At Baselworld 2016, Dior unveiled the House’s two newest timepieces – Dior VIII Grand Bal Pièce Unique Ondine and Dior Grand Soir Kaléidiorscope. Unveiled on the first day of the leading watch industry event that takes place annually in Basel, the Dior VIII Grand Bal Pièce Unique Ondine timepiece is an ode to the Ondine dress, with its innumerable pleats, created by Christian Dior for his haute couture autumn-winter 1947 collection. And just like the dress, this watch mobilizes a range of specialists and disciplines to tell its story and express its beauty.
The dial is entirely set with a blizzard of six hundred and forty-eight diamonds, tsavorites, amethysts and sapphires on white, rose or yellow gold depending on the model. The dial also exists in a graphic variation inspired by the weft weave of a fabric. Its pavé of tsavorites, diamonds or yellow sapphires requires over three days of mounting work.
This unique creation is equipped with a “Dior Inversé 11½” movement, as the rotor is brought into the foreground and morphs into the dial. It’s tricked out in stones that seem as though they’ve been elegantly tipped from the dial onto the rotor. The precious metal is worked like a fabric to give the impression of a pleat in motion. Lending final touches in the couture spirit that serves to animate this watch, the base of the case is also worked in volume, the bezel is saturated with precious stones and the leather bracelet tinted a metallic shade or in black satin. The Dior VIII Grand Bal Ondine is being offered in an edition of twelve unique pieces.
The second day was reserved for the Dior Grand Soir Kaléidiorscope timepiece which takes its inspiration from delicate embroideries designed by Christian Dior for his dresses and transposes them to the wrist in a whirlwind of precious colors.
The House’s ateliers have reinvented their savoir-faire according to traditional artisanal techniques. More than one hundred and eighty metals and stones of varying nuances and forms decorate the dial with layered lightness. Each piece has been carefully shaped down to the tiniest fraction of a millimetre, before being delicately positioned and then set in a way that best catches the light. Informed by a mastery of technique, this seemingly floating explosion of colors and lines extends onto a bezel also set with precious stones. Placed behind the “Elite 681” automatic calibre movement, the pure-wrought rotor is visible through a subtly-striped caseback that references kinetic art, one of this creation’s main inspirations. A bracelet in denim or black satin highlights the play on materials and contrasts. This timepiece creation is offered in an edition of eight unique pieces.