Rave on with Chanel’s electric new watches collection

Chanel has infused its new watches with bold colour in an irreverent rethink of classic designs

Chanel watch with long rainbow bracelet strap, left, and white Chanel watch with rainbow sapphires round dial, right
(Image credit: press)

Chanel is anticipating a bit of post-pandemic decadence with a new watch collection which zings with neon hues. Director of watchmaking, Arnaud Chastaingt, has infused collections including the J12, the Première and the Code Coco with lighting bolts of neon.

‘I wanted to create an immersive capsule collection inspired by electronic music culture,’ Chastaingt said upon introducing the models. He was inspired by the rave culture of the Nineties for watches which zing with a rainbow of bright hues. ‘The musical movement created a radical new visual universe which was a reflection of the night life and its atmosphere,’ he adds. ‘Electronic music transcended the frontiers of music and created an aesthetic culture.’ The new collection borrows these vibrant codes, juxtaposing the bright pops of the rainbow with deep black for a graphic contrast.

Chanel watch with pink quilted strap

(Image credit: press)

In the Première collection, a black lacquered dial is inscribed with the Chanel logo in neon pink, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange or red, matching a triple row steel chain woven with a matching colour. In the J12, the bezel is set with baguette-cut rainbow sapphires which loop their hypnotic way around a matte black dial. The Code Coco goes for full on block colour, its calfskin leather strap crafted from quilted neon pink. In the J12 Electro Star, the rainbow sapphires are set into the side profile, making a colourful contrast against the diamonds.

On the Boy-Friend Electro watch, a dash of electro pink hidden in the lining of the bracelet lets a robot on the dial drawn in diamonds take centre stage. ‘In the 1990s the electronic music movement developed its own unique graphic universe inspired by the graphic codes of digital and electronic art - reflected here in the pixellated pattern of the robot,’ says Chastaingt. ‘At Chanel the complexity of fine watchmaking far surpasses the purely technical aspects.’

Chanel diamond watch with rainbow coloured sapphires going up the side

(Image credit: press)

Chanel black watch with a robot in diamonds on the dial

(Image credit: press)


Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.