by Jola Chudy
“True luxury demands true materials and true craftsmanship,” proclaimed Christian Dior. “It is only meaningful when rooted in authentic traditions.” When he founded his maison in 1947, Christian Dior wanted it to be small and confidential, a place where craftsmanship and skill could be encouraged to blossom and flower. This is the approach taken by Dior Horlogerie, which has been not-so-quietly asserting itself as one of relatively few ‘French fashion’ brands to be making a name for itself in the traditional watchmaking arena. (In case the others’ names elude you, they are Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès and of course Cartier). Each of these has chosen to express its patrimony according to its own distinct heritage and Dior’s is rooted – where else – but in haute couture.
Its Grand Bal watches celebrates the quintessential Dior gown and put metiers d’art centre stage, reflecting the relationship between Dior’s watch design and the predominant historical activity of the brand which was to craft exceptional dresses by hand.
This year, the aesthetic and technical signature of the Dior Grand Bal collection receives a gilded interpretation thanks to the Grand Bal Plume Or, a watch displaying a cluster of feathers entirely covered in gold. The Dior Inverse Calibre boasts the signature oscillating weight placed on top of the dial as has been the case in previous iterations of the watch. At 36mm, it is comfortably elegant on the wrist and thanks to the gold, feels substantial while retaining its ethereal style. A sunbrushed golden dial offsets the shimmering feather marquetry.
The Dior Grand Bal Plume Or is equipped with an automatic movement exclusive to Dior, the Dior Inversé 11 ½ calibre, featuring a patented and functional oscillating weight recreating the swirl of a ball gown.
Combining feather-making know-how specific to Haute Couture with watchmaking technology, the watch model is limited to 88 pieces and perfectly represents the convergence of high fashion and high watchmaking.
Automatic. “Dior Inversé 11 1/2” calibre. Functional yellow gold oscillating weight on the dial, set with round-cut diamonds and decorated with feathers covered in yellow gold (patented). 42-hour power reserve. Functions: Hours and minutes; water resistant to 50 metres.
36mm automatic. Steel, yellow gold, diamonds and feathers. Polished stainless steel. Stainless steel bezel set with round-cut diamonds and decorated with a yellow gold ring. antireflective sapphire crystal glass. Stainless steel crown engraved with “CD”. Yellow gold metallized sapphire crystal case-back.
Golden sun-brushing. Faceted hour and minute hands. Strap. Semi-matte black alligator. Steel prong buckle set with round-cut diamonds.