Launched in the year 2000, at first realized in black, followed by a reincarnation in white three years later, the J12 revolutionized the world of watchmaking. It was crowned the first watch icon of the 21st century.
From the moment it was launched, the J12 pushed boundaries and defied the firmly held conventions of the watchmaking world.
Twenty years later, the J12 still embodies the same creative and rebellious spirit.
Black? Or white? In 2020, the J12 no longer has to choose.
For the first time, black and white come together.
Without actually mixing. Creating a line, a paradox.
A silhouette. An allure.
The J12 Paradoxe combines light with mystery. Day with night.
With a sleight of hand, it reveals its secret – appearing from under the seam of a jacket, the fold of a blouse or the line of a wrist.
Its unique aesthetic is the result of a highly technical feat accomplished by cutting and fusing two ceramic cases of different dimensions – one white and the other black. Assembled together, they form one casing.
Born from scratch-resistant ceramic, this operation is unexpectedly complex.
To ensure a perfect cut without breaking the material requires a particular expertise, completely mastered by the CHANEL Manufacture in Switzerland. Once cut, the two parts are assembled on a metallic support into which the sapphire caseback is set. A meticulous mission conceived especially for the J12 Paradoxe, whose fabrication requires the fashioning of two specific two-tone elements – the dial and the bezel. The dial is revealed to be almost completely covered in white, juxtaposed by a stroke of black on its right side. Using tampography, the ring of the bezel is initially coloured black, then white, rendering it in two-tone. The black must be restrained, erased to create the perfect alignment with the convergence line of the white ceramic bracelet.
The two-tone identity of the J12 Paradoxe stands in stark and dramatic contrast when the watch is viewed from the front, highlighting the perfect complementarity of these two colours.
Black and white at the heart of the same creation.
Black against white. White against black.
In the year 2000, the J12 watch sent shockwaves through the world of watchmaking.
Swathed in black ceramic, then reimagined in white in 2003, the J12 transformed a high resistance substance into a precious material, all while definitively securing black and white as watchmaking codes. The first icon of 21st century watchmaking was met with immediate success.
In 2020, the J12 celebrates its 20th anniversary and won’t let anyone dare say this isn’t the best time of life. Without forgetting its past, the J12 frees itself of the colour codes that have been its triumph. It goes through an x-ray. It abolishes black, transcends white and goes beyond colour by choosing transparency. The new J12 X-RAY watch displays its watchmaking mastery in a unique sapphire case that allows us to admire the incandescent purity of its forms.
With a new movement that has been designed and assembled by the CHANEL Manufacture in Switzerland – the Caliber 3.1 – the J12 X-RAY is all about transparency. The plate, timer bridge and cog bridge are made of sapphire. They fade away to let the light in, revealing a delicately embroidered latticework of cogs. With each component rendered in a depth between 0.5mm to 1mm, the assembly of the movement requires the delicacy, patience and expertise of master watchmakers – taking an entire week to complete.
The dial is also cast in sapphire and set with baguette-cut diamond indicators, giving the illusion of 12 diamonds perfectly balanced in a state of suspension. For the first time in history, a watch is created with a strap composed of links cut from raw sapphires. A technical feat like no other. A world premiere. Luminous, the bezel is paved with baguette-cut diamonds, weighing a total of 5.46 carats. The dazzling crown is topped with a diamond cabochon. The noble hands and set buckle are quite rightly, hewn from white gold. As a limited edition of just 12 pieces, the J12 X-RAY watch initiates a new era in the history of colour.