Black has never been a dark colour to the world’s finest watchmakers, and Chanel will no doubt be eyeing its commercial potential as it unveils three noir collections ahead of Baselworld.
However, the connection to the death of the maison’s iconic creative director Karl Lagerfeld this week is hard to ignore when Chanel’s press website presents black editions of its Première, Boy Friend and Monsieur De Chanel.
The watches were, of course, designed and created long before this week’s sad news, and stand as on-trend, stylish pieces that move Chanel’s ever-growing reputation as a globally important watchmaker forward.
Horologically, the Monsieur De Chanel is the pick of the preview collection, with its 42mm black ceramic case housing Chanel’s inhouse Caliber 1 hand wound movement driving the watch’s instant jumping hour and retrograde minute hand on its matte black dial. Only 55 of the watches are being made.
Chanel’s Première has been given a rock-and-roll makeover with an all black ADLC-treated strap and case, and lacquered dial. The quartz watch is worn on a triple row black steel chain bracelet interwoven with black leather. Again, it is a limited edition of just 55 pieces.
It is hard to say whether Chanel’s Boy Friend is bought by boys or for boys. Its 37mm x 28.6mm octagonal case is the perfect gender neutral size. An Edition Noire model for 2019 (limited again to 55 pieces) uses a skeletonised Caliber 3 movement in a polished black ceramic case.