Sustainable Fashion

Chanel Calibre 4 – Beyond Technological Obsolescence


Chanel Calibre 4 – Beyond Technological Obsolescence. Two years ago, Chanel presented its first watch with complication mechanical watch movement. But what made it more important was that the Calibre 1 was the first Chanel watch to feature a full in-house design and built. Showcasing a jumping hour and retrograde minutes display, the Calibre 1, also nicknamed “Monsieur” was also the first-ever Chanel watch designed only for men.

The Calibre 1 is a mechanical work of art accentuated by two round skeleton bridges deeply entwined into the black movement. Its powerful engine is encapsulated in a rounded 40mm diameter case, and the watch is available in two colours, beige and white gold.

Chanel Calibre 4 Watch - movement of chanel calibre 1

Chanel Calibre 4 – Chemically Printed

The second in-house movement presented by Chanel was launched at the 30th anniversary of Chanel’s watch production. Named Calibre 2, the watch had a layered design depicting the petals of camelia flower – much loved by Mademoiselle Chanel.

But to the opposite of ‘Monsieur de Chanel’, the Calibre 2 watch was designed with women in mind, as a watch that’s breathing elegance from function to form.

Chanel Calibre 4 Watch - movement of chanel calibre 2

As expected, the Calibre 3 is the latest watch released by the house of Chanel. This time artisans decided to fuse the androgynous Boy∙Friend watch with a new type of chemically printed skeleton movement, without spokes.

“Monsieur de Chanel” or Calibre 1, had a masculine design, with visible movement part, because that’s what men want. In contrast, we concealed the internal parts in a ‘camellia flower’, for the Calibre 2, because we felt it was a more feminine touch. That’s why I see Calibre 3 as a watch with unisex personality or even transgender,” says Nicolas Beau, global head of watch and jewellery at Chanel.

Chanel Calibre 4 – Galvanic Technology

In the design of luxury watches, spokes maintain weight, balance, and design. If the spokes are removed, the watches won’t stay even. However, as it is the case with the Calibre 3 watch, the wheels have no classic spokes with visible screws, but they were grown through chemical 3D printing.

Chanel Calibre 4 Watch - movement of chanel calibre 3

Looking from the side of the Calibre 3 dial, no screws can be seen. The movement is attached to the case at the top and bottom in a way which gives the impression that the movement is suspended between the two sapphire crystals at the front and back of the case.

While in the Calibre 3 the aesthetics of the skeleton movement blend to perfection with the rectangular case of the Boy∙Friend watch, the attempt of bringing the two together posed tremendous technical challenges to Chanel.

Chanel Calibre 4 Watch - detail of inside work on calibre watch 3 from chanel

The fusion of black ADLC coating on the bridges of the skeleton, as found at the back concealed by a layer of interlinked circles, and the galvanic layers, in particular, were difficult to achieve.

More than that, as Chanel’s BoyFriend Skeleton watch has no spokes on the movement’s wheels, in the case of the Calibre 3 the designing team had to chemically print them with the help of galvanic technology.

Chanel Calibre 4 – Technological Obsolescence

According to Beau, the Calibre 4 watch will be the most advanced release from the house of Chanel to date. Beau would not detail the specs, technology, or design of the Calibre 4, stating only that it is already under development.

However, rumours have it that the house of Chanel pushes for the Calibre 4 watch to be an exquisite blend of luxury heritage with some of the most innovative technologies, under the couture flavour that made Chanel such a globally recognised luxury brand.

Chanel Calibre 4 Watch - woman wearing white shirt and a black chanel calibre 3 watch on her left werist

Curious to see how Chanel can pull off the technological obsolescence that stops luxury brands from infusing their timeless products with technology? Subscribe below and follow us via social media platforms to stay in the know.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *