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The Chanel Monsieur De Chanel

Given the febrile hoplophilia foisted on the world by Hollywood since the westerns of the 1930s, few would be surprised to learn that the word ‘calibre’ comes from an Arabic word describing a mould for casting bullets. In watchmaking, of course, as in gun-making, the word refers to precision engineering, and the Calibre 1 — the first movement designed, developed and assembled by Chanel, and the beating heart of the house’s first men’s watch — is sure to pierce a gaping, smouldering hole in the existing horology status quo.

Unveiled at Baselworld 2016, the 170-piece movement boasts instantaneous jumping hours that can be set forwards and backwards, as well as retrograde minutes, and is the latest pearl of horological excellence from independent watchmaker Romain Gauthier, one of Switzerland’s most lauded, with whom Chanel forged a fruitful relationship at Baselworld 2011. “First and foremost, we wanted to design a beautiful movement and give some style to it,” says Nicolas Beau, Chanel’s international watch director. “Romain Gauthier was the perfect guy to do it.”

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