We don’t usually comment on watches produced by fashion houses, but this one by Chanel certainly deserves a mention. The Première Flying Tourbillon is an absolutely beautiful watch, we’d buy one if we could. This watch is certainly not in the same league as the Chanel J12 and certainly not your typical ladies watch.

Ladies, please add this to your wants needs  list. The Première Flying Tourbillon  is inspired by the famous Place Vendôme in Paris. The distinctive octagonal shape of the watch case is the same shape you would see if you had a bird’s eye view of Place Vendôme. The same shape can be seen on the Chanel No. 5 perfume bottle stopper.

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A live picture of the Flying Tourbillon

This watch, limited to 20 pieces, won Chanel’s watchmaking department the Best Ladie’s Watch title in the 2012 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve (the equivalent to the Oscars of the watchmaking world). It is cased in white gold with 47 baguette diamonds covering the outside edges (3 carats total), and the bezel is decorated by baguette and brilliant-cut diamonds (3.9 carats total). Even the hands are set with 15 brilliant-cut diamonds. That sure is a lot of diamonds, however the strange thing is this watch doesn’t look overdone. It still maintains a strong element of elegance and minimalism like in the above picture. Only when you explore the case at different angles do you see much more of jewelry side of this piece like in the below picture.

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They’ve missed putting diamonds on the dial!

The manual-wind movement is produced by Renaud & Papi, the now premiere complications development arm of Audemars Piguet. The center motif is a tribute to Mademoiselle Chanel’s favourite flower. This centerpiece is a difficult piece to create as Renaud & Papi have done away with the upper bridge as with normal Tourbillons to improve the aesthetics of the watch. As a result, the carriage decorated camellia flower  looks like it is rotating in a weightless state. The floral design has a delicate texture of interlocking petals and a heart that is decorated with diamonds.

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The “flying” Tourbillon

The Flying Tourbillon itself makes one rotation per minute and owners can use the petal as a seconds guide. However I don’t think the wearer will be wearing this watch and actively trying to figure out how many seconds has gone past. Power reserve comes in at 40 hours only and the movement parts are chamfered, grained and decorated all by hand. It comes with a black alligator or satin strap with an 18ct white gold folding buckle with 30 brilliant-cut diamonds. All this for a cringe-worthy $300,000.

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Camelia motif at the center of the dial

The Only Watch version of the Flying Tourbillon due for auction in late September comes with an exclusive high tech black ceramic bezel. We’re huge fans of the Only Watch version as it represents high-end watchmaking and adds a subtle touch of high-end jewelry as well. No doubt all 20 pieces have already been accounted for, but that doesn’t stop one from dreaming.

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 Chanel Flying Tourbillon promotional video