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Chanel goes chasing rainbows

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When it comes to watchmaking, few brands in recent years have stuck to a monochrome theme more consistently than Chanel.

But you do not stay at the top of the fashion pyramid for over a century without an eye for rapidly rising trends, so it was not a complete surprise to see the maison jump on the rainbow colored bandwagon that seems to be rolling through the watch industry.

Designers, it seems, have decided we need plenty of light and color at the end of the dark tunnel we have been stuck in for over a year.

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Rainbow colors, usually created in sparkling gems are everywhere this year, are not just a reaction to what we all hope will be the end of the pandemic, but also the fact that the world is buying fewer watches at higher prices, and nothing hikes prices like diamonds, sapphires, rubies and the rest.

Chanel’s J12 Electro watch, a limited edition of 1,255 pieces, is one of several examples from the brand this year with neon marking hours and minutes on the dial and bezel contrasting with the black ceramic and steel case.

The 38mm watch houses a COSC-certified manufacture Caliber 12.1: self-winding movement.

There is also a box set of 12 J12 Electro watches, all with bezels set with 46 baguette-cut monochrome sapphires (~6.37 carats) in a range of colors.

Chanel J12 Electro Dream is the disco-inspired name given to black and white ceramic limited editions of the brand’s best selling watch.

Only 55 will be produced of each; production limited by the cost, time and complexity of setting 46 baguette-cut rainbow sapphires (~6.47 carats) for each of the 38mm watches.

They also use the automatic Caliber 12.1 movement, which has a 70 hour power reserve.

Top of the rainbow J12 family this year is the X-Ray Electro Caliber 3.1 watch, limited to 12 pieces and created in a sapphire and 18ct white gold case.

For fans of the famous eight sided Chanel watch case, designed to look like of its famous perfume bottle stoppers from above, there is the Premiere Electro watch; a quartz-based limited edition of 555 in a blackened steel case.

The color comes from a steel chain bracelet interwoven with neon rainbow leather strap.

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