Standard Model: The Chanel J12 Eclipse Set
The Chanel J12 takes on a unique guise with this limited set of seven mapping out the different phases of the lunar cycle. Talk about total eclipse of the heart.
Uniquely amongst brands which made a show of their wares at this year’s Watches and Wonders Geneva, Chanel had thematic unity in its Interstellar capsule collection as well as its general releases, making this unique Eclipse set a chapter in a much bigger story. The Eclipse set consists of seven J12 watches, each of which showcasing a different phase of the moon. It does this not with a moon phase display but with the entire case and dial, with each watch representing one phase. Given the name of the set, it is also a visual interpretation of a solar eclipse, or a lunar eclipse for that matter.
Obviously, this is an exercise in visual poetry and horological derring-do because you can only get the full effect here with all seven watches arranged in order. The Interstellar collection itself is inspired by the world of science fiction but also actual space-time. The Eclipse set is hardly an astronomical instrument but the inspiration is literally heaven-sent.
Now, the individual J12 models in this set are very much the same as all standard models, each powered by the automatic calibre 12.1. All models have the same water resistance and are 38mm (46.6mm lug-to-lug). Having said that, the wearing experience might be different depending on how much white or black ceramic is in play. On that note, the segments on the bezel and dial that you see here are baguette-cut ceramic that are set individually so the watches do have a textural dimension that goes beyond the visual.
This is purely psychological though and having all seven watches on hand (no pun intended) gives one options. Having all of the watches together in the presentation box is beautiful though; needless to say, the watches are only sold as a set so any discussion of individual differences is purely academic.
Also academic is this entire story because the Eclipse set of seven is unique and thus most likely unavailable to anyone by now. Like most special editions in this vein, it is a singular exercise in brand expressiveness. It seems a shame to allow a set like this to pass without comment so we hope this story serves a documentary function of sorts.
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