After almost 20 years, Chanel’s most celebrated and iconic of timepieces has undergone several important updates in 2019 to (and forgive the pun) keep up with the times. First unveiled at Basel World back in March 2019, almost 70% of its inner components have been changed, while on the exterior its overall identity and shape have been relatively untouched, save for several minute adjustments made to the watch’s bezel, bracelet and dial.
Created back in 2000 by Jacques Helleu, the J12′s timely update was led by Arnaud Chastaingt, the current director of the Chanel Watch Creation Studio in Paris, ahead of its 20th anniversary next year. For one, the 38mm case made from a highly resistant ceramic features a sapphire crystal caseback that showcases the exclusive Calibre 12.1 self-winding manufacture movement within. Not only does this allow the J12 to become less likely to cause allergic reactions (no more stainless steel contact), having a visible caseback showing its inner workings is a particularly important feature in a fine watch in today’s day and age.
Chanel proudly showcases the Kenissi manufactured movement (it acquired a 20% stake in the Swiss manufacturer earlier in the year), one that comes with a COSC certification backed with a 5-year guarantee. Another plus? The J12 now comes with a 70-hour power reserve as compared to 42 hours in the previous model, so you don’t have to worry about ‘waking it up’ on Monday if you switched over to another timepiece over the weekend.
Several other improvements include the redesign of the bezel, one that comes with 40 notches instead of the typical 30, giving it an elegant and sophisticated finish all around. The bracelet has been updated as well, with flatter and longer ceramic links to give it a slimmer balance. And speaking of the dial, it is also slightly larger thanks to the smaller crown, giving it better overall visual balance. On closer inspection, the Arabic hour numerals are slightly slimmer, coming in full ceramic to improve the readability on the dial.
The J12 is a timepiece that can be worn equally well by either gender, available in either Black or White, both of which are classic colours that you just can’t go wrong with. There wasn’t a design overhaul nor unnecessary addition of elements; just a change to a much superior movement, with refined adjustments to make the watch even better looking. Priced at SGD8150 for the regular models and SGD10,000 for the one that’s set with 12 diamond indicators in place of the Arabic numerals, both 38mm models are now available at Chanel’s Watch & Fine Jewellery Boutique at Takashimaya Shopping Centre.