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 Geneva but moving to a Le Locle facility in 2021.
Where things get interesting is the fact that Kenissi is, as reported by Le Temps, the industrial arm of Tudor. This joint investment is centred around the Le Locle facility called the “Gemini Project”, which, according to Le Temps, will be a 150-metre long plant divided into dedicated spaces for Tudor and Kenissi.
Chanel have stated that their first watch powered by a Kenissi movement will be released at Baselworld 2019. Given the relationship with Tudor, we surmise that the movement might be more industrial and entry-level than Chanel’s previous in-house offerings, but that remains to be seen.