Chanel Monsieur Superleggera Intense Black Edition is latest watch from coachbuiler collab

Chanel’s ongoing use of coachbuilder Superleggera’s signature takes the fashion label further into masculine timepiece territory

The Monsieur’s black ceramic and stainless steel case encloses a speedometer-derived dial

The Monsieur’s black ceramic and stainless steel case encloses a speedometer-derived dial

Yes, it’s a Chanel watch – but don’t panic, you haven’t mistakenly picked up a copy of Vogue. This is the latest horological collaboration between the celebrated couture house and equally historic coachbuilder Touring Superleggera. ‘Collaboration’ might be a strong word. It’s more a case of Chanel being granted permission to use the Superleggera logo in 2003 when it launched its lightweight version of the J12 made from aluminium.

Some might be surprised to learn that the J12 has come to be seen as one of the most successful and innovative watch designs of the 21st century, having been penned by Chanel’s long-standing creative director Jacques Helleu, who died in 2007. Launched in 2000, the J12 was the first widely produced watch to feature both a case and bracelet made from scratch-proof ceramic – a material chosen by keen sailor Helleu for its non-corroding qualities. Indeed the name ‘J12’ was borrowed from that of the beautiful J Class racing yachts of the 1930s.

At first the J12 was available only as a standard three-hander in black – but a chronograph followed in 2002, and an all-white version arrived the following year (along with that first Superleggera).

Since then, J12s have been made available in every variation imaginable, from the Calibre 3125 containing a superb Audemars Piguet movement to tourbillons and diamond-set models costing close to £1m.


While the J12 wasn’t Chanel’s first timepiece (that was the women’s Première in 1987) it was certainly the model that led to it being accepted as a serious watchmaker and, thanks to being available in 38mm and 40mm case sizes, it brought the dial name into the male orbit.

In 2016, Chanel presented the Monsieur – specifically for men – which featured the brand’s first in-house movement. The Monsieur first got the Superleggera treatment in 2021, with the distinctive signature appearing in red on a black background and the case being made from steel with a black ceramic carapace for extra protection and a racy appearance.

And that more or less describes the Intense Black version launched recently at the Watches & Wonders show in Geneva. It, too, gets a black ceramic case (which is ‘blacker’ than the last one) and a black dial with a guilloche or ‘hobnail’ pattern.

Inside, you’ll find the same Calibre 1 hand-wound movement, left, and the same black, nylon strap with calfskin lining. The only real differences, in fact, are the colour of the Superleggera script (yellow this time) and the fact that the Intense Black is limited to 100 numbered examples.

Chanel Monsieur Superleggera Intense Black Edition, £39,500.



The Formula 1 was the first watch to carry the TAG Heuer logo following Heuer’s purchase by the TAG Group in 1986. Intended to rival Swatch, the 35mm Formula 1 featured a thermoplastic case, a plastic ‘crystal’, a plastic strap and a quartz movement. Between launch and its demise in 1990, more than three million were sold – and now it’s back (in upgraded form) through this collaboration with American lifestyle brand Kith. The eggshell dial, above, is our choice, but blue and green models are available too.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 ⁄Kith, £1350.



One of the most unexpected watch world collaborations of late is that announced in February between Alpine Motorsport and independent brand H Moser & Cie – a high-quality, low-volume maker. The first horological fruit of the Moser/Alpine deal is this oddly non car-like Streamliner Alpine Limited Edition Pink Livery tourbillon, above, a steel-cased, skeletonised watch which “sports the colours of the second livery of the F1 team”. Just 20 will be made – and all are  available online only.

H Moser & Cie Streamliner Alpine Limited Edition Pink Livery, £78,000.

Precision is written by renowned luxury goods specialist Simon de Burton