Hi-tech Chocolat

April 2003

Happy surprises sometimes happen where you least expect them. Who would have guessed that a timekeeping 'revolution' would take place at the venerable House of Chanel. Well, it has. The digital watch has joined the ranks of the haut de gamme. The 'Chocolat' celebrates a sumptuous marriage between High-Tech and High Jewellery.

There have been precursors. Ventura has a very nice digital watch designed by Flemming Bo Hansen and Starck has its Starck+ produced by Fossil. Yet, the digital watch has remained essentially confined to a niche of watch instruments or watches intended for teenagers.
Does the Chocolat by Chanel signal a turning point? It is obviously too early to tell, but one thing is sure. The Chocolat is bringing digital technology into the court of the grand players. And with such brilliance!

An exemplary integration
The Chocolat is, from a strict design point of view, an absolutely exemplary success. It succeeds in bringing together the hard and fast design of Bauhaus (form follows function) with that of the richness of appearance (form precedes function). This timepiece is a perfect synthesis of these two apparently contradictory approaches. The Chocolat combines the rigour of an irreproachable design (due to Jacques Helleu) with the appearance of a true piece of jewellery, all with great care and sensuality.

Intelligence of digital
The success of this piece is due to the intelligent way that digital technology has been integrated into a jewellery timepiece that could not have been realized without this technology. Only digital technology could allow the insertion of four hour numbers into four different windows. By fully taking advantage of this potential, it was possible to design and create the Chocolat.
In addition, the Chocolat lends itself perfectly to different versions and various materials as proposed by Chanel. Whether it is made of hi-tech ceramic, steel or gold, with or without diamonds, the Chocolat maintains its integrity.

Exceptional flexibility
Inspired by the shape of the stopper of the famous Chanel No. 5, itself inspired by the shape of the Place Vendôme, home to the House of Chanel, the Chocolat bracelet is composed of 18 links whose distinct angles have been delicately shaped thus giving it a touch of luxury.
This design gives the wristwatch an exceptional and sensual flexibility. The continuous lines flow without interruption, and the time is set by pressing on the back of the watch. The colour of the four hour displays depends on the various models. The clasp is hidden so as not to disturb the continuous curve of this piece, which can also be worn as a simple bracelet. The ultimate refinement is seen in the numbers that are protected by small sapphire crystals that are also designed with pointed lines that evoke the angles of the watch. Consistency is present down to the smallest detail.