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Chanel's Premiere Flying Tourbillon watch set with pink sapphires.

The Premiere Flying Tourbillon set with blue sapphires.

  Pink and blue sapphires highlight Chanel's award winning tourbillon watch

March 19, 2013

In fashion circles the House of Chanel is in a league populated only by a handful of companies. Specializing in haute couture, it is legendary for its "little black dress," perfume and the Chanel Suit. Its brands have featured the faces of Catherine Deneuve, Vanessa Paradis, Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tautou, Keira Knightley, to mention but a few. And when asked in 1952 what she wears to bed, Marilyn Monroe was famously quoted as saying "just a few drops of Chanel No. 5."

Chanel's high jewelry division was established in 1932, when its founder Coco Chanel debuted Bijoux de Diamants at her Paris mansion. It took another 73 years before the Chanel wristwatch division was established, but it only entered the world of Haute Horlogerie in 2012, when it introduced the Premiere Flying Tourbillon. That same year it was voted the best ladies watch in the 2012 Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve, which is considered the Oscar of watchmaking.

A tourbillon is a very sophisticated watch design that mounts the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage in order to negate the effect of gravity when the timepiece is rotated. This mechanism usually is shown as a decorative feature on the face of the watch.

For the upcoming Baselworld show in Switzerland, Chanel is releasing two new versions of Premiere Flying Tourbillon, one with blue sapphires and one with pink sapphires

The shape of the Premiere Flying Tourbillon is reminiscent of the octagonal geometry of the Place Vendome, as well as No. 5 perfume bottle stopper. The tourbillon, which was produced especially for Chanel by Renaud & Papi, is decorated with diamonds forming the motif of a camellia.

The white gold case, bezel, and crown are set entirely with baguette-cut pink or blue sapphires while the off-center hour and minute hands are set with brilliant-cut diamonds.

Each timepiece has been produced in a limited edition of five.

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