The Dior VIII Grand Bal “Plume”

The House of Dior is known for their beauty, style and grace. High watchmaking doesn’t readily come to mind when you think of their timepieces. But they intend to change that. If you think they aren’t serious about getting into the game, take a look at the  Dior Christal 8, designed by by Franck Orny and Johnny Girardin, the guys behind the Montblanc Metamorphoses. That’s a hot combination of artistry and mechanical technique.

The Grand Bal “Plume”, part of the Dior VIII Grand Bal collection launched last year, continues along the same path. For its aesthetics, Dior sought inspiration from their fashion archives. Famous for their ball gowns, they sought to recreate the experience of its dramatic movement. The star of the show is the oscillating weight spinning round the dial and creating the illusion of a gown’s swish as a lady walks through the room. It’s comprised of white gold decorated with diamonds and feathers, yes feathers!

Encased in a black or white high-tech ceramic with matching bracelet, the “Plume” has a diamond-set bezel accompanied by a black or white ceramic ring. Faceted hour and minute hands complement the gorgeous matching mother-of-pearl dial sourced from Vietnam. The  38mm size is large enough to fit the fashion of the day without overwhelming a woman’s wrist.

While the feathery and glittery rotor might seem a charming conceit, it’s actually a cool technical achievement. Other companies like Perrelet have placed a rotor on the dial, but Dior’s is different because it’s fully functional, the first brand to have one that’s decorated and achieves this feat. Another cool feature is that the rotor is produced in such a way that it recalculates the inertia for each model in the Grand Bal series.

While certainly fashionable, Grand Bal “Plume”, which is limited to 88 pieces, is not a fashion watch but qualifies as another solid entry in Dior’s  haute watchmaking lineup.

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