In her ateliers on rue Cambon, Gabrielle Chanel always kept two tools to hand: a pair of scissors suspended from a ribbon which she wore round her neck as a sautoir, and on her wrist the indispensable tool of any seamstress, a pincushion. In 2023, Arnaud Chastaingt, Director of the CHANEL Watchmaking Creation Studio, has borrowed this tool to create the Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles watch.
“I like the image of this functional piece of jewelry that adorns the wrists of seamstresses.”
This essential dressmaking accoutrement generally takes the form of a metal cuff topped with a generously sized dome-shaped cushion. On a technical level, it enables dressmakers to keep and organize their pins and needles where they can see them, to help them as they work.
“I am fascinated by the design of objects whose architecture is the product of a practical need. In terms of style, the pincushion commands authority on the wrist, with presence and impact. Its outsize format does not detract from its comfort in any way, and it adapts to all wrists. I love the random design of needles on the surface of the cushion. Organized or disorganized, the pinheads pricked into the fabric dome create a decorative effect that evolves with the progress of the seamstress’s work. I have adopted the spirit of this tool to create a watch. While its architecture has the boldness of simplicity, its oversized dial flirts with excess and offers an incredible space for expression. I dreamed of this creation as a blank canvas for the most audacious Métiers d’art. I have imagined five tableaux for this collection: a lacework of camellias, a composition of iconic bags, jewels strewn on black tweed, a diamond embroidery, and a jacket at the pattern stage.”
Five round watches in yellow gold, 55mm, evoke the pincushion of seamstresses.Each of these pieces tell a story, a story unique to CHANEL, a story of Couture and of Haute Horlogerie to which only CHANEL possesses the secret. A true declaration of love for Gabrielle Chanel, the new jewelry collection Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles is available in five watches in a limited edition of twenty pieces each.
Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles Pearls Motif watch
Jewels strewn over a black tweed effect: long necklaces, braided chains and Byzantine brooches. All are sculpted in yellow gold, lacquered by hand or set, then delicately arranged on a plate featuring a black tweed effect in relief, trimmed with a row of diamonds lined and gold pearls.
Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles Lace Motif watch
A lace design of camellias, created through a combination of three Métiers d’art: first, the technique of hand engraving to give texture to the yellow gold surface of the dial. This is then covered with a layer of translucent “Grand Feu” enamel to accentuate and highlight the delicacy of the engraving and endow it with infinite depth. Finally, the Creation Studio used the traditional decal technique to draw
the motif. Successive layers of fine decals create a lacy pattern of camellias. The whole surface is strewn with tiny gold beads and five diamonds.
Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles Tweed Motif watch
The precious pattern of a tweed jacket trimmed with 92 diamonds. Thimble, scissors, tape measure: the tools of the seamstress meticulously created in sculpted gold bring this scene from a couture atelier to life. The dial is delicately trimmed with a chain just like the one sewn inside every CHANEL jacket to ensure it hangs perfectly.
Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles Embroidery Motif watch
The elegance of black fabric embroidered with sequins, imagined by the Watchmaking Creation Studio in a convex disc of black-coated white gold, snow-set with diamonds and trimmed with a delicate row of tiny gold beads, individually set by hand.
Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles Quilted Motif watch
5 iconic bags are engraved and modeled in black mother-of-pearl to recreate the effect of quilted leather. Their engraved yellow gold chains are adorned with diamond charms, while each of the clasps is embellished with a baguette-cut diamond.