The Chanel Monsieur Superleggera Is Back In Black

by Mario C

“Hold on,” you might be thinking to yourself. “The fashion house? They make watches?” Yes, they do – and they make them pretty well.

Chanel’s masterful Monsieur Superleggera is back for Watches and Wonders 2024, now in a Limited Edition of 100 pieces. For the unfamiliar, a million thoughts must be flooding your mind. A fashion house in the watch game, though not unheard of, is usually frowned upon – I briefly go into why that is so in my article about Hermès, and yes, they make watches too. Learn about it here! Don’t worry; I’ll wait.

Chanel Monsieur Superleggera Intense Black Limited Edition

Did you read it, or were you not patient enough? Either way, here’s a reader’s digest: I essentially touch on the fact that, despite not primarily being a watch brand, companies such as Hermès shouldn’t be relegated to the ‘fashion watch’ stereotypes of corner-cutting, cheaply made timepieces made purely to get a quick buck. The same can be said of Chanel. Though a touch younger than most brands, Chanel’s watch heritage can be traced back to 1987 with the Chanel Première, with the massively popular Chanel J12 following in its footsteps in 1999. Outside of the universal androgynous appeal, the J12 received acclaim for its usage of high-tech ceramic, a theme that continues in the lineup today. 

In 2016, the Monsieur, Chanel’s first dedicated men’s wristwatch, debuted. Unlike most ‘fashion watches,’ the design was neither derivative nor unoriginal, with a contemporary yet elegant flair. It perfectly reflected Coco Chanel’s belief that “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” Following in the footsteps of 2021’s Monsieur Superleggera is 2024’s Intense Black Edition, which bears an ultra-modern, stripped-back, and sporty aesthetic. Furthermore, it goes back to what Chanel’s horologists do best, having been encased in matte black ceramic, which is extremely scratch-resistant and lightweight. However, what’s on the inside of a watch can make or break the entire collection – and if it wasn’t evident from the design, Chanel was not looking to disappoint.

Chanel Monsieur Superleggera Intense Black Limited Edition

Powering all Chanel Monsieur timepieces is the manual wind manufacture Calibre 1, which holds a 72-hour power reserve and the luxury standard 4Hz (28,800) beat rate. What’s most interesting is that the Monsieur doesn’t have the traditional watch layout, bearing two of the most fascinating complications of watchmaking. 

First, the retrograde minutes: Instead of revolving 360° like a normal minute hand, the retrograde function on the Monsieur graduates on a 240° scale from 0 to 60 minutes, jumping back as soon as the watch hits one hour. It’s an incredibly satisfying concept, only magnified by complication number two: The jumping hours at 6 o’clock, which is a digital display of the current hour that jumps at the same time as the minute hand. In the Monsieur Superleggera Intense Black Edition, you can even see the hour panels through the sapphire crystal and dial cut-outs.

Chanel Monsieur Superleggera Intense Black Limited Edition –  Open case back showing manual wind manufacture Cal. LM135 movement.

Looking at the case back should also reinforce that this is a serious piece of mechanical tech – how does a company that makes bags and clothes access this level of horological prowess? The answer: They adapted, and adapted fast, with a little help from master watchmaker Romain Gauthier. Such a partnership is unsurprising, as Chanel has been sinking their teeth into the industry for years – something you may not have realised. They have invested heavily into learning how to make some of the world’s best timepieces, evident in their minority stake in F.P. Journe, and their 20% stake in Kenissi, who helps make movements for Tudor. All three succeeded immensely in integrating Chanel into the industry, and at long last, Chanel transformed into a major force in what could be another watchmaking renaissance.

Final Thoughts

I find it scarcely believable, the amount of quality watches there are these days. Even more unusual is the source of these timepieces – namely, Chanel’s Monsieur Superleggera Intense Black. I know that it can be difficult for some to take a non-watch brand seriously in our beloved community, but hear me out for a second.

Chanel’s here. They’ve proven their worth time and time again, whether it be through the J12 collection or 2024’s newest releases. It’s getting harder to ignore the immense amount of progress that they and many others are making in the industry. They can’t be ignored any longer, and it’s time for us all to recognise that. Or don’t – because sooner rather than later, I believe that Chanel isn’t looking to just take part. They’re here to take over.



  • Case: 42mm case diameter
  • Case Material: Matte black ceramic and coated steel.
  • Dial: Matte black guilloché type dial
  • Crystal: Sapphire scratch resistant, on front and case back with anti-reflective coating.
  • Water resistance: 30m (3 Bar)
  • Movement: Manual wind manufacture Cal. LM135 movement, with retrograde minutes and instant jumping hour.
  • Movement Frequency: 4Hz (28,800 VpH)
  • Power reserve: Approx. 72 hours
  • Bracelet: Black leathered nylon strap with black steel triple folding buckle.

International Recommended Retail Price: $44,650 CHF

Availability: Limited Edition of 100 timepieces.

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