The famous J12 watch appeared in 2000. The then creative director of the brand, Jacques Elle, managed from scratch to create a new icon of the Chanel style - and the first icon in the watchmaking world of the 21st century. It was a sporty unisex model made from a new durable material - high-tech ceramics, which, thanks to Chanel, has become a permanent feature of watchmaking.
The first J12s (the name refers to the world of luxury yachts) were made of shiny black ceramic, and three years later, in 2003, Chanel presented a glossy white version in Basel. The watch instantly became an object of desire and remained a bestseller for almost 20 years (the number of J12 fakes exceeded even Rolex). They embodied everything that Mademoiselle herself so appreciated: a laconic silhouette, strict lines, a contrasting combination of black and white, and in addition, an absolutely recognizable universal design, created once and for all.
Without waiting for the anniversary, the head of Chanel Watches Nicolas Beau and creative director Arnaud Chasten radically renewed the look of the J12, changing everything and not changing anything. The watch underwent subtle surgical intervention, resulting in a new automatic caliber 12.1, manufactured by the partner manufactory Kenissi.
1 of 2 J12 Paradoxe Watch, Chanel © press service J12 Paradoxe watch, Chanel © press service
In the year of its 20th anniversary, the brand presents J12 Paradoxe, playing on the paradoxical success of its icon. For the first time in a single watch, black and white ceramics are combined in contrast: two elements of unequal size are fixed on a steel frame. The "demarcation" line runs along the border of the bracelet, which turns out to be completely white. The J12 Paradoxe Diamonds negative watch is based on the same principle: a large black fragment is combined with a white one made of gold and inlaid with 21 baguette diamonds. The jewelery version is limited to 20 pieces.
J12 Paradoxe Diamonds, Chanel © press service
Another impressive anniversary gift is the J12 X-Ray fully transparent. The 38 mm case, dial and even a three-link bracelet - all the details of the corporate design are made of a single block of sapphire crystal. The bezel of the watch is made of white gold and 12 hour markers are set with baguette-cut diamonds. The hand-wound caliber 3.1, borrowed from the Chanel Boy Friend skeleton, is unmistakable. Its details are fixed on sapphire bridges, so they are visible both from the front face of the watch and from the back. J12 X-Ray only exists in 12 copies.
1 of 4 J12 X-Ray, Chanel J12 X-Ray, Chanel J12 X-Ray, Chanel
In honor of the 20th anniversary of J12, six Chanel muses - Vanessa Paradis, Claudia Schiffer, Eli McGraw, Lily-Rose Depp, Liu Wen, Naomi Campbell - recall the past 20 years of their lives in the J12 turns 20 video series.
Lily-Rose Depp: “Is J12 20 years old ?! Just like me!"
Claudia Schiffer: "At the age of 20, there was no difference for me between reality and a dream."
Don't miss this interview with Chanel Watches Studio Director.>