Welcome to Always On Time, where we’re always there when you call with the most interesting new watches in the world.
The watch: the Chanel Monsieur Superleggera Edition
The single best thing about this watch: Your wrist just got 100% more Chanel
The backstory: In the watch world, “fashion” is a dirty word. The term “fashion watch” is often used derisively to describe a gussied-up timepiece with a lot of external flash but nothing much to write home about when it comes to the internal mechanics. And watch collectors are strict adherents of that sage elementary-school wisdom: it’s on the inside that counts. While it’s true that many of the watches produced (or licensed by) big fashion houses do use simple quartz movements in favor of the mechanical ones collectors prefer, that’s not the case for this new Chanel Monsieur Superleggera Edition.
Chanel introduced the Monsieur in 2016 as its powerhouse watch for dudes. And so far, the watch has mostly appeared in the precious metals—platinum, white gold, beige gold—you’d expect from a high-fashion brand. Tucked inside those watches is a movement made in-house by Romain Gauthier, one of the world’s most respected watchmakers. So it’s not just any garden-variety mechanical movement, but one at the level of those from more traditional watchmakers. The movement powers a genuinely cool and unique-looking timepiece with a jumping hour mechanism (meaning the minutes count up to 60 on the larger disc before the hour jumps in the aperture at the 6 o’clock position).
We like sportz and we don’t care who knows: The new Monsieur represents a significant shift for the line. While previous models were firmly positioned as dress watches, this new iteration is Chanel’s take on a sports watch, with the dial clearly meant to mimic the dashboard on a car. Chanel isn’t the first super high-end luxury brand to take its watches in this direction, either. Earlier this year, Hermès unveiled its H08 at Watches & Wonders, and like Chanel did with this new Monsieur, Hermès took its watch line in a much sportier direction. The H08 is a boxy, tough-as-a-tank watch that would look perfect on your next safari. Luxury brands seem to be realizing that casual sports watches, like Rolex’s Daytona and Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, rule the current era of watch collecting.
Where and when to buy it: The Monsieur Superleggera is priced at $39,400. Make a friend at a Chanel boutique.