Watches with a double, even triple time zone complication have become matter of course in watchmaking. A timepiece that displays eight time zones, in contrast, commands attention. This is the mechanical exploit which Dior has achieved with its Christal “8” model. Developed alongside movement designers Orny and Girardin, it simultaneously displays three sets of information on a single index: local time, time in eight cities, and day/night. In the company’s own words, “The Art Deco inspired movement of the dial serves as a pretext for a mobile decor accentuated by the interlaced design of such noble materials as gold leaf, mother-of-pearl and lacquer. The satellite indicating the eight time zones revolves around itself in 24 hours, the face of the dial in 12 hours, and the circular seconds hand in 60 seconds.”
"A powerful artistic vector"
Already last year, Dior dazzled with its Christal Mystérieuse, for which it enlisted the expertise of Quinting Manufacture. Three of the dial’s six discs, which are embellished with mother-of-pearl inserts and metallic detailing, rotate in time with the days, hours and minutes so that the face of the watch is constantly changing, returning to its initial configuration just once a month. Designed as a tribute to Christian Dior, whose lucky number was eight, this year’s Christal “8” is no less stunning. Fittingly, it is proposed as a limited edition of eight.
However astounding these two models may be, complications are not the be all and end all for watchmaking at Dior, as Laurence Nicolas, President of Dior Watches and Fine Jewellery, explained to GMT Lady: “While we have the capacity to produce complications, men’s watches remain a niche segment for us. In image terms, Dior uses complications to further a creative statement more than to deliver a “gadget” with a high technological added value. We expect our models to narrate our brand, and complications exist only as a powerful artistic vector. For example, the Quinting transparent movement enabled us to develop a kinetic art motif which went on to become a success in terms of both image and sales.”
"A permanent retinal impression"
Not that this prevents Laurence Nicolas from being in admiration before the latest Dior timepiece: “Each launch or special edition brings a new favourite. It just so happens that my current favourite is the Dior Christal “8”, which produces a permanent retinal impression. Its movement simultaneously displays the time in eight zones. The satellite hour hand is just one of the exceptional features, alongside the gold leaf applied to the oscillating weight – a first -, the Art Deco styling of its fabulous dial, or the contrast of exotic stone with the gold case, which I find so sensual. The jeweller in me can appreciate the incredible craftsmanship that has produced this timepiece, which I can only describe as absolutely amazing!”