With Les Eternelles de Chanel collection of watches, the legendary French fashion house has created an artistic line of high jewellery
Karl Lagerfeld made fashion history last July when he publicly paid tribute to Chanel’s 200-plus behind-the-scenes workers. For Chanel’s fall/winter 2016-17 haute couture runway show at Paris’ Grand Palais, he set up the atelier workers’ sewing machines, fabrics, dummies and other artisan tools, asking each worker to practice his or her trade at the same time as the models paraded the label’s couture collection. In that memorable moment, he was honouring the work of the skilled artisans who have always remained invisible in the glitzy fashion world.
The theme of craftsmanship carries over this season into the French label’s latest high jewellery watch collection, Les Eternelles de Chanel. For this capsule collection, Chanel chose to highlight the house’s famous quilting tradition, transposing the iconic motif onto its coveted watches.
The quilt motif that ties the collection together is achieved by using the most exclusive diamonds and precious stones, which are then set in 18-carat gold. The diamonds, shaped like squares to recall the quilt design, are enhanced by the colourful brilliance of the other stones, turning the watch into a couture item. In turn, the playful mirror effect produced by the diamonds beautifully offsets the sensual colour of the precious stones. While they’re certainly timepieces, these objects of desire are ultimately rare and unique pieces of jewellery.
The signature Grenat Secret Watch is the definite star of the collection, featuring white gold adorned with 39.9-carat cushion-cut garnet, 91 brilliant-cut yellow sapphires and 79 fancy-cut orange sapphires. The unique watch also shimmers and glimmers with 87 brilliant-cut spessartite garnets and 1171 brilliant-cut diamonds. In addition, the precise quartz movement ensures a constantly accurate indication of the hour.
Chanel has long been revered for its glamourous gowns, iconic suits, exquisite tailoring and must-have accessories. With its Eternelles de Chanel collection, the label has also simultaneously conquered the dual worlds of watchmaking and jewellery.