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March 2018

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Three years ago, Chanel launched the first in-house movement, Calibre 1. The entire watchmaking industry was stunned by the movement. Chanel that launched the first wristwatch in 1987 had desired to produce and develop in-house movements, which is a great test for technology, design and craftsmanship. Chanel Clibre 3 made its debut at Baselworld 2018. Is Calibre 3 an audacious attempt or the result of successful breakthrough by comparing with Calibre 1 and the second movement?

Calibre 1
In the history of Chanel watchmaking, Chanel introduced ETA movements and Audemars Piguet in-house movements Cal. 3125 in the long term, but developing and designing a self-made movement as a goal is Chanel’s dream. The most difficult thing is to get started. Chanel began to develop the first self-made movement until 2011. With the front-end design and development as well as the back-end assembly test, the Monsieur De Chanel watch with Calibre 1 made its appearance at Baselworld 2016. We can know that the special display of the jump hour and the eccentric retrograde date is adopted from the design drawing. The wrong qestion is clear when somebody questioned Caliber 1 was based on an ETA basic movement. First, ETA manufacturing craftsmanship is hard to reach the standard. Second, the back of the movement tells us its unique style. With simple but powerful dial, Monsieur de Chanel men’s watch equipped with Calibre 1 redefines a new trend.

Calibre 2
Calibre 2 for ladies’ which took three-year development appeared at 2017’s Baselworld Watch Fair. Why so long? The most difficult point is to build the beauty of the movement-the balance of the camellia and the movement. It’s well known that Gabrielle Chanel loves camellias in her life. The camellia has also been the soul of the brand. It blooms perfectly in the movement, Calibre 2, presenting the fusion of the beauty and technology. Calibre 2 consists of 107 components and parts, including 21 jewels. The swing frequency extends to 28,800 per hour, and power reserve is up to 48 hours. The Chanel Première Camélia Skeleton watch equipped with Calibre 2 wins ladies’ popularity for the stereo look and flawless design.

Calibre 3
In 2018, Calibre 3 and Chanel Boy.Friend Esqueleto watch bring out the neutral style. The unusual feature of Calibre 3 is without mirror-polished process or exquisite decoration, but it doesn’t mean that the movement is technically non-existent. Black ADLC coating bears superior shock resistance and scratch resistance. For the material selection, Chanel show more possibilities to us. Chanel Boy.Friend Esqueleto Calibre 3 inherits the classic appearance from the Boy.Friend Esqueleto collection and adds more new ideas. With iconic watch case, black ADLC coating and the beige & gold plated coating frame, the Boy.Friend Esqueleto Calibre 3 overcame a series of technology problems.

The design for the skeleton dial requires higher technology. Chanel Boy.Friend Esqueleto Calibre 3 watch wants to stand out, and it must win with unique design and high-end craftsmanship. Excluding excess metals, gears are arranged in the outline of camellias, which of course is a test of mechanical engineering, because the arrangement of mechanical structures in traditional watchmaking has a certain benchmark, and it cannot be changed at will. Finally, the Boy.Friend Esqueleto Calibre 3 didn’t make us disappointed whether on the appearance or the performance. Chanel Boy.Friend Esqueleto Calibre 3, manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding, at least 55-hour power reserve. It has the esqueleto design without the balance wheel blocking as well as a shock resistant device. Available in the standard model for EUR 36,500 and the diamond version for EUR 42,500.

Omega Cal. 2500 is a very good movement. It’s based on the Omega 1120 calibre, which was itself a derivative of the popular ETA 2892-A2, one of the strongest and most widely used chronometer movements in the watchmaking industry. The movement comes in versions 2500A, 2500B, 2500C and 2500D.

When it comes to Co-Axial, we need know about it. The Cal. 2500 was the first ever to include Co-axial escapement was invented by George Daniels on its introduction in 1999. In fact, the invention was patented by him in 1974, but some asked questions that the invention shouldn’t belong to him fully because the mechanism appeared in the pocket watches, even desk clocks in a very early stage. At least, he is a delicate improver. After all, it’s hard that the Co-Axial escapement mechanism was used in the wristwatches. There are multiple factors to consider whether the mechanism works perfectly in the wristwatch. The name of Co-Axial escapement was originated from that two-tier escapement wheels share one axle.

After the patent for the Co-Axial escapement was applied by George Daniels, he visited many watch brands and tried to persuade them to choose the mechanism. He said that the mechanism could guarantee the service without maintenance for at least 8 years, but he didn’t succeed in promoting it until he met Omega. The Co-Axial escapement was even more complicated than the lever escapement. That the Co-Axial escapement could be put into mass production required higher manufacturing accuracy at that time. There is no risk that the lever escapement went along with conservatism in the watchmaking industry.

The escapement mechanism of later version of Cal. 2500 has one more gear than Cal. 1120, a dark yellow gear. The dark yellow gear occludes the second wheel and the wheel above the escape wheel closely. The shape features of the escape wheel and the greyish white wheel above the escape wheel are different from ones of common wheels. The transmission of the pallet and the escape wheel reduces frictional force. The weight fine-tuning system improve stability and accuracy. Some questions presented during the practical operation. The modified Cal. 2500, Cal. 2500A/B, their frequency was reduced to 25,200 per hour from 28,800 per hour. However, these two issues have still not been completely resolved. One reason for this is that the coaxial structure will cause damage to the escapement part in the event of a collision, because it is inherently free from frictional cushioning. Besides, the coaxial escapement requires very high manufacturing precision, so minor damage will lead to the entire escapement to fail.

Cal. 2500D, the new model is closer to the structure of Cal. 8500. With three-tier escape wheel, Cal. 2500D ensures the escapement mechanism won’t have these questions- loose parts, dislocation, etc. Therefore, the service of 2500D calibre can be extended largely. In the future, the middle and low end wristwatches of Omega collections will use Cal. 2500D for the long term.