History of the Wallet on Chain
Launched in 1997, the Wallet on Chain (or WOC), quickly became one of the most iconic Chanel bags ever crafted. Effortlessly stylish, simple and chic, the Chanel WOC is a miniature classic, perfectly suited for any woman on the go. With 6 card slots, multiple zipped pockets, and an open compartment in the middle, the Chanel Wallet on Chain is the most compact yet efficient bag of its kind. The most notably versatile feature of the WOC is the 24-inch chain strap, enhancing the bag’s wear for any occasion. As such, it can be worn over the shoulder, as a crossbody, or even as a clutch/wallet with the strap tucked in. Functional, fashionable and more affordable than other classic Chanel bags, the WOC is tremendously popular on the resale market.
Due to its high demand and desirability, the Chanel Wallet on Chain is offered nearly every season and in a range of styles. The most notable variations of the WOC include the Classic Flap, the Half Moon, the 2.55, the Boy, the Trendy CC, the seasonal Mademoiselle, and the Chanel 19 (the most recent iteration). Notably, in 2019, Chanel made a subtle improvement to the Wallet on Chain. By replacing the snap button closure with a magnetic one, the Chanel WOC became even more dependable and secure. Yet, some exceptions to this change still apply, particularly with the 2.55 and other seasonal WOC variations that sport the CC and Mademoiselle turn locks. The value of the Chanel Wallet on Chain continues to skyrocket, and Sotheby’s offers some of the most sought-after styles, as featured below.
Strikingly similar to the Chanel Classic Flap, but at a much more attainable price point, the Classic WOC is a timeless staple. While caviar leather has historically been most popular, in recent years Chanel has begun to focus more on lambskin, as evidenced by those available for immediate purchase on Sotheby’s Buy Now.
2.55 Reissue WOC
Created by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1955, the 2.55 Flap Bag signified fashion liberation. Radical and revelatory, the Chanel 2.55 was the first bag made for women to come with a shoulder strap, freeing them from the constraints of the impractical clutch. The 2.55 Flap would become the Chanel bag that changed it all, solidified in fashion history as a timeless icon. Considering its rich historical lineage, there is nothing more exciting for a Chanel vintage hunter to encounter than a 2.55 Reissue. These ‘reissue’ handbags were first launched in February 2005, as a reintroduction of the 2.55 Flap on its 50th anniversary. Recognized for its leather quilting, leather woven strap, back pocket, and Mademoiselle Lock, the Chanel Reissue 2.55 WOC is always in high demand.
Debuted in 2011 in Chanel’s Fall/Winter collection, the Chanel Boy Bag struck a chord among lovers of Chanel handbags and romantics alike, cementing a place as a mainstay in Chanel’s collection. With the Boy Bag, Chanel offers a more masculine edge, as inspired by Coco Chanel’s greatest love, Arthur “Boy” Capel. Characterized by its lego-brick lock and main body framed by straight edges, the Chanel Boy Bag is admired for its versatile silhouette and unique, unexpected variations each season. Among these exciting iterations is the Boy WOC, which features the classic WOC features with distinct Boy Bag qualities.
Chanel 19 WOC
Recognized for its trio of chains, metal handle and soft lines, the Chanel 19 is a modern tribute to the classic 2.55 bag. Unveiled in March 2019 for the Fall/Winter 2019 collection, the Chanel 19 would be solidified in history as the last major handbag designed by Karl Lagerfeld, before his fateful passing. The gold chain handle and exaggerated diamond quilting enhance the Chanel 19’s casual, chic style, and these features extend naturally to the petite and versatile WOC.