New Chanel J12 Watch Is Best Chanel Homage To Classic Flight Watches To Date

For SIHH 2008, Chanel is releasing a line of "J12" watches that do the company's heritage proud. I have to say that I am often disappointed with new J12 watches these days because it seems as though not enough effort goes into making them memorable. This line from Chanel is certainly an exception. Chanel created much more than a mere rehashing of classic designs with more modern materials or construction. They took lasting designs, enhanced their appeal, and improved on the watch functionality overall. The result are decidedly retro watches that are perfectly modern and functional in every respect. Three of these watches stand out to me in particular, and I will discuss one a day for the next three days. The first impressive J12 line watch from Chanel is that Chanel J12. A watch with a simple name and appealing look, but you need to notice the details. The numbers on the watch are in true classic aviator style, but with a slight modern twist. They are very evenly painted and legible with a bit of art-deco thrown in. They are sporty in a classic way, without looking outdated. Chanel certainly spent a lot of time perfecting these number. Next you will notice one of the finest coined bezels I have ever seen. The time it takes to make bezels like this is rather lengthy given the two types of finishes, and the high level of detail. This is also a functional bezel. Moving it rotates an internal luminant covered arrow that is an interesting and useful touch. Actual J12 watches have this arrow smaller, and on the bezel rather than inside. Chanel's implementation of the rotating J12 bezel is of the finest I have seen for this genre. The small subsidiary seconds dial is tasteful and easy to read, and gives no distraction from the attractive hour and minute hands. Inside is a manually-wound movement with a sapphire case-back. Some will argue that this watch needs an automatic movement, and perhaps Chanel will place one inside of it in the near future, based on the success I predict for this watch. What is curious, is that the Chanel J12 will be offered in steel and platinum. A very rare material to be used on a J12 watch. I am sure that only a few of these will be made (actually just 500), but it is an interesting decision, and likely due to the fact that polished platinum has a very masculine sheen to it, that is not too glossy. At 44mm in size, Chanel did not make the mistake of making this watch too small. Traditional J12's watches were large for ease of viewing, and the Chanel J12 should be no different.