We first heard rumours about this watch back in June, when Chanel unveiled its latest watch launch to a handful of select journalists. Although, technically an addition to the Premiere collection, this was something a bit different.
In recent years, it seems as though Chanel has been ploughing a more feminine route with its watches, with its Mademoiselle Prive collections and stone-set versions of its iconic J12.
The Boy.Friend, for that is what it is called, carries a whiff of manliness with it; a hint of androgyny.
Despite what the name seems to infer, this is not supposed to look like a watch you’ve stolen from your boyfriend, rather it refers to the intimate relationship you have with your watch. It was certainly something we wanted to get up close and personal with, so we decided a review was necessary.
It’s Chanel so of course it’s going to be incredibly chic. It has the same dial shape and its Premiere predecessors – that instantly recognisable long octagon that references the top of a bottle of Chanel No5, which in turn is a homage to the shape of the Place Vendome, where the Chanel jewellery boutique is located, which directly faces Coco’s former Ritz suite.
This is very much a luxury watch – no slumming it with steel here – which does affect the price tag somewhat (the price of this watch is £8,100). You have the option of either white gold or 18ct beige gold (a colour which is exclusively to the Maison and which was created for the J12-365, which launched in 2014).
There is also the option of diamonds and quartz with a date counter or mechanical with a small seconds.
The name for starters has provoked debate and confusion, with quite a few bloggers wasting column inches debating whether a chap could wear it! And there is an argument that if you need to explain a concept, then it probably wasn’t a good idea in the first place. That aside, there is plenty to love about this watch.
Its masculine lines hark back to Chanel’s love of appropriating men’s clothes (there are photographs of her with her lover Boy Capel wearing jodhpurs astride a horse at a time when women still wore skirts and rode side saddle) and there is an old school glamour to the design that makes it look as though it is already vintage.
Then there is the use of Chanel proprietary beige gold, which has an elegance and a luminescence not seen in either the yellow or rose versions of this precious metal.
Look and feel
Like a Chanel jacket, it looks fabulous on. The elongated octagon, which is an unusual shape for starters, appears to slim and flatter the wrist. It isn’t overtly girly, which could be a minus point for some tastes, but it walks that very difficult line between being classic and refined but without dropping into that old and staid territory.
It has all those elusive yet recognisable elements that made the Chanel label so desired by so many different types of women.
And that is the beauty of this watch – it will appeal to so many types of women. You could see it on a grande dame who prefers skirts of a demure length and well-made classic handbags but it would just as easily work on her 18-year-old granddaughter who prefers ripped denim, leather jackets and Chanel’s 2014 tie-dye distressed ruck sack. Just think what would a French woman do – we like to imagine we’re Clemence Posey (below).
Basically, if you don’t love this watch, we need to have a serious talk…
To get the look, click on the board
Need to know
This is another super-chic launch from Chanel. It is elegant yet cool, can be taken anywhere and, unlike a real boyfriend, won’t get drunk and embarrass you at parties.
Buy it now: Chanel