Dior VIII Grand Bal Collection

With its mechanical couture for your wrist, Dior pays spectacular tribute to the eminent French designer, Monsieur Christian Dior. Its most evident nod to the couture world is expressed on the oscillating weight, which is exposed on the dial side of Dior’s watches. As the decorated oscillating weight swirls around the dial, one can imagine a haute couture gown flowing as it moves across the dance floor at the most elegant ball.

Dior watches were introduced in 1975, a time when Dior accounted for about half of the haute couture exports in France. These luxurious timepieces were an ideal fit for this fashion house, and it’s no surprise that Dior excelled at implementing the details, especially with skillfully decorative oscillating weights.

Dior collections featured rotors with unique ornamental stones, openwork mother-of-pearl or exquisite hand-painted works of art and were often hidden secrets visible only through the sapphire caseback. With the introduction of the Dior VIII Grand Bal collection in 2011, this distinct detail is brought to the dial side thanks to the Dior Inversé 11½ or Dior Inversé 8¼ caliber. These automatic movements were engineered in cooperation with Les Ateliers Horlogers Dior and the Swiss manufacture Soprod, located in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Miniaturizing the world of haute couture into a timepiece is not an easy achievement; nonetheless, Dior executes it with avant-garde style. Dior creates this “downsizing” by using precious stones such as diamonds and sapphires, or (as in the one-of-a-kind Dior VIII Grand Bal N°11) extra-flat amethysts set in purple-tinted titanium. The artisans create a beautiful patented pattern and literally set art in motion.

The rotor in the Dior VIII Grand Bal Plisse Soleil is decorated with white mother-of-pearl marquetry finished with golden edges representing the sun pleats pattern in haute couture. The Dior VIII Grand Bal Plume references the design elements of the runway as it is decorated with delicate blue feathers and adorned with diamonds.

Perhaps the most unique execution is the Dior VIII Grand Bal Fil de Soie. In this watch, the oscillating weight is hand-woven by a female lacemaker from Le Puy, who had to adapt the traditional art of lacemaking to the demands of watchmaking with green silk thread. Monsieur Christian Dior admired the characteristic of silk, calling it the queen of all materials. “The most lovely, the most feminine, the most enchanting, with all the qualities nature gives to things that we cannot make ourselves, ” he said.

Each watch from the Dior VIII Grand Bal collection consistently presents distinctive and artistic watches with exquisite decoration on the oscillating weight. Dior’s next French-Swiss collaboration debuted at Baselworld.
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