brackish lagoons where a houseboat cruise on a traditional kettuvallam is the order of the day. Another charming sight that pays tribute to Kochi’s heavy dependence on the sea is that of stationary fishing nets nicknamed ‘Chinese fishing nets’ as local folklore attribute the great admiral Zheng He for its introduction. Evoking the Malabar Coast’s magnetic allure for voyagers, the J12 Cosmic and J12 Interstellar watches invite you to traverse the world just like the old explorers did – from looking to the stars in the heavens for guidance. Like the duality of the mythical twins, Castor and Pollux, the Cosmic and Interstellar J12s are like night and day. Although different, the two timepieces are bonded via stunning dials that deserve hours of quiet admiration. The former, measuring at a daintier 33mm, is adorned with 12 brilliant-cut diamonds, polished rhodium-plated stockers and a white dial with Super-LumiNova with blue luminescence, while the latter, measuring at 38mm has an aventurine effect black glittery lacquered dial and six brilliant-cut diamonds. Both, however, fittingly reflect the heavens beautifully.
J12 GMT x Korcula, Croatia
Set on the shimmering Dalmatian Coast, the Croatian island of Korcula is renowned for many things: its picture-perfect medieval old town often liked to a mini-Dubrovnik; it boasts a long and rich tradition of gastronomy; and it is the fabled birthplace of the great adventurer and explorer, Marco Polo. One of best ways to enjoy this part of the world is by chartering a little sail boat that will take you in and around the Peljesac and Korcula Channels and where the morning Levanat, a mild eastern wind, will ensure smooth and pleasurable days out on the water. Croatia’s famously azure waters need to be set off with a sharp pop of obsidian black, as the matte black ceramic and steel J12 GMT demonstrates. Boasting an attention-arresting 41mm black lacquer dial with rhodium-plated numerals and a 24-hour time zone on the flange, the J12 GMT is certain to be your best travel companion – on land, on sea and in the air.
J12 33mm + J12 Calibre 12.1 x Provence, France
Evocative and magical, Provence in the French south is rich in history and culture. From Avignon and its fantastic medieval Papal Palace (the largest Gothic palace to be built) and the so-called Bridge of Avignon or Le Pont Saint-Benezet, to Arles and its Van Gogh links and ancient Roman amphi-theatre, lavender and sunflower fields and wines of the Rhone, few lands are as picturesque or diverse as this endlessly beautiful region. A short but compelling poem to memorise before stepping foot here would be Horses on the Camargue by Roy Campbell although the area is also known as a large nesting site for pink flamingoes. Ancient and noble, historians have long associated Provence with its wild and majestic Camargue horses. Although technically born black or dark brown, the horses’ coats eventually transform into snowy white by the time they reach adulthood. Echoing this colour of purity, the classic form of the Chanel J12 33mm is infused with the high-tech function of the COSC Automatic Kenissi Calibre 12.2. Combining state-ofthe-art ceramics and the maison’s iconic aesthetics, it is a timepiece worth investing in. The J12 Calibre 12.1, in a heftier 38mm size meanwhile, likewise comes equipped with a self-winding mechanical movement. Its strong and highly-resistant ceramic and steel case is a vision in white as expected but with the added adornment of a white lacquer dial set with 12 diamond indicators.