In her ateliers on rue Cambon, Gabrielle Chanel always kept two tools to hand: a pair of scissors suspended from a ribbon which she wore round her neck as a sautoir, and on her wrist the indispensable tool of any seamstress, a pincushion.
In 2023, Arnaud Chastaingt, Director of the CHANEL Watchmaking Creation Studio, has borrowed this tool to create the Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles watch.
« I like the image of this functional piece of jewelry that adorns the wrists of seamstresses. » This essential dressmaking accoutrement generally takes the form of a metal cuff topped with a generously sized dome-shaped cushion. On a technical level, it enables dressmakers to keep and organize their pins and needles where they can see them, to help them as they work. « I am fascinated by the design of objects whose architecture is the product of a practical need. In terms of style, the pincushion commands authority on the wrist, with presence and impact. Its outsize format does not detract from its comfort in any way, and it adapts to all wrists. I love the random design of needles on the surface of the cushion. Organized or disorganized, the pinheads pricked into the fabric dome create a decorative effect that evolves with the progress of the seamstress’s work. I have adopted the spirit of this tool to create a watch. While its architecture has the boldness of simplicity, its oversized dial flirts with excess and offers an incredible space for expression. I dreamed of this creation as a blank canvas for the most audacious Métiers d’art. I have imagined five tableaux for this collection: a lacework of camellias, a composition of iconic bags, jewels strewn on black tweed, a diamond embroidery, and a jacket at the pattern stage. »
Each of these pieces tell a story, a story unique to CHANEL, a story of Couture and of Haute Horlogerie to which only CHANEL possesses the secret.