One of fashion's great powerhouses since 1909, Chanel's wristwatch division is relatively new, having been created in 1987.

NEWS: Chanel steps up their in-house watchmaking capacity with investment in new factory

I've been saying for a while now that Chanel are a force to watch when it comes to serious watchmaking. Their recent high-end movements are impressive, to say the least. They're already investors in Romain Gauthier, and — more recently — F.P. Journe. The latest step in Chanel's increasing in-house journey is their acquisition of a 20 per cent stake in Kenissi Manufacture. If you're not familiar with Kenissi, that's OK, as they're a fairly new player, currently based in…

HANDS-ON: Chanel's Code Coco – a fashion watch that's so much more than a fashion watch

As someone whose love of watches is focused entirely on mechanisms powered by springs, the word quartz normally evokes the immediate cry of "Next!" So when I stop and spend time with a quartz watch, it must be a bit special. And so to Code Coco. It had me at first glance: that crisp, chic and utterly modern design. Strong, straight lines, no colour. Just a broad band of glossy black with a touch of polished steel and a taut…

HANDS-ON: The Chanel J12 Untitled

So deeply has Chanel's J12 become embedded in the canon of 21st-century design, it's easy to forget that it was introduced only 18 years ago. From the original model – a chic, sporty and androgynous piece in black ceramic that Chanel's then artistic director, Jacques Helleu, had designed to wear himself – it has evolved over the years to embrace new colours, more elaborate decoration and various complications, without allowing anything to dilute the design. Every so often, Chanel has…

INSIGHT: Exploring Chanel's watchmaking – the movements

It's seven years since Chanel Horlogerie decided to start developing its own movements in-house and in the last three of those years it has launched three new calibres – or four, when counting Calibre 2.1 separately. Each is strikingly different from anything offered by other haute horlogerie brands – and all are noticeably different from each other. That's due to Chanel's singular approach to watchmaking, which does not follow the usual path of "making engines to then put into various…

INSIGHT: A brief history of time – as seen by Chanel

It's a paradox that a luxury house as conspicuously feminine as Chanel should always have had a gender-bending streak. So here comes a quick bit of fashion history – and before you watch geeks roll your eyes and change the channel, let me say that this will help explain everything about Chanel's watches. Including why they are not to be dismissed as mere "fashion watches". I'll be brief. By the simple fact of launching herself into business (as a milliner)…

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