Headline / May 2019

Refinement of a Classic


Its simplicity in design exudes elegance and timelessness of the piece, and its utilization of ceramic as the material of the chronograph made it unique. Twenty years later, Chanel reintroduced the piece giving the J12 a makeover without touching the very identity that built its legend and its success. To increase the dial opening, the bezel was refined: the number of its notches increased from 30 to 40 and the typeface of its numerals and indexes were redesigned. The width of the crown was reduced by a third. Indicators have been added to the inner railway, which itself has also been re-worked.

The current edition of J12 timepiece now has a one-piece ceramic case equipped with a sapphire crystal so the new 12.1 caliber automatic movement, specially developed by the new Swiss manufacturer KENISSI Manufacture, is prominently displayed. The oscillating weight has been totally redesigned in tungsten to produce its openwork while maintaining efficient rewinding power. The caliber boasted 70 hour power reserve. The thickness of the case was slightly increased while maintaining the J12’s fluid lines. By softening and rounding its profile, the case appears no thicker than before.

The original typeface of the numerals was also redesigned by the Chanel Creation Studio to further enhance the chronograph, and update the aesthetics of the piece. The numerals applied to the dial are now in ceramic, and the hands are also honed and refined to further polish the refinement of the watch. The hours and minutes hands are now the same width with a dimensional adjustment of the luminescent areas in black Super-LumiNova on the black J12 and in white on the white J12, for a negative effect.

The chronograph is available in two colors, the black and white ceramic and steel, mirroring its predecessor. Chanel is confident that the new and improved pieces will inspire the new generation of watch collectors to covet the chronograph. The newly polished J12 retains its elegance and classic looks, while catering to the demands of the era and current consumers.