Dior VIII Watches Revealed

Dior luxury watches

Photos courtesy of Dior

About face: Grand Bal (left) and baguette (right) watches from the Dior VIII timepiece collection

Christian Dior continues to sashay away from scandal, as it unveiled a new line of luxury timepieces at Baselworld, the leading annual watch and jewelry trade show. Dubbed Dior VIII, the collection is encoded with the company’s lucky number eight.

Dior VIII (pronounced with the French term huit for the Roman numeral) is divided into three tiers. Dior representatives compare them to the three kinds of essential dresses a woman should have in her closet. All the watches have black faces and inky ceramic bracelets with pyramid-shaped links—then the mechanisms and embellishments become increasingly rarefied.

A core selection of eight day-wear timepieces is the equivalent of an LBD. These styles use black lacquer dials; a signature VIII marks 8 o’clock. As with Dior’s Christal watch collection, the bezels are punctuated in a spiraling pattern, some with diamonds.

The cocktail dress parallel is the midlevel baguette watch. On each of the four styles, baguette-cut stones ring the bezel: diamonds, sunny citrines, grass-green tsavorites, or hot pink sapphires. Color flares again on the back, where lacquered rotors mimic the stones’ hues.

The four limited-edition Grand Bal watch designs were inspired by Dior’s haute couture gowns. The bezels glitter with diamonds while the dials are in black mother-of-pearl. Most impressively, a new movement was designed exclusively for this line.

Called Dior Inversé, these oscillating weights made of white gold and diamonds appear on the dial. As the watch moves, the graceful, embroidery-like patterns float across the dial. The movement took about 18 months to develop, a combined effort of Dior’s horologists, watchmaker Frédéric Jouvenot, and the manufacturer Soprod.

Dior VIII’s designs are rooted in the company’s history. Besides the nods to couture embroidery, the pyramid links recall the canework stitching used on Lady Dior handbags.

Why the wink of superstition with the number eight? Such beliefs are woven into Dior’s identity. The namesake founder considered the number eight auspicious. Dior opened his couture house on October 8 and named his first clothing collection after his lucky number. Dior’s jewelry headquarters are currently at 8 Place Vendôme in Paris.

The core collection and baguette watches will bevailable in the U.S. on June 8. Grand Bal watches are slated to début in November. Prices start at $4,550 and soar to over $50,000 for one of the diamond-encrusted models.

On June 1, Dior rolls out the accompanying ad campaign with actress Charlize Theron. Hopefully, Theron will be true to the brand, as she’s had a Dior fling before: In 2007, the star was sued by the Raymond Weil watch company, for which she’d modeled. Although Theron was contracted to wear Weil watches exclusively, she was snapped wearing a Dior timepiece instead. Off with the old lover, on with the new …

If nothing else, Dior VIII can at least help us count the hours until Dior names a new head designer.