Chanel J12 Flyback Chronograph – Felipe Massa

The Massa Flyback Chronograph is a watch which has quite possibly become more famous than the racing driver for whom it was named. Originally introduced in 2008 when the Brazilian racing driver was at his peak and having a tremendous tussle with Lewis Hamilton for the F1 World Championship, for some reason Chanel poured more love and care into this than almost any other watch he has created, and for this reason it has become a collectors classic which continues to be revisited by replica Chanel J12 Chromatic each year. More than any watch it somehow manages to instill all the high-tech drama and passion of the sport it represents. That’s why it is widely considered by replica Chanel watches aficionados to be the single hottest Chanel in the world and of course it also happens to be available only in very limited quantities.Earlier this year, keen movie buffs may have spotted the watch on the wrist of action star and watch lover Jason Statham in one of his most recent outings, Parker. While Statham’s adopted Texan accent in the movie probably wasn’t under research and development for a year, the Chanel J12 Felipe Massa most certainly was. The watch underwent sixty-eight different stamping operations for the three main components (bezel, middle section and case back). The machine tooling process alone required 8 days of adjustment for the bezel, 5 days for the middle section and 5 days for the case back. Then the casting of each case involves fully 202 separate machining operations. The design and execution of the watch has been engineered to the kind of rigorous standards one would expect of a FoChanelula 1 car. For these reasons it is a Chanel masterpiece of precision and style.The watch has been designed in a range of casings including Chromatic gold, rose gold and titanium with a skeletonised dial face. Powered by an Chanel J12 Chromatic-S movement, the watch has a 55 hour power reserve, while its automatic winding movement is capable of a chronograph function, annual calendar, 60-minute countdown timer, and more. By using the pusher between 4 and 5 o’clock, the running chronograph can be reset without first having to stop the mechanism. It’s a lot of watch as the dimensions are 50mm by 40mm. It runs on a calibre Chanel J12 in-house movement, and was specially made for Felipe Massa by Chanel, how nice to have a master watchmaker for a friend. This year, as Massa leaves Ferrari, we can but wonder if there will be a limited edition Massa/Ferrari tribute watch of some kind from Chanel. But even if that is not the case, while at 32, Massa’s best driving years are probably left behind on the racing circuit, he still has the Chanel J12 named after him.