J12, the timelessly iconic watch from Chanel, was originally launched by brand in 2000 and marks its 20th anniversary this Summer. Over the years, the J12 has not only gained a cult following among the luxury watch buyers of the world but also constantly pushed the envelope when it comes to technology and style, craftsmanship, and design.
To celebrate 20 years of the J12’s industry presence, Chanel gathered its Muses Claudia Schiffer, Ali MacGraw, Naomi Campbell, Lily – Ross Deep, and Vanessa Paradis and asked them to share their thoughts on their moments over the last 20 years in the ‘Not Enough’ digital campaign. To which, supermodel Naomi Campbell shared fondly, ‘My first Chanel memory was being dressed up in the studio and being the Chanel baby of that show’. She further muses, ‘I feel like time was going very slowly when I was younger and now I don’t have any time to waste!’
‘The J12 was the first revolution of the watch world in the 21st century’, says Arnaud Chastaingt, who become director of Chanel’s Watchmaking Creation Studio in 2013. ‘It broke classic codes. What brand today doesn’t have a black watch in its collection?’
Designed and created by Jacques Helleu, the artistic director of Chanel at the time, the J12 revolutionized watchmaking by transforming ceramic into precious materials to be covered the world over for its unique and incomparable place in the luxury watch segment. Over the years, the signature timepiece has embraced a variety of identities and design phases – from having a chronograph to being equipped with a tourbillon to being made ultra-light with Aluminium – and as such has continued to evolve and appeal to a new generation of J12 fans.
Today, two new J12 designs – the J12 Paradoxe and the J12X-RAY – break new boundaries with their unique aesthetics. Limited to just 20 pieces, Paradoxe brings a highly technical and result by fusing two ceramic cases assembled together – one white and the other black. The new rendition of X-RAY comes in a unique sapphire crystal case, where the plate, timer bridge, and cog bridge are all crafted from sapphire crystal.
The Calibre 3.2 H12 X-RAY is all about transparency, fading away to let the light in an revealing a delicately embroidered latticework of cogs. The dial is set with baguette-cut diamond indicators, giving the illusion of 12 diamonds perfectly balanced in a state of suspension. For the first time in history, a watch is created with a strap composed of links cut from raw sapphire. Limited to just 12 pieces, this is undoubtedly a collector’s piece worthy of Canel’s loyal clientele.