Chanel dresses the J12 with a high complication and a ruby red high jewelry edition
Chanel’s J12 Tourbillon Diamant and J12 X-Ray Red editions are a testament to the magic that can happen when a legendary haute couture brand reinterprets fine watchmaking – it’s the ideal blend of hand-finished Swiss watchmaking and of haute couture sensibility. The Tourbillon Diamant contains a new movement, the Chanel Caliber 5, the first flying tourbillon movement manufactured in-house. The flying tourbillon has no upper bridge, so the rotating carriage can be admired unhindered. This one has another special touch: a solitaire diamond is set in the center of the carriage, where it rotates with the entire mechanism.
The elegant black and white livery is pure Chanel, with a beautiful finish: diamonds are set in the hands and around the circumference of the tourbillon. There are two versions: one with matt black ceramic and steel case; and the other in shiny black ceramic and 18k white gold set with 34 baguette-cut diamonds totaling 3.50 carats. The hands, tourbillon carriage and crown of both versions are set with diamonds. The shiny ceramic and diamond bezel version is priced at 180,000 euros (about $193,000). The matte ceramic and steel version is priced at 100,000 euros (around $107,000). Both are limited to 55 pieces.
The J12 X-Ray Red is a fine watchmaking feat more from a technical point of view. It is not easy to carve a sapphire crystal case and bracelet links. It’s a feat that the brand debuted in 2020 with the J12 X-Ray, the benefit of which is not just a sleek design but a clear look at how the movement works from every angle. Even the plate and the bridges of the caliber 3.1 are in clear sapphire. Chanel likes to describe the visual effect using a couture metaphor: “The movement presents the appearance of a graphic fragment of lace embroidered with bridges and cogs.
The main haute couture decorative touch of this version is the addition of 46 tapered baguette rubies along the bezel and 12 ruby baguette indexes. This makes it part of Chanel’s Haute Horlogerie Red Edition collection, celebrating one of the brand’s signature colors. Rubies are Chanel’s way of dressing up a regular watch for, say, a night out on the town. As Mademoiselle Chanel herself said, “If you’re sad or heartbroken, put on makeup, dress up, add more lipstick and attack.” It is limited to 12 pieces. Price on request.