The house of Chanel has always been about precise, momentous moments. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was known for her artistic instincts that birthed some of the most defining products of the brand. Fast forward to the fashion house’s first foray into the world of horology, the original Chanel J12 watch dazzled both Chanel fans and watch aficionados alike. The watch, designed by Jacques Helleu, artistic director of the house, was made successful thanks to its strong silhouette complemented with equal verve and versatility.
In creating the latest J12 for its 20th anniversary, Jacques Helleu set out on a mission to transform the watch without changing it. The result is a watch that is “not a new J12, but the J12 of today and tomorrow”. The J12 watch still carries the same exact identity and sophisticated air, but this time, enhanced with a new technical innovation.
Time moves forward and waits for no one, but it’s the critical, deciding moments that count. In many ways, the J12 captures the spirit of all things Chanel, where “succession of milestones is of no coincidence”. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Chanel calls upon 10 individuals across different backgrounds and cultures for its new J12 watch campaign. The star-studded campaign features Ali Macgraw, Anna Mouglalis, Carole Bouquet, Claudia Schiffer, Keira Knightley, Lily-Rose Depp, Liu Wen, Naomi Campbell, Vanessa Paradis and William Chan as muses in a series of black and white portrait shots and videos, where they share the importance of seconds through personal experience.
Keira Knightley in one of the black-and-white portrait series shot by fashion photographer Brigitte Lacombe
There was nothing, save for the models with their ceramic timepieces between the plain wall and the camera, to set the scene for the campaign catchphrase, “It’s all about seconds”. From the simple joys of making eye contact on the streets “in the age of mobile phones”, according to Anna Mouglalis, to moments of fear which Keira Knightley describes, “where seconds lasts longer”, the campaign reveals life changing moments in their lives.
2nd May 2019 - Lily-Rose Depp at the Chanel J12 launch in Paris.
2nd May 2019 - William Chan at the Chanel J12 launch in Paris.
“I’m not one of those people that wants time to stop” shares Naomi Campbell. “There are just certain things in life that happen when they happen”. Incidentally, that was how Thomas du Pré de Saint-Maur, head of creative resources at Chanel brought the 10 muses together. “We sort of cultivated that sense of spontaneity and genuineness in our choices, nothing very marketed”, he said.
The beauty of the campaign is, undeniably, the wide cast of members, from all walks of life, bound only by the history they share with Chanel – And that perfectly demonstrates J12 as the watch to accompany every Chanel woman through every decisive moment.
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