Little history lesson:
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel originally founded the House of Chanel in 1909 as a hat- and sportswear-maker for the wives and mistresses of Paris’s male social elite; it was a common practice then for men to display their wealth not on their own person, but on that of women who accompanied them.
Chanel wouldn’t launch their first men’s product — an eau de toilette — until the early ‘50s; in 2001, they added a line of entirely unwearable menswear to their runway shows.
And now, finally, in 2016, they’re bringing to market a wearable product for men that you’ll actually want to own.
In development for five years, the Monsieur de Chanel has been outfitted with a mechanical, in-house movement called the Calibre 1 that features a double complication made up of 170 components housed under a 240-degree display dial. In order to emphasize the piece’s masculinity, a lion emblem was chosen as the symbol of the watch. It also sits on an elegant alligator strap.
“You have this very beautiful engine and then you turn it over, and you have an extremely simple, lean and clean design,” says Nicolas Beau, Chanel’s international watch director. “It’s like a watch with two faces.”
The minimalist Monsieur will be produced in a limited edition run of 300 — 150 in beige ($35,448) and 150 in white gold ($37,135) — and the company plans to unveil more than 40 other new watch designs in the coming days at Baselworld.
All images via Chanel