As Capsule collections go, the Wanted de Chanel assortment of watches is both perfectly timed for this market and reminiscent of the 1990s, when fashion watches from Guess to Gucci set the tone for logo-lavished collections. So hot was the trend at one point that I remember getting a t-shirt touting a popular logo-ridden fashion watch that read: “Over 1 million backordered.”
The Wanted de Chanel capsule collection is the luxury version of that trend, and as such, it takes the concept to the next level. It starts with the basic concept of reproducing the logo on various parts of the watch, but it accelerates the concept from mere stamping to including elements of high-level watchmaking: diamonds, ceramic construction, COSC-certified mechanical movements, lacquered dials and above all, thoughtful, creative design. The logo is treated tastefully, if not discreetly. There are six series in this capsule collection, each interpreting the six block letters of the Chanel logo in a different way. The other big difference between these watches and the fashion watches of the nineties: they are all limited editions – there will be no backordering.
1. The J12 Highly Wanted de Chanel Box is a set of six logo-laden interpretations of the iconic J12. The 38mm watches are made of matte black ceramic with Chanel letters on the bezel and on the black enamel dial. It contains the automatic caliber 12.1, with an exhibition caseback, where you can see a ring of 34 diamonds on the rotor. It is COSC-certified for accuracy and has a 70-hour power reserve. The box is made of black lacquered wood. There are five numbered sets.
2. and 3. The J12 Wanted de Chanel is available in either 38mm black ceramic with a bold, white Chanel logo on the dial, or a 33mm white ceramic version with the Chanel letters in polished rhodium on the dial and silver on the bezel. The black version contains caliber 12.1, and has an exhibition caseback, but no diamonds on the rotor. The white version is quartz.
4. The Premiere Wanted de Chanel displays the letters of the logo as charms, dangling from the leather-woven-chain bracelet. The case is steel, with a black lacquered dial and an onyx cabochon in the crown. It is quartz.
5. On the Boy-Friend Wanted de Chanel, the six palladium-treated letters of the logo are riveted to the leather strap, with CHA on one side of the case, and NEL on the other. The black lacquered dial has a pixelated design in the spirit of the ’90s. It is quartz.
6. The Code Coco Wanted de Chanel also adopts the graphic power of the six letters on the leather strap. The dial’s its clasp-like design mimics the clasp on Chanel’s iconic 2.55 handbag. The dial is black lacquer, and the bracelet is quilted ceramic. The movement is quartz.