'Savoir faire' or 'know how' is the nuts and bolts of luxury and particularly when technically challenging products such as watches are involved. One glance at this new collection of watches confirms that chez Dior very many different crafts come together in creating these one off or 'Pièce Unique' watches. Gemologists, gem-setters, stone cutters, engravers, watchmakers, case makers, seamstresses and of course designers all come together in making this very individual watches.
Only one of each of these watches is made, and each is as unique as a bespoke haute couture gown. Inspiration comes from the couture designs of Mr Christian Dior himself and the avenue Montaigne ateliers where the haute couture creations are daintily stitched by the seamstresses who work above the salon. Each one of a kind watch captures the spirit of a gown and transforms it into a watch.
As is expected in a jewellery watch, they are set with precious stones and diamonds but what makes them so special is the unusual combinations of stones as well as the dials made of slivers of rare stones such as turquoise and elaborately engraved, tinted and even layered mother of pearl.Baguette brown garnets, blue tourmalines, lilac amethysts, smoky quartz, pink sapphires and bright green tsavorites give an idea of the wide colour palette and range of stones used.
Each one is unique and its own little universe. While the No.12 is a fizzing catherine wheels of pops of colour and light, the No. 6 has a mysterious dark dial with a ring of deep red rubies and spinels and in contrast the No. 8 is a cool shimmer of delicate hues, like petals in the spring sunlight. Each is surrounded by a halo of baguette-cut stones set around the dial draw the eye from across the room. Even the straps are unique and made of the same cloth as the ball gowns. Each one is pleated, textured and layered to create the effect of billowing fabric or the fall of skirt.
Laurence Nicolas in charge of watches and jewellery at Dior, explains how these extraordinary looking timepieces came to light. "Since 2010, every year Dior has created a collection of one of-a-kind pieces called Dior Pièce Unique. Our watches are always inspired by the heritage of an Haute Couture house with everything that it implies in terms of timeless elegance…femininity, creativity, know-how, quality and excellence in the making as well as refined materials and details." The outcome is an unlikely union of the creative brilliance of Dior design and Swiss precision watch-making.
Like the seamstresses in the Avenue Montaigne atelier, invisibly stitching the back-side of a silk gown to make puffs of gauze seem to float, so gem-setters, stone cutters and watchmakers work to make the impossible a delightful, ticking reality.