DIOR AND BOUCHERON – For the Ladies at Baselworld

#wtbasel Be it the classic high-jewelry timepieces created by Boucheron or the fashionable style of Dior watches, this year ladies have a broad choice in chic and elegance.

WORLDTEMPUS – 21 March 2012

Carlos Torres

Every year at Baselworld there are two world-class names one should look out for when considering women’s watches: Boucheron and Dior. The former’s roots are in jewelry and the latter’s in fashion. They are two different brands with distinct creative philosophies that nevertheless share the same relevant position regarding a serious approach to feminine timepieces.

Cypris Tourbillons sous trois Ponts d’Or: made with the help of Girard-Perregaux © Boucheron

The Bestiary of Boucheron

The jeweler at home in the city of lights is well known for the technical prowess of its jewels and timepieces, and its association with Girard-Perregaux stands as irrefutable proof of this. For 2012, Boucheron presented the Cypris Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges not as a watch, but as a remarkable work of art that happens to tell time. Cypris is in fact the Cypriot name for the Greek goddess Aphrodite, a mythical figure that loved the swan drawing her divine chariot. In both black and white versions, the swan delicately wraps around the case at whose heart the tourbillon beats. The impressive jeweled decoration includes sapphires, spinels and diamonds as well as coral and onyx

The Ajourée Camelion boasts a bejeweled chameleon © Boucheron

Following Boucheron’s taste for bestiary, the maker’s booth at Baselworld 2012 showed a number of creatures trapped inside precious watch cases. The Ajourée line included a frog and a chameleon, while the Crazy Jungle Hathi collection opted this year for purple and diamond versions. The beautiful elephant that dominates the dial carries a blanket that is reminiscent of the silk finery worn by Indian elephants transporting the Maharajah’s treasures. Finally, the Habiscus Tourbillon represents a scene with a jeweled hummingbird approaching a flower: a light scene supported by the presence of a flying tourbillon visible through a shimmering mother-of-pearl dial.


The Crazy Jungle Hathi Violette depicts a luxurious elephant © Boucheron

37 years of Dior watches

Founded in 1946, Dior is well known for its haute couture DNA inherited from its founder, the incredible fashion virtuoso Christian Dior. This man was later succeeded by designers like Yves Saint-Laurent, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano and Hedi Silmane. It is said that the same meticulous approach utilized in the fashion design and conception is also applied to watches by following the famous motto, “What you don’t see is as important as what you see.” The question remains, however: when did this relationship to watches really begin at Dior?


The Dior booth at the 2012 edition of Baselworld © Carlos Torres/Worldtempus

Black Moon was actually the first watch launched by Dior in 1975, a creation that later inspired the 1990 Bagheera collection. Entering the new millennium, in 2001 John Galliano designed the Chris 47 Aluminum line that was soon followed by the redesigned Riva and Malice models, giving birth to the Malice Sparkling and Riva Sparkling spin-off collections. The next year, the Dior 66 watch was released, breaking many traditional feminine expectations in design. The Chris 47 Steel followed in 2003, and the designer of Dior’s fine jewelry, Victoire de Castellane, launched Le D de Dior as part of its collection of fine jewelry. This move was repeated with the debut of the La Baby de Dior line. In between, Silmane introduced the Chiffre Rouge as part of the Dior Homme collection, and in 2005 Galliano finally released the innovative Dior Christal, which combined steel and blue sapphires at the time. The development of ceramics soon reached a good part of the collection. Thus, between the launch of Black Moon in 1975 and the new collection presented this year at Baselworld, Dior can count 37 years of creativity and imagination in the world of watches.


The 38 mm Dior VIII Grand Bal Résille model in black © Dior

For 2012, Dior presented an attractive collection boasting a mix of diamonds, ceramic and even feathers. The Dior VIII line now includes different sizes ranging from 28 mm (quartz-driven watches), 33 mm and 38 mm (automatics). Ceramic cases come in a choice of black or white, a typical Dior color scheme compensated by a diversity of precious dial and bezel decorations that include the snow-setting technique, baguette-cut diamonds, rubies, aquamarines, peridots and amethysts. Adding to the strong Dior style identity are also the iconic pyramidal-shaped links of the ceramic bracelets. The Dior VIII Grand Ball collection, already launched last year, brings the automatic rotor to the dial side of the watch by using the Dior inverse caliber. The functional oscillating weight reproduces the swirl of a ball gown and is this year proposed both as a Résille model with an openworked, jeweled oscillating weight, and as “Haute Couture” with five one-of-a-kind timepieces in gold and black or white ceramic, embellished with precious ornamental stones in sparkling colors.


The Dior VIII Grand Bal Haute Couture brings the automatic rotor to the dial side © Dior