Chanel’s signature all-ceramic watch – that’s recently been executed in transparent sapphire crystal – receives the rainbow treatment for Watches & Wonders 2021. Inspired by the electronic dance music culture of the 1990s, the J12 Electro collection is made up of a variety of models that span the price spectrum, along with a one-of-a-kind, 12-piece set. While the rainbow colours seem faddish, Chanel is enough of its own brand – and the Chanel J12 X-Ray Electro Caliber 3.1 a successful enough design – that the line up still feels original. While most of the Electro watches are over the top, the 12-piece set is subtle bling in literally every colour – and truly cool.
It is a shame that the only affordable watch in the line up is a 33 mm quartz watch, leaving all the mechanical options in the six-figure price range. The 12-piece set, for instance, costs over US$1.00m. That said, the allure of Chanel is so great that the globular crystal clocks it debuted in 2018 swiftly sold out, despite the price tag of roughly US$240,000. The most extravagant watch in the line up is the Chanel J12 X-Ray Electro Caliber 3.1 , a 38 mm model in 18k white gold set with over 32 carats of baguette-cut diamonds and 13 carats of sapphires. Totalling 267 baguette-cut stones, the sapphires are set on the flanks of the case and links, creating a rainbow gradient of colour. It’s powered by the cal. 12.1 movement made by Kenissi, the movement maker partially owned by Chanel. Conceived as a “12-beat gradation of colour”, the J12 Electro Box is a set of 12 watches, all in matte black ceramic and equipped with the cal. 12.1. Each watch in the set is unique, being set with 46 baguette-cut sapphires of the same colour. Together, the 12 watches form the rainbow gradient from pink to red. Having been unveiled in an almost totally clear format last year, the all-sapphire model returns as the J12 X-Ray Electro Caliber 3.1. Both the bezel and dial are set with coloured sapphires.
The case and bracelet are primarily sapphire, but held together by 18k white gold screws and pins, while the bezel is also white gold. Inside is the cal. 3.1, a hand-wind, in-house movement made by Chanel’s manufacture. Continuing the theme is the Chanel J12 X-Ray Electro Caliber 3.1 . This is a polished white ceramic J12 that has the bezel, crown, and back in 18k white gold. It is similarly set with coloured sapphires on the dial and bezel, while the movement is the cal. 12.1 automatic made by Kenissi.
The J12 Black Electro Dream is the chromatic opposite – matte black ceramic with the same coloured sapphires and cal. 12.1 movement. And the base model is the Chanel J12 X-Ray Electro Caliber 3.1 . It’s a 33 mm ladies watch in polished black ceramic and equipped with a quartz movement. The numerals and scales on the dial and bezel are printed in a rainbow gradient of colours.