In Brief

High time to have a ball: Dior Grand Soir Plissé Précieux

A new haute couture timepiece by Dior

dior_grand_soir_plisse_precieux_3_copy.jpg

Seven years after he first moved to premises on Paris’s avenue Montaigne in 1946, Christian Dior’s elegant townhouse set-up was home to 1,000 employees and counted 28 workshops.

It was here, on the French capital’s northern Rive Droite bank of the river Seine that Monsieur Dior mastered myriad dressmaking techniques. House specialities included the artful pleating of fabrics, as evidenced in designs for day and night.

Dior’s 1955 A-Line collection proposed slim-fitting elongated jackets with generously pleated skirts; in 1954, the couturier had unveiled his scarlet red Zair ball gown, sculpted from many layers of light-as-air silk chiffon tucked and gathered with origami-like precision. It’s haute couture masterpieces such the Zair that spring to mind when considering the Parisian make’s latest addition to its Grand Soir selection of timepieces.

First presented in 2010, Dior Horlogerie’s Grand Soir collection expresses the brand’s haute couture heritage through the art of watchmaking. The Grand Soir Plissé Précieux – its name roughly translates as precious pleating – takes many-folded fabric as its design cue, imagining a tulle dress swirling underneath glass.

Here, a 36mm pink gold case is matched with a grey satin strap and a pink gold bezel is set with round-cut diamonds; it frames a sun-brushed white gold dial finessed with pleated and net-like openwork elements fashioned from pink and white gold. Round-cut diamonds sparkle across the dial: placed using the complex gradient snow-setting technique (diamonds of varying sizes are set to form a seemingly spontaneous pattern), the iridescent formation nods to another Dior dressmaking skill, that of delicate embroideries.

£42,300; dior.com

Main image: Thomas Lohr; Collage: Patrick Waugh

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