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Chanel classic vs reissue: Which is the best investment?

One of the most common questions I get asked about these two bags is, which is the best investment? In this video and in the blog below I do my best to answer the question. Don't forget to let me know in the comments what your thoughts are.

Before we dive into the investment side of things, I thought it might be interesting to understand a little about the history of each of these bags as well as some of the overriding differences between them.

Despite perhaps the 2.55 with the classic CC lock being the better known of the two bags the 2.55 Chanel bag above with the rectangle Mademoiselle lock is, in fact, the original design.

The name of this rectangle lock is known as “Mademoiselle” as Coco Chanel never married. And the 2.55, in fact, stands for the date February 1955 which is the year the bag was first released. In February 2005, Karl Lagerfeld re-made the 2.55 exactly as Coco Chanel had made it in 1955, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 2.55. This bag was called “The Reissue”. I think this alone shows just what timeless, classic bags they are. That the designs have been gracing our shelves for over 65 years and are still as desirable as ever.

Some serious Chanel lovers out there might be wanting to point out the slight inaccuracy in the title of this blog. As technically the term Reissue should only be used for the bags that were made to commemorate the original – so only those made by Karl Lagerfeld in 2005. However, it has now become commonplace to call all the 2.55’s with the Mademoiselle lock the “Reissues” and all the bags that have the CC locks “Classic Flaps”.

Differences between the bags

Having established the history of both bags let me quickly highlight some of the overriding differences between the two designs, before moving on to the matter or investment. I will leave out the locks as we have already established the differences here. You may want to watch the video to have a look at some of these differences up close.

The chain handles - The Classic has a chain which is interwoven with leather and the Reissue has a solid slightly vintage looking chain. They are often made with slightly darker-toned metals.

The Reissue is made with a slightly more distressed leather and can sometimes look “worn” however this is just the effect. The Classic Flaps often have a rounded and much more “plush” appearance, with leather that is luxurious and meant to continue looking new throughout the years, contrasting with the worn and vintage-inspired leather found on the Reissue bags

They also come in different sizes.

So now we have established the differences between the two bags. They clearly both have a rich and long history. So which one would we consider to be the best investment?

Which is the best investment?

Having conducted our own market research via our Instagram (follow us: @Timpanys) we asked for our follower's opinions on the CC lock vs the Mademoiselle on the reissue: a huge 88% preferred the CC.

Also having been trading in second-hand Chanel for 9 years at the time of writing the bag design that always flies out the door is the CC. Naturally, when looking at a good investment you have to consider what the second-hand market is saying. As this will be where you will be having to sell your bag in order to release your equity in it.

One thing you may want to take into consideration is the effect that “trends” have on value as well. At the moment there is a big trend for logos so this could well create a spike in the value of the CC however the Mademoiselle could potentially be a safer long-term investment. It is a lot more understated and often people say they feel more “comfortable” to carry it on a day to day basis.

Looking strictly at the numbers though they speak for themselves historically.

With regards to the Reissue: ''This model has increased in value by 70% over the last 5 years,'' and the Classic CC "has increased by an impressive 140% over the last 5 years," as discovered by The Telegraph.

So it does seem that the Chanel classic CC flap is the better investment.

May I also point out that when I talk about “investment” with regards to handbags I am referring to the fact that they are unlikely to “lose their value” over time if they are kept in the same condition in which you bought them. If you are going to use them heavily or lose receipts/boxes etc. the value will depreciate in line with this. Furthermore, if you can find the piece that you want in excellent condition on the second-hand market this can often be a more savvy investment as you are not paying the premium of walking into the store. Much like driving a car off the forecourt- your Chanel bag does lose a bit of value as soon as you walk out the door.

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