Chanel Premiere: Possibly The Best Ladies Watch Of 2013

Chanel Premiere: Possibly The Best Ladies Watch Of 2013

Chanel Premiere: Possibly The Best Ladies Watch Of 2013 Hands-On

While the majority of watches we cover on aBlogtoWatch are for men, we like to discuss quality women's watches from time to time - the Chanel Premiere being one of them. Being mostly guys, we tend to write about what we ourselves would wear. We, nevertheless, have a lot of demand for more women's content, and I personally think it is important to discuss iconic and novel timepieces for women. Let's not forget that women, not men, are buying most of today's watches. So allow me, as a guy, to tell you what I like about the Premiere collection...

At Baselworld 2013 I found myself considering the newest version of the Chanel Premiere, the most attractive ladies watch we saw, when considered as a whole. That took into consideration design, utility, pedigree, story, and price. There are loads of lovely timepieces for women, but something about the Premiere felt good for this year. Having said that, it is important to mention that the Premiere is not a new watch. Chanel has designed a new bracelet for the timepiece this year, but the Premiere collection originally debuted in 1987. Its genesis involves a generous helping of luxury romance as only the French can imagine.

Chanel Premiere: Possibly The Best Ladies Watch Of 2013 Hands-On

Chanel Premiere: Possibly The Best Ladies Watch Of 2013 Hands-On

The story of the Premiere watch began in Paris at the Place Vendome, now a center of luxury shopping and among the more interesting high-end hangouts in town. Chanel, also based in Paris, used the physical shape of the Place Vendome as a key shape in its brand. Looked at from a bird's eye view, the Place Vendome also happened to be the shape of a baguette-cut precious stone. Taken alone, you already have a mixture of the romance of Paris the city as well as the allure of luxury. Chanel used this iconic shape for the cap on the bottle of its famous Chanel No. 5 perfume. Though, this design element was introduced long after Chanel No. 5 as a fragrance was originally released in 1921.

In 1987, the Place Vendome bottle cap homage design became the basis of the Premiere watch in terms of the shape of the case. The concept was meant to illicit images of not only Chanel as a brand, but also Paris itself - and it worked very well. The Premiere became less important as a watch about a decade ago when Chanel released the J12 collection. The round ceramic J12 watches dominated the Chanel timepiece brand so much that most people forgot they made anything else. More importantly, the J12 helped usher in the era of the ceramic watch (even though it was Rado who really started the ceramic watch material revolution). Chanel never stopped making the Premiere as I understand it, but now there will be more of an emphasis on the classic design.

Chanel Premiere: Possibly The Best Ladies Watch Of 2013 Hands-On

What do you think?
  • I want it! (4)
  • I love it! (3)
  • Classy (2)
  • Interesting (1)
  • Thumbs up (0)
  • Sahr Johnny

    Totally agree. This is my favorite ladies watch of 2013. Elegant, sophisticated, understated.

  • marbstiu

    “$4,300” should not be in the same article as “quartz”


  • Kris C

    The all-diamond bracelet version of this watch is the best – which surprises me considering I’m no fan of the ‘iced-out’ look. But it works really well on those big, loose bracelet links. Would make for a great cocktail watch.

  • Kar Wai Law

    I like how you use the word ‘possibly’..

  • Spaceguitar

    Interesting. A watch like this (esp since it’s quartz) certainly tries to justify its cost by the fact that it more a piece of jewelry than a timepiece. I guess with a few exceptions most women’s watches go that route. Now, men’s watches aren’t immune to looking good and aesthetics, but the draw is certainly twofold (at least), with the internal guts being such a big deal to guys, and possibly its accuracy past that. I guess as the stereotype goes men spend time under the hood of cars, etc
    I wonder why there hasn’t been a bigger push by high end watchmakers to make mechanical timepieces for women that are still feminine enough. This Chanel is pretty small. Are there not many small mechanical movements that would fit such cases?
    I do love it though when women wear fairly masculine watches, like Honor Blackman/Pussy Galore in Goldfinger rocking that GMT Master. RAWWRR!!

  • carolyn h

    Ariel, generally I totally agree with your watch aesthetic. GOOD= readable, useful, interesting mechanism, attractive.  BAD= illegible, useless, boring mechanism, and ugly.  Certainly we can disagree about whether a watch satisfies those criteria, but WHY throw out the criteria altogether just because a watch is to marketed to women? 
    This “watch” is gorgeous jewelry. It gets a solid A for attractiveness. It is, however, utterly illegible, and contains a pedestrian off-the-shelf quartz mechanism.  With no date and no time, what is the purpose? I have diamond bracelets. I even have chain-link bracelets that I purchased in Paris. I like jewelry (and I LOVE Chanel design) so don’t get me wrong, but when I spend $4,000 on a timepiece, I would like to purchase a wristwatch. Perhaps watch makers will create actual WATCHES for women when they no longer get a pass from my esteemed watch blogger when they call bracelets watches.

  • DangerussArt

    $4,300 tiny steel quartz watch you can barely tell time with – perfectly reasonable.
    If any brand dared make a $4,300, too small steel quartz men’s watch with no indices, date or water resistance – its only “design” element being a chamfered rectangle, it would never be described as respectable or legitimate, much less make it on this blog other than to be ridiculed.

  • DangerussArt Thanks for giving me a smile. Herein proves a huge difference between not only taste but the reasons hardcore watch guys like watches and perhaps why some women love watches. There are sacrifices made in the Premiere for aesthetic purposes for sure, but overall given my observation of mainstream tastes and values I feel it is a stellar piece.
    Is it perfect for all women? No watch is. Which is why we have such a wonderful variety of watches out there. Is this timepiece perfect for telling the time? There are better options for that, but when mixing design, values, etc… I think it works well…
    It might be a good idea to later do a list on the best mechanical ladies watches. The criteria for that would be totally different for sure.

  • MarkCarson

    Is the general resistance to the watch’s format/style or the price? Movado has a roughly comparable watch (0605965) and most people are not upset with them. So does a street price of $700 ameliorate the negatives or not? I know the Movado does not have the elan of Chanel and I agree the Chanel is better proportioned, but the format is similar.

  • My wife stood still, paralyzed… behind me when the video/add was playing,  out of cold she said: ” …what a perfect watch! it’s wearable with every single outfit and it looks great, a no brainer…”  and then she carried on with whatever she was in to.
    I guess women pay this much for something that makes them look good 24/7 effortlessly and regardless its true-full function. 
    May it be the female version of a over priced rolex oyster?…..

  • marbstiu

    carolyn h Agree. I cant even find a decent ladies watch around $1000 that doesnt look like toy-town plastic.

  • Piero

    It is a nice watch but unfortunately I have to agree with Dangerussart. Omega with the Ladymatic for a bit higher price gives a real watch.

  • Piero

    Fully agree.

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