Why Chanel is a watch brand you should take seriously
For the longest time the watch industry would turn its nose up at fashion and accessory brands that dared cross the rubicon into its domain. But as global luxury-brands continue to diversify as their audience base evolves, the quality that they are famous for in producing clothes and accessories has begun to trickle down into other areas - notably, in watches.
While brands like Gucci, Armani and Fendi have all the right chops for being a high-end luxury brand, when it comes to watches, the timepieces they create often fall into the 'fashion watch' category, meaning that the pieces are sold more for their fashion status than their watch-making nous.
A hallmark of luxury watchmaking normally comes with the term 'in-house', meaning the watch is produced by the brand with few parts assembled outside of the company's factories. Rolex, Tag Heuer, IWC are but a few of the watchmakers who produce in-house movements - for many fashion brands the design maybe in-house but the watchmaking is not.
This is where Chanel stands out. The luxury French maision's reputation has been steadily growing in watch circles in the past few years, namely due to its Monsieur de Chanel line of watches.
The Monsieur line is interesting for two big reasons, it’s Chanel’s proper crack at making watches for men, and it is also the first line where Chanel has made an in-house movement for its watches.
The Caliber 1, unsurprisingly the brand’s first in-house movement is the thing that powers the Monsieur line up. It’s an impressive movement, with a restrained regulator with jumping hour and retrograde minutes.
Chanel also doesn’t oversaturate its men’s collection, it focuses on making a few different models, all limited to a finite production. This shows us the brand isn’t about churning out watches for sales, it’s committed to creating high end luxury pieces, each with an impressive level of intricacy.
From now on then, make sure to keep an eye out for Chanel at Baselworld, the fashion house is doing surprisingly impressive work in the watch world these days.