When Christian Dior presented his first haute couture collection in Paris on February 12 1947, he revolutionised taste and style in the world of ladies’ fashion. The planet was recovering from the Second World War and the predominant austere, masculine look that came with it. With the New Look collection, and the Bar Suit in particular with tight-fitting waist and padded hips, Dior brought back a blatant return to femininity that was both seductive and distinguished. Luxurious fabrics were reintroduced, and the ball gown came back as part of the celebrations.
At Baselworld 2017, Dior Timepieces enchanted us with their latest watches from the Dior Grand Bal collection, presented amid a charming display of 22 reduced models of real ball gowns created by the House of Dior, from Monsieur Dior until Maria Grazia Chiuri’s collection this year.
Each timepiece comes in a 36 mm case equipped with the automatic movement “Dior Inversé 11 ½” calibre, with functions of hours and minutes and a power reserve of 42 hours. The remarkable 360° functional oscillating weight placed on top of the dial is reminiscent of the swirling of a ball gown.
The two pieces shown above are part of the Dior Grand Bal Plume (Feather) collection, with, on the left, the Dior Grand Bal Plume Aventurine in steel and pink gold. Diamonds set the bezel while pink sapphires set the centre of the gorgeous blue aventurine dial. Note the oscillating weight made of real feathers! A strap in shiny blue alligator with diamond-set steel prong buckle completes this timepiece that carries a total of 137 diamonds and 83 pink sapphires.
Next to it, the Dior Grand Bal Plume Malachite in steel and yellow gold, is set with 137 diamonds and 83 tsavorite garnets, this time on a malachite dial with feather oscillating weight. The matching strap is in shiny green alligator.
In limited editions of 88 pieces each, priced at EUR25,000 for the aventurine version and EUR28,000 for the malachite, you will have to wait until June 2017 to see them in stores.
Here’s a close-up of the aventurine dial and feather weight:
The three timepieces below have fascinating, unique dials made of Australian white opal marquetry with polished, metallized and hand-engraved gold. With diamond-set crowns, bezels, and prong buckles on their straps, their casebacks are engraved and also diamond-set. Each is a one-of-a-kind piece from the Dior Grand Bal Galaxie collection, and comes with an extra black satin strap.
On the left, the Dior Grand Bal Galaxie Cygnus Gold is made of palladium, white and pink gold, and set with 401 diamonds and 115 pink sapphires. A pink to black-shaded patent calfskin strap complements the dial.
In the middle, the Dior Grand Bal Galaxie Dorado comes in yellow and pink gold, set with 256 diamonds. The matching strap is in yellow to black-shaded patent calfskin.
And on the right, the Dior Grand Bal Galaxie Draco is in palladium, white gold and pink gold, set with 235 diamonds and enhanced with a fushia to black-shaded patent calfskin strap.
These pieces are available now, with prices on request.
Dior Timepieces are designed in Paris to be at the centre of Dior creativity, and developed and manufactured at Les Ateliers Dior SA in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. CEO of Dior Timepieces and Jewellery Laurence Nicolas once told me it took Les Ateliers in Switzerland 6 months to find the right feathers from the right roosters to create the feather-made oscillating weight for the Grand Bal Plumes. “That’s French inspiration with Swiss precision!” she smiled.