The “J12” was created in 2000, and it is there that the incredible adventure of this unique timepiece began. In 2005, the “J12” took its first steps into the very cloistered world of Fine Jewelry watches with the queen of all complications –the “Tourbillon”. In order to achieve this, the best Swiss watchmakers worked to produce the exclusive “CHANEL O5-T.1” movement, with its exceptional features: the ultra-thin ceramic bottom-plate (2mm thick), the optical glass cage and the 18-karat white gold bridge.
Following this, in 2006 the “J12” Haute Joaillerie was set with 605 baguette-cut diamonds. This exceptional new edition, concentrating on the Chanel codes - black and white, diamonds and ceramic - met with rapid success.
For 2007 Jacques Helleu, who admits to having a two-fold interest - the graphic and the mechanical - has revealed a new challenge: a never-before-seen “J12” model that combines the perfection of fine watchmaking and fine jewelry.
The dial constitutes two 0,3mm ceramic plates* and 9 index diamonds - it is here that the “Tourbillon” unveils all its charm with 568 baguette-cut rubies literally embracing the bezel, the watchcase and bracelet.
The effect is breathtaking: white gold, black ceramic and rubies shimmer and glisten on one of the most prestigious watchmaking complications which is without precedent.
A single piece has been produced and will be one of the most outstanding models on show at the 2007 Baselworld.
Chanel made its debut in the watchmaking world 20 years ago with the “Première” watch. In 2007, to celebrate this event and to build on the huge success of this watch, Jacques Helleu will reveal a new model of the “Premiere”. Both smaller and more precious, this watch is the fruit of the subtle alchemy between the original model - with its dial shape representing Place Vendôme and the perfume bottle stopper of the “N°5” - and the “Mademoiselle” watch, from which the “Première” borrows its famous pearl bracelet.
The dial is set with 34 baguette-cut diamonds and the delicate bracelet features two rows of 194 Akoya pearls mounted onfive woven fine white gold strings. This exceptional piece is the purest expression of the spirit of Chanel and is available exclusively in Chanel Fine Jewelry boutiques.
It’s certainly no coincidence that in 2007, for its fifth participation in the Baselworld, Chanel has positioned itself at the heart of this wondrous treasure trove of watchmaking, decked out in black and white. The entirely new three-level 600 sqm space, designed by the American architect Peter Marino, is situated on the ground floor of Hall 1, which is dedicated to fine watchmaking.
For the exterior Marino used highly polished stainless steel and both flat and glossy black and white lacquer, which all combine to highlight the exceptional pieces displayed in eight exterior windows. In the centre, a monumental photo of the black “J12” Tourbillon - echoing the black lacquer and granite - invites the observer into the hush and calm of a space consecrated to the most beautiful watchmaking creations from Chanel.
Journalists will be welcomed in a vast press reception area by a portrait of Mademoiselle Chanel, produced by thousands of diamond facets, which was created by the contemporary artist Vik Muniz.