There have been a lot of new products coming to light this year from jewelry and fashion houses across the world. Chanel is no exception, as the director of the Studio de Création Horlogerie, Arnaud Chastaingt explains the company's exploits in watchmaking.
When asked in an interview with World Tempus about why he and his team created the Bouton watch, Chastaingt said, "This object has fascinated me for a long time. Gabrielle Chanel put the button on an unprecedented pedestal. She shined a spotlight on a commonplace household object and raised it to the status of jewelry. She saw it as an artistic medium in itself, yet one that absolutely still had to serve its intended function. To say it in her words, 'No buttons without buttonholes.' In this way, she created a functional piece of jewelry that could be reimagined in a myriad of ways. It was basically a precious statement piece. Inconspicuous or ostentatious, it's still there. It alone tells a story and draws you into a mystical world of Gabrielle Chanel’s symbols. For me, creating a 'button' watch was one of those artistic obsessions that seems so obvious you can’t get it out of your head. Chanel began as a fashion house, but 30 years ago it barged into the tight knit inner circle of watchmaking. I am inspired by that world and fascinated by its free spirit. I dreamed of a button as a timepiece. I dreamed of unstitching a jacket sleeve and just leaving the lapel and the buttonhole. It will seem obvious where I got the inspiration for the architecture of the Bouton watch’s bracelet. Accentuated by a golden braid, a black tweed cuff folds over the wrist and fastens with a button. You cannot see the watch at first glance. It has enough taste to only show itself in secret. A button in gold, pearl and diamonds; only Chanel knows the secret to this couture time. Style first, then time, if you feel like it, or not! I immediately decided that I would not limit the BOUTON watch concept to just one creation and that I'd create a collection. It conveys the great depth of the Chanel button, both in terms of its artistic variety and its precious nature. I brought in the pearl, the lion, the camellia and the Byzantine cross, and set them into the twisted braid on a yellow gold and diamond button. You can also make out Mademoiselle Chanel in this collection. A sculptor handcrafted a bas-relief of her iconic profile. A glyptician cut her portrait into a two-tone nicolo agate. A jeweler set this white-on-black cameo in the center of the button. Another distinguishing feature of this collection is a pair of High Jewelry pieces. Supple tweed was replaced with two white gold cuffs, one entirely set with diamonds and the other covered in black. The Mademoiselle Privé Bouton watch is steeped in intrigue – a daring creation in the watchmaking world, but an obvious move for Chanel."
He was also asked to define the new Mademoiselle Privé collection, to which he responded, "In my opinion, the Mademoiselle Privé collection is actually the most intimate side of Chanel Haute Horlogerie. As well as the most feminine, it is perhaps the most confidential. A showcase for the House's rare know-how, this collection is an ode to artistry, and for me an incredible realm of expression. This collection is steeped in symbols and history. It's an exhibit of exclusive creations, often one-of-a-kind, where the artistic crafts of Watchmaking, Jewelry and Couture intersect."
Information originally sourced from World Tempus.