What’s in a name? But an empire that Gabrielle Chanel has built upon. For more than a century, the eminent fashion house, whose insignia epitomises the combination of haute couture, horlogerie and luxury, has embodied its founder’s unwavering spirit — one that was daring, progressive, creative and relentless.
“I decide who I wanted to be, and that is who I am.” The designer became the image of the modern woman who is audacious and free-spirited, not to mention incredibly well-dressed.
The Chanel logo lies at the heart of its new watchmaking capsule collection, which reinvents its signature J12, Première, Code Coco and BOY·FRIEND timepieces. "Wanted" is what the collection is named and we can’t help but draw parallels to Gabrielle’s infamous quote.
The pièce de résistance is the J12 Highly Wanted De Chanel Box. Encased in a black-lacquered wooden trove are six exceptional 38mm J12 watches — equipped with the Calibre 12.1 — in tone-on-tone black ceramic and set with 34 brilliant cut diamonds. Chanel’s logo is emblazoned on the surface of the watches, and each piece features a distinctive typography arrangement.
In terms of honouring the house’s codes, the J12 Wanted De Chanel 38mm is the perfect expression of contradiction and paradox. Graphic elements have been completely removed to make way for the iconic six letters stretching extravagantly across the dial and overlapping onto the bezel. The glossy black ceramic is juxtaposed with stark white, which renders a bold and assertive look.
The same can be said of the J12 Wanted De Chanel 33mm in terms of artful, asymmetrical composition. Unveiled in white ceramic, the watch features a filigree of logos that unfolds from the bezel to the dial. It offers visual interest, especially when the movement of the arm allows it to catch and reflect light from various angles. These two creations are a play on duality and demonstrate different interpretations of the Chanel motif.
Remember when charm bracelets were all the rage? The Première Wanted De Chanel is a signifier that we are still in the thick of noughties nostalgia. Six pendant letters spelling “Chanel” in steel and black lacquer are attached onto the Première watch’s chain bracelet, interlaced with black leather. Set with an onyx cabochon on the steel crown, the Première makes a fun accessory that dances as you move.
Code Coco Wanted De Chanel is all about channelling the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. The edgy design adopts the conspicuous graphic power of the six letters (palladium-treated) that punctuate its leather strap. The BOY·FRIEND sports a similar look but its band is interchangeable, if flashy isn’t the look of your day. The watch’s balanced proportions make it an elegant timepiece, but the pixelated design on the dial, which harks back to the 1990s, adds a touch of playfulness too.
The Wanted Capsule Collection is now available at the Chanel boutique in KLCC.