Introducing the Chanel J12 Diamond Tourbillon and the J12 Caliber 12.2 33mmBy Felix Scholz
Chanel is a watch brand that pioneered the use of ceramic and, at the upper end of its catalog, offers some tremendously capable and beautiful high watchmaking. Yet for all of that, it still feels like something of an undiscovered gem. While that’s largely because the house is predominantly one of fashion, the momentum around Chanel’s watches is growing, as well as an appreciation for the smart and not always serious aesthetic Chanel brings to them. This year at Watches and Wonders, Chanel is presenting two main highlights: the J12 Diamond tourbillon and the 33mm version of the J12 Caliber 12.2.
Designed by Arnaud Chastaingt, the J12 Diamond Tourbillon’s caliber 5 brings a new movement to the classic ceramic sports watch. Conceived in Paris and created in La Chaux-de-Fonds, this is the first flying tourbillon caliber Chanel has made in-house, and the center of attention is a solitaire diamond set in middle of the tourbillon cage, creating an endlessly dazzling spectacle. Of course, it isn’t the only diamond in play; the 38mm watch, limited to 55 pieces, has diamonds on the bezel, hands and crown as well.
For something a little more low-key, the 33mm version of the caliber 12.2-powered J12 will be a popular update to the collection. Designed by Chanel and made by Swiss component manufacturer Kenissi, the caliber 12.2 is a sturdy and attractive automatic movement that Chanel has initially offered in black or white ceramic J12 models, which, with 50 hours of power reserve and 200m of water-resistance, are ready for anything from runways to ski runs.
J12 Diamond Tourbillon
Movement: Manual-winding manufacture flying tourbillon caliber 5
Function: Hours, minutes, flying tourbillon
Case: 38mm; black ceramic; water resistant to 50m
Strap: Black ceramic bracelet
J12 Caliber 12.2 33mm
Movement: Self-winding caliber 12.2: 50 hours of power reserve
Function: Hours, minutes, seconds
Case: 33mm; black or white ceramic and steel; water resistant to 200m
Strap: Black or white ceramic bracelet