Chanel has taken an automotive theme to a couple of their recent watch designs, and the new Chanel Monsieur Superleggera Edition is the most extroverted of the bunch. Featuring an unusual retrograde indication of the time, you can’t help but think of the dash display of a supercar when you look at the intricately worked dial.
Superleggera is Italian for “super light”, and was also the name of an Italian automotive coachbuilder, who actually produced the Aston Martin DB5 of James Bond fame. A similar ethos is present in the watch, featuring a 42mm case made in steel covered ceramic, and is 10.85mm thick. Despite the unconventional dial layout, it remains feeling modern and sporty, paired with a nylon fabric strap backed with red calf leather.
The dial is complex in its construction, featuring a 240-degree arc that displays the minutes, a central subdial for the seconds and a window at the bottom of the dial that displays the hours. As you’d expect from Chanel, the dial and indeed the rest of the watch, have been executed in a monochromatic set of blacks and greys, only interrupted by the pop of a couple of red highlights.
What with the exposed movement baseplate visible on the outside of the minute track, the exposed screws near the hour aperture and the matte-finished case, it has a pared-back, function forward feeling to it. And that’s all before you flip it over to look at the movement.
The Chanel Monsieur Superleggera Edition is powered by the Chanel Caliber 1, a manually wound movement that runs at 28,800 beats per hour and offers 72 hours of power reserve. Visible through the sapphire crystal caseback, the movement is an exercise in articulate refinement, highlighting the moving parts with contrasting matte black bridges.
For supercar looks, you should expect supercar prices, and the Chanel Monsieur Superleggera Edition has an RRP of US$40,750 (AU$55,000), and will be available from September this year.