Chanel Debuts In-House, Skeleton Movement

Inside the Boy.Friend.

Following the introduction of the impressive Monsieur de Chanel Calibre 1 in 2016 and the Première Camelia Skeleton Calibre 2 last year, Chanel recently unveiled its third in-house movement. Making its debut in the oblong Boy.Friend watch, the Calibre 3 is a skeletonised, hand-wound movement.

Featuring a distinctive, vertically linear construction, the Calibre 3’s clean, circular lines are a pleasing complement to the rectangular Art Deco case that’s inspired by the bottle cap of Chanel’s no. 5 perfume.

Launched in 2015, the Boy.Friend watch was a riff on the octagonal design of Chanel’s better known Première lady’s watch. The Boy.Friend is a watch for ladies, but conceived as a being slightly more masculine; a watch a lady might borrow from her boyfriend, hence the name. Prior to this, the Boy.Friend watches were powered by either an ETA 7001 or a quartz movement.

Developed by Chanel subsidiary G&F Châtelain in La Chaux-de-Fonds, along with help from independent watchmaker Romain Gauthier (in which Chanel owns a stake), the Calibre 3 is neatly framed by three overlapping circles. Thoughtfully and impeccably designed, the movement is laid out vertically, with the barrel at 12 o’clock, the regulator at five o’clock, and the wheel train in between.

Chanel Boy-Friend Skeleton 3

The ADLC coated bridges are edged with a beige-gold galvanic coating, ensuring an aesthetic unity between the beige-gold case and movement. There’s even Chanel’s signature lion motif, attached to the third circular bridge on the back.

Chanel Boy-Friend Skeleton 4

Chanel Boy-Friend Skeleton 2

The movement beats at 4Hz, and is equipped with a variable inertia balance wheel and offers a 55-hour power reserve. The beige-gold case measures 37mm by 28.6mm and features a crown with an onyx cabochon. It’s also available in a gem-set version with 66 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel.

Price and Availability

 The Chanel Boy.Friend Skeleton is priced at €36,500 while the diamond-set version at €42,500.


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Interview: Aurel Bacs on Watch Detectives, Charity and the Geneva Auctions

The watch auctioneer speaks.

Phillips’ watch auctioneer Aurel Bacs – pictured above selling the US$17.5m Daytona last year – was recently in Singapore together with highlights from Daytona Ultimatum and The Geneva Watch Auction: Seven, twin sales that take place on May 12 and 13.

Amongst the highlights were a trio of watches that will be sold for charity, including the Lange 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ in steel, and the Rolex Daytona ref. 6265 in white gold.

The watches were on show in Singapore, one of Asia’s crucial markets, inside a branch of local retailer The Hour Glass, marking perhaps the first time a watch auction preview took place inside the premises of an authorised retailer. And the exhibition at the high point of the debate involving amateur scholars and detectives on social media who pick apart the offerings at various auctions.

So it was an opportune time to have a chat with Mr Bacs, which I did, and here it is condensed into a five-minute clip.


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Introducing Sineclock, a Sound Sculpture that Marks Time

Pulsing, aural sine waves that tell time.

A Memphis-based artist, Douglas Repetto’s work has long involved sound and motion. Formerly a faculty member at Columbia University’s school of music, Mr Repetto’s creations includes the intriguing Sineclock, an electronic device that is as much a timekeeper as an art installation. Think of it as a really, really avant-garde grande et petite sonnerie.

Sineclock is premised on the abstract underpinning that time is a perceptual experience which can be determined, however imprecisely, through environmental markers such as sound.

The Sineclock is an artfully imprecise timekeeper; it uses three sets of tones that indicate the seconds, minutes and hours. The frequency of the tones vary throughout the period of time in a consistent manner, allowing one to tell the time approximately.

Take the seconds tone for example: at the start of a minute, the seconds tone is static, and goes towards a wobbly tone at the 30 second mark, before becoming static again at the top of the minute.

The seconds has the lowest tone, going from 200Hz to 205Hz and back in one minute. The middle tone is the minutes which moves from 300Hz to 305Hz and back within an hour, while the hours, the highest tone moves from 450Hz to 455Hz and back over the course of a day.

The seconds is the easiest to decipher while the minutes and hours certainly takes some getting used to, but that’s ultimately the point of this timepiece – to interpret time through ambient patterns. Mr Repetto has also published a six-minute video explaining Sineclock, with the time telling starting at 2:42.

Sineclock’s physical form is simpler than its concept. Hand cast in concrete, the Sineclock takes the shape of a cylinder, with a lid made of walnut wood.

sineclock 1

sineclock 2

It operates with a straightforward interface: a dial that displays the time along with three brass touch controls. It needs to be plugged into a USB power source – a powered USB hub or a good phone charger.

sineclock 6

sineclock 3

Once it’s plugged in, the dial display lights up and time can easily be set via the touch control right below the display. It’s adjusted by simply dragging the light as you would set the hour hand of an analog clock.

sineclock 5

The volume is adjusted via the other two touch buttons on the right of the display. The display lights up in yellow during the day and turns blue at night.

sineclock 4

Price and Availability

The Sineclock is a limited edition of 100 and priced at US$314.16. It’s available direct from its maker.


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