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Chanel decorates 20th anniversary J12 with historic icons of the fashion house

H6476 – J12.20 – 06

Chanel is a dynasty built on iconic people and products over the course of its 111 year history.

For the last 20 of those years, the fashion house’s most recognizable wristwatch, the J12, has become an icon its own right, and is marking its anniversary year in 2020 with a slew of fresh models.

The latest addition, a limited edition named J12.20, is a classically Chanel white ceramic piece adorned with symbols from throughout the brand’s history.

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It comes in 33mm and 38mm versions, each limited to 2,020 pieces.

A high jewellery version set with white baguette-cut diamonds and pink sapphires, is being made for just five customers.

There are also five being made of black or white 38mm versions in black with a gold bezel and additional diamond setting.

Arnaud Chastaingt, director of Chanel’s Watchmaking Creation Studio, describes the process of creating the ultimate birthday tribute watch as creating a custom dress for the J12.

“I did this by gathering together the House’s great symbols. Almost obsessively, I drew a fresco that was a random aggregate of Chanel symbols. It was a graphic illustration comprised of camellias, pearls, thimbles, diamonds, comets, lions and lots of other things. The motifs seem to have an erratic balance, but in a structured composition. At first glance, the J12∙20 shows a diagonal line of silvery motifs intertwined with the original design of the dial and the bezel. If you look closer though, the eye can make out a mosaic of 20 stylized symbols, a microcosm of Chanel codes to crack,” he reveals.

Among the symbols on the watch are Gabrielle, Camélia, Comète & N°5. “Every reference is alive and embodies the spirit of Gabrielle Chanel: her passion, her audacity, always in movement and ahead of her time,” Chanel says.

J12.20 is the star of a digital campaign that will launch in July with images and video designed to go viral across social media.

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder