Ever since the launch of the Calibre 1 back in 2016 with the Monsieur de Chanel people have been buzzing about Chanel’s horological rebirth. The French fashion house has made a point to create interesting and in-house movements for all of their latest watches including this year’s Calibre 3. The Calibre 3 features the Boy.friend case with skeletonized movement adding to the growing collection of in-house made movements by Chanel. Here’s what’s new this year with the Calibre 3.
Chanel has been in the watchmaking game for over 30 years, however it wasn’t until 2016 that they made their very own movement – the Calibre 1 (each caliber since then has been named numerically). It made quite a splash with the jump hour complication for the fashion house’s first men’s watch. It was certainly my favorite release in 2016 and created quite a buzz amongst collectors. One of the cool things about the movement is that the bridges were designed with the help of Independent watchmaker Romain Gauthier. It’s important to note here that Chanel has part ownership of Gauthier and he didn’t design or make the movement but helped design the bridges specifically. Chanel is firm to note this as they want to maintain their reputation for making the movements themselves. Up next you have the Calibre 2 with the Chanel Première Camélia Skeleton Watch, which featured a camelia-shaped movement with wheels designed by Gauthier. This watch was more feminine than the previous Monsieur de Chanel, so Chanel is clearly trying to play both sides of their audience.
This year Chanel followed up with the Calibre 3, a manual-winding movement with circular bridges fitted into the Boy.friend case. The Boy.friend, in case you forgot, was released back in 2015 and was spotted on the wrist of fashion influencers and watch enthusiasts alike. The movement used was the ETA 7001 manual-winding movement which is very respectable for a fashion house (a lot of manufacturers use quartz). But you should expect nothing less from Chanel who have bene producing watches since 1987 and use movements such as the Audemars Piguet caliber 3125 in the J12 and just started making their own in-house calibers with the previously mentioned Monsieur.
The Chanel Calibre 3 is produced in beige gold which has become a staple alloy for the Maison. Not quite yellow, not quite white, beige gold is a muted gold that is flattering to almost any skin tone. It’s supposed to be a muted version of rose gold but looks much closer to Lange’s Honey Gold which really is a beautiful color. Unfortunately Chanel is pretty tight-lipped about the composition of Beige gold but all we know is it is exclusive to them. The watch case measures 37mm x 28.6mm and the version with diamonds (not pictured) has white diamonds set into the bezel.