The House of Chanel originated in 1909 on when Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel opened a millinery shop in Paris. While she began her career designing and making hats, she soon expanded into fashion design and her garments were extremely successful.
Widely considered as of the most talented and influencial fashion designers of all time, Coco Chanel believed that ‘simplicity is the keynote of true elegance’ and she translated this philosophy into all of her work.
As the Chanel company became increasingly popular, a perfume was launched to complement the fashion line – the famous Chanel No. 5 – and over time the company added fine jewellery, watches and beauty products to its iconic name.
The first Chanel watches were launched in 1987, with its watchmaking workshops based in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. Chanel has mastered the use of high-tech ceramic in its designs, transforming it into a precious metal and revolutionising the rules of watchmaking. All Chanel watches are developed entirely by the Chanel team in the heart of the ‘watch vallley’, from initial design to final assembly.
Many Chanel watches feature gemsetting, an exquisite skill assured by the company’s Swiss workshops, while the launch of the Rétrograde Mystérieuse watch combined all of Chanel’s watchmaking innovation: a tourbillon, digital minutes display, retrograde minutes hand, 10-day power reserve and a retractable vertical crown.
These Chanel watches marked a world first for the company and were designed without a side crown to ensure maximum comfort on the wrist.