[dropcap size=small]O[/dropcap]ne of the first things you might notice about the Monsieur de Chanel, which is Chanel’s first men’s watch with an in-house movement, is its minute track: Instead of taking the form of a complete circle, the minute indicators are spread over a 240-degree arc. This is made possible, of course, thanks to the watch’s retrograde minute hand.

Monsieur de Chanel in beige gold.

The term “retrograde” refers to a type of dial display with a hand that moves across a semi-circular scale, that then jumps back to zero when it reaches the end of the scale, before starting again. This can be used to indicate a variety of information, from the seconds to days of the week. The jump is made possible by a spring-based mechanism that sends the hand back to its original position in the blink of an eye.

Calibre 1, the movement driving the Monsieur de Chanel.

Most retrograde displays travel along an arc that’s less than 180 degrees for mechanical simplicity; unusually the Monsieur de Chanel has a retrograde minute display that spans 240 degrees. This requires more complicated engineering, but of course, provides for dramatic impact at the end of every hour.