News Flash: Chanel J12-365 Collection

By Thierry Ané on March 15, 2014

In the watch literature, “iconic” is probably one of the most recurrent qualifying adjective. Yet, it is seldom as appropriate as it is to describe the unisex model created by Jacques Helleu fourteen years ago.

This ceramic watch has truly placed Chanel on the map in terms of horological identity and the brand has cleverly offered gradual transformations over the years to keep the model interesting without ever diluting its essence.

Beige Gold and White Ceramic

With the new J12-365 collection, the brand manages once again to arouse our curiosity with little aesthetic changes that provide a fresh new take on this timeless model. The main objective was to create an eminently feminine rendition of the watch that can “accompany the woman wearing it year-round and throughout the day”.

The most noticeable different is size-related as this new collection features a 36.5 mm case (as opposed to the previous 38 mm case). The fineness of these new watches is emphasized by the presence of a slim ribbed bezel rather than the previous rotating graduated version.

Steel and White Ceramic with Diamonds

There are 8 models in this new collection, four in black ceramic and another four in white ceramic: you do not change a winning formula and although the brand ventured in new territories with the Chromatic collection and its astonishing grey hue (ceramic mixed with titanium), it is clear that the brand has no intention of broadening the colour palette.

The second big novelty is the presence of a sunburst guilloché dial (black or white depending on the colour of the ceramic case) that represents a huge aesthetic shift and gives a beautifully new look to the watch. It is paired with a nice snailed sub-dial for the small seconds at 6 o’clock. The date window has also moved from 4-5 o’clock to 6 o’clock.

The J12-365 is available with a steel bezel or a really elegant beige gold bezel. This is a new unusual 18 carat gold alloy exclusive to the brand. Although the hands and Arabic numerals are grey on the steel models, they are beige gold on the more luxurious gold versions.

Beige Gold and Black Ceramic with Diamonds

Both the steel and beige gold models are also available in diamond-set versions. Interestingly, Chanel did not set the bezel with brilliant-cut diamonds as is customary but rather the inner flange of the watch as well as the seconds counter.

The steel models cost €4,500 while the beige gold versions retail for €8,150. In their diamond renditions, they carry a respective price tag of €11,500 and €15,000. Obviously, the colour of the ceramic (black or white) has no impact on the price.

Unfortunately we don’t have pictures of all versions yet but I will present them extensively after our visit to the brand’s stand in Baselworld.