[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.

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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.

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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.