The Chanel J12-G10 sports a double-loop strap inspired by the British military issue canvas band. Known as the NATO or G10 strap, Chanel has transformed it into a luxury accessory in alligator hide and diamonds.
Finally the day has come when the humble NATO strap, originally a British military watch band, has made it to the big time. Chanel has appropriated the NATO strap and fitted it to one of the most successful ladies’ watches ever, the J12. It made black ceramic watches sexy and fashionable, and is now a timepiece that is significant beyond watchmaking and relentlessly copied. The new J12-G10 will likely result in a dramatic proliferation of NATO straps on all sorts of watches. Also known as the G10 strap after the British military requisition form used to order them (we explain the history of the NATO strap here), the NATO strap was developed some time in the seventies. Its most distinctive feature is the double layer of canvas under the watch, which ensures the watch stays on the wrist even if one spring bar breaks. And this double layer adds thickness and bulk to the watch, giving it a sportier appearance. Originally made of heat-sealed canvas with chromed brass rings, the NATO strap as envisioned by Chanel is in hand-stitched alligator with diamond-set loops.
The J12-G10 watch itself is typical of the Chanel J12 watch. Several models are available, but all have quartz movements inside 33 mm cases, available in black, grey or white ceramic. Various diamond settings are also available. Depending on the model, the loops of the alligator NATO are either steel or white gold.
Prices are 25,000 Singapore dollars for the steel and ceramic models set with round diamonds. The steel and white gold versions are set with baguette diamonds, and priced at 83,600 Singapore dollars.
Additionally, a limited edition of five pieces with a 42 mm white gold case, set with nearly 12 carats of diamonds. The price for this is unavailable but going by precedent expect this to be in the region of US$250,000.