Adored for its versatility, incredible light weight, optimal precision and timeless style, it’s little surprise Chanel is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its famed J12 timepiece.

Launched at the turn of the century, the classic timepiece marries the functionality of a sports watch with aesthetic black-tie elegance – a first of its kind at the time for the French maison.

To celebrate two decades of the design, Chanel has released its exclusive, limited-edition J12.20 watch. It’s embossed with unique polished rhodium-plated motifs from the fashion house including a touching tribute to Coco Chanel’s favourite blossom – the camellia, which is thought to have been first given to the designer by her muse Boy Capel.

Its N°5 perfume, quintessential tweed jacket, 2.55 handbag and iconic sling-back shoes are among other notable symbols paying homage to the luxury boutique.

Chanel J12
Image: Chanel

Limited to just 2020 pieces, the new J12.20 model features a white ceramic case, unidirectional rotating steel bezel, white-lacquered dial set with 12 diamonds (0.03 carat) and high-precision quartz movement.

The signature timepiece houses a calibre 12.1 self-winding movement manufactured exclusively for Chanel, making for effortless, albeit chic, time-telling.

“Twenty years of surprise, 20 years of reinvention, 20 years of being a companion for every second.” – Chanel

To honour the 20-year milestone, Claudia Schiffer, Lily-Rose Depp, Naomi Campbell, Ali MacGraw, Vanessa Paradis and Liu Wen came together to share special memories around the theme of ‘It’s all about seconds’.

“Crossing the street, meeting someone’s gaze, changing the course of your destiny. Each is a story of encounters,” Chanel writes. “A story of decisive seconds for a woman who’s in touch with her life.

“The J12 is made for encounters such as these. The companion for every second.”

Created by Jacques Helleu, the innovative J12 creation seamlessly blended masculine lines with feminine design, quickly becoming an icon of the luxury brand. As the timepiece grew in popularity, Chanel horologists added moon phases and chronographs – additions historically reserved for male designs.

“To have a watch like this, where you can be active all day, but then go out in the evening wearing a silk dress and it still looks perfect, that’s very legitimate in the Chanel universe,” Arnaud Chastaingt, Director of the Chanel Watch Creation Studio, told NY Times.

Horology was not a new venture for Chanel. The first timepiece released by the maison was in 1987, however, the J12 became the first momentous contender within the industry.

“Twenty years of surprise, 20 years of reinvention, 20 years of being a companion for every second,” Chanel stated online.