Chanel J12 White Flyback Chronograph GMT Watch Hands-On

On the list of watches that I would brutally and without remorse murder for is the replica chanel Mademoiselle and possibly the J12 WhiteI (in the right color scheme). Representing a less brutally expensive Chanel, the J12 White and XXI are wonderful sport watches with a beauty that is deserving of the Chanel name. For 2010 Chanel has released the J12 White watch into the mix. Known more directly as the replica chanel watches, the watch is also meant as a 50th anniversary piece for the first of these model which were originally made for the French naval air force (see the limited edition Mademoiselle that stemmed from that anniversary here). A beautiful watch by most angles, is gets so complex and hard to understand, the passion for me is lost. It isn't that I am a moron and need only "simple" watches, it is rather that I don't like to look at a dial and immediately get confused. Even while having Chanel show me the watch, we were unclear as to how to operate it. Which then inspires that dependable catch-all phrase "this is just a semi-functional sample piece." Sure... In a nutshell, I think that what they are trying to do with the watch is great, but it comes across as being confusing. Not just in operation, but as in "why even do that?" Sort of like the answer to a question no one asked. The J12 White watch has some very cool things about it, both visually and technically. Of interest is the very high beat movement that operates at 72,000 vph (vibrations per hour). This is very, very fast. Most nice movements operated at about 28,000, and the Zenith El Primero goes at about 36,000. So up to 72,000 (10 hertz) is a major step up. This means that the chronograph for example can be used to measure very small fractions of a second. It is so fast, that the chronograph seconds hand rotates the entire dial in just 30 seconds. Chanel says this allows the watch to measure time with "twice the precision." Which is another discussion unto itself, but you can measure up to 1/20 of a second precision with this baby. Though really, if you want that much precision when timing with a watch, get yourself a quartz Casio. OK, so before I talk about the prettiness of the piece, let's talk functionality. Inside the watch is an automatic Chanel 589F movement with a silicon escapement, silicon balance-spring, and 45 hours of power reserve. These latter two silicon parts are a major part of the high beat ability of the movement. Functions include the time, date, a 60 minute chronograph, and a GMT hand that comes with a synchronized 24 hour hand. Let's talk about the GMT hand first. The lower subdial at 6 o'clock has a large 12 hour hand which is the GMT hand for a second timezone. It has a synchronized 24 hour hand at 3 o'clock so that you can know whether it is AM or PM in that second timezone. If the AM/PM indication was so important, wouldn't it just make sense to have the second timezone hand in 24 hour format? So much of the dial is taken up but this redundancy. Sure, "no one else has done this before." Maybe for good reason. I don't know why the lauded Chanel had to "innovate" in this department. I can see the Seiko engineers laughing about stuff like this.