Watches: New woman’s watch inspired by the Chanel 2.55 purse

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 29, 2017.

Chanel has released the Code Coco watch just in time for Paris Fashion Week.

The Code Coco in stainless steel with diamond-set bezel.

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Chanel is no stranger to the watch game. In fact, the Parisian fashion house has been on something of a roll lately. It all started a few years ago with the Boy.Friend, and then last year they made an even bigger splash with their first dedicated men’s watch, the Monsieur, which featured an in-house movement developed with none other than Romain Gauthier. It was one of the more surprising and interesting watches of that year’s Baselworld fair due to the jump-hour Caliber 1. Then, keeping things going, Chanel followed up with the Premiere Camelia Skeleton and the Caliber 2 just earlier this year.

Now, just in time for Paris Fashion Week, Chanel has released the Code Coco watch in stainless steel, available with or without a diamond-set bezel. The new jewellery watch is inspired by the iconic (and in my humble opinion, desirable) Chanel 2.55 purse, which features a very special clasp. The watch itself is reminiscent of something you might have seen from 1970s Piaget, with the unique stainless steel bracelet a major part of the overall package. The black lacquered dial measures 38.1x21.5mm and there is a high-precision quartz movement sitting underneath. The rectangular black dial is bisected by a rotating metal bar that either exposes the time when it is perpendicular to the bracelet, or conceals the time when parallel to it. This allows for an unusual and discreet way to wear your watch and tell time, with the piece itself straddling the watch and bracelet categories.

While this is currently a very unusual design and certainly innovative, it is not the first time that we have seen concealed watches for women. Van Cleef and Arpels designed the Cadenas in the 1930s, which championed the hidden dial so that women could check time discreetly, so as not to offend the company they were with of course. Van Cleef and Arpels has continued this design tradition in modern pieces as well.  While the movement of the Code Coco may be quartz, I myself love a good jewellery watch and think this one is pretty cool.

The Chanel Code Coco starts at US$5,000 (RM20,550) for the plain stainless steel version with single .05 carat diamond and US$9,100 for the versions in stainless steel with a diamond-set bezel (with 52 diamonds to be exact). There is also a limited edition of five pieces that is made in white gold entirely encrusted with diamonds. This will run you a cool US$956,000. — Bloomberg

This article was originally published on Hodinkee.