Amid the assortment of secret watches in the market, the latest addition to Chanel’s entourage of timepieces is one that masquerades as jewellery with an unusual twist.
Gone are the products with little more to offer than the stamp of a brand name. A new design trend seems to be emerging in the luxury sphere, where brands enhance their design sensibilities to reduce the distance between a brand and its customers by offering products that tell a story or engage the senses of its consumers. For Chanel, it is the Code Coco timepiece embedded with all the enigmatic codes of its brand.
Throughout the years, the Parisian luxury house has invented many codes that have contributed to the timeless style and sophistication of its products. The source of inspiration often traces back to the personal style of its founder, Gabrielle Coco Chanel. And it’s no different with the Code Coco watches, now in its third year since it was first unveiled — the watch is so named thanks to the various codes that christen it. From Gabrielle Chanel’s favourite gemstone to the iconic quilting of Chanel bags, one must decipher every nod and wink to the brand’s heritage in order to fully appreciate the unique piece of jewellery.
The dial on the original white gold timepiece is now fully diamond-paved.
Click of the Clasp
At the heart of a Code Coco timepiece is a clasp that fastens around the wrist with a satisfying click. The sound is resonant like that of the clasp on Chanel’s iconic 2.55 quilted handbag. It’s a replica of the clasp created by Mademoiselle Chanel in 1955, which rotates to sit perpendicular to the bracelet when locked. The rotatable metal bar holds a secondary function of concealing the time when it is turned 90 degrees, to sit parallel with the bracelet, making it a versatile timepiece that could cross over as a jewellery piece.
Concealed jewellery watches are no headliners. The idea of a hidden dial was in fact first conceived in the 1930s so that women could check the time discreetly out of respect for the company they were with. But the design for Chanel’s Code Coco watch has proven to be one part modern and one part classic — seemingly championing this traditional concept.
The signature clasp of the watch is accompanied by a sinuous bracelet body comprised of tiny squares. Its design subtly recalls the quilting technique (known as matelassé) found on Chanel handbags, giving the timepiece a unique visual that is instantly recognisable. Combining the refined elegance of its fluid bracelet and a kick of assertiveness from the block-shaped structure, the watch is a concentration of all the brand philosophies dear to Gabrielle Chanel.
Most of the rubies on this unique Code Coco edition is sourced in Mozambic, taking a total of 24 months.
A Woman’s Taste
This year’s Code Coco collection revealed an all-new beige gold edition alongside the original white gold and black ceramic. As with other sectors of the Parisian house, beige stands as one of the fundamental colours handpicked by Gabrielle Chanel. “I go back to beige because it’s natural,” Gabrielle Chanel once said. In the books of Chanel, the colour beige acts as an element of harmony and sophistication. Together, the warm undertones of the new beige gold watch provide a feminine touch to its white and black counterparts.
A Touch of Sparkle
Diamonds are a symbol of timelessness and strength in character. Also recognised as Gabrielle Chanel’s favourite gemstone, the most precious element of all codes adorns the new Code Coco additions with panache. The original black lacquered dial is now dipped in diamond, brimming in celebration of Chanel’s high jewellery tendencies.
To top it off, Chanel introduced two additional diamond watches. One is entirely paved in brilliant-cut diamonds — from the bracelet to the bezel and dial — qualifying it as a true river of diamonds. And the other is rendered in an intense raspberry colour that is reminiscent of Coco Chanel’s unmistakable red lipstick, the bezel finished with princess-cut diamonds to complete the profile of a powerful, alluring woman.
An all-new beige gold edition of the Code Coco pillar is introduced as a representation of modernity.
A Hint of Leather
Lastly, the Code Coco collection welcomes a new variation of the strap, in the same way Chanel expanded its iconic handbags. The new watch now offers a calf leather strap in place of the bracelet, rendering the timepiece with a unique contrast in materials yet not deviating from the facets that define the collection. The black leather strap with the iconic Chanel quilted design sits expansively on the wrist without being too overpowering — an audacious addition that underlines the brand’s classically edgy narrative.
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