A closer look at the Chanel Première Velours timepiece


The French fashion house’s new offering, featured at last month’s Baselworld trade fair in Switzerland, is also available with a dial set with 116 brilliant-cut diamonds

Watch and jewellery leaders and innovators presented their latest designs at the annual trade show, Baselworld, in Basel, Switzerland, last month, including French fashion house, Chanel.

From the first women’s only watches to exclusive alloys and movements, the timepieces of Chanel are as boundless and dynamic as the brand’s eponymous founder herself, Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel.

For 2019, the Chanel Première collection welcomed its newest member, Première Velours, at Baselworld. The timepiece features an 18-carat yellow gold case with a black velvet-touch rubber strap.

The modern, minimalist reinvention of the Première classic, created in 1987, is also offered with a dial set with 116 brilliant-cut diamonds.

Chanel’s Première Velours timepiece is available with a dial set with 116 brilliant-cut diamonds.

The Première collection also includes the Première Midnight in Vendôme series, which strikes a balance between horology and high jewellery. These one-of-a-kind pieces include an 18-carat yellow gold-cuff watch embellished with Japanese cultured pearls, faceted onyx beads and square motifs set with brilliant-cut diamonds.

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The Mademoiselle collection, which draws on Coco Chanel’s appreciation of objets d’art, is inspired by Coromandel folding screens, or Chinese lacquerware, from the 18th century.

The Mademoiselle Privé sautoir is a unique long chain necklace with a timepiece of 39.4 millimetre in diameter. The necklace echoes the artistic depictions on those commanding Coromandel screens with sculpted 18-carat beige gold and 50 brilliant-cut diamonds.

Chanel’s Mademoiselle Privé sautoir chain necklace features a sculpted 18-carat beige gold timepiece, with 50 brilliant-cut diamonds.

The use of the 18-carat beige gold, an exclusive Chanel alloy, is also seen on the entire case, bezel and bracelet of the new Code Coco watch.

A beige gold watch from Chanel’s new Boy-Friend collection

The most playful Chanel watch innovation can be found in the Boy-Friend collection, which now expands with Tweed watches.

These limited edition pieces include the Boy-Friend Tweed Art, which uses decorative “Grand Feu” enameling. Arguably one of the most difficult techniques to master, “Grand Feu” offers the highest durability.

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Tweed patterned dials can be found on the Tweed Art and Neo Tweed watches, while tweed fabric and leather straps are used in other versions of the Boy-Friend watch.

Chanel’s new Première Rock Edition Noire timepiece, with a triple row bracelet, which is limited to only 55 pieces.

Many collections in the Chanel canon also offer intense black, limited editions for 2019, aptly named “Edition Noire”. Limited to just 55 pieces, these include the Première Rock Edition Noire with black ADLC treatment, making the steel scratch-free and fingerprint proof, and the Boy-Friend Skeleton Edition Noire, with the Calibre 3 and black alligator strap.

The men’s watch collection, Monsieur, also has an Edition Noire with a matt black case and dial, while the J12 Edition Noire features the all-new 12.1 Calibre automatic movement.

As Coco Chanel once said: “Black has it all.”

Note – This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.