A return to Dior’s horological roots has got us feeling dark and mysterious, as icon of simplicity La D de Dior takes on a stylishly inky hue
It may seem strange to us now, as all the grand Maisons have diversified into multiple threats with watches, jewellery, makeup, fragrance and even homewares available alongside their traditional couture, but there was a time in the surprisingly recent past when a fashion House even thinking about watchmaking was revolutionary. And Dior, ever a pioneer, was an early adopter of timepieces into its collection — all beginning with classic, stylish black. After a first foray into women’s watches in partnership with Swiss watchmaker Bulova in 1968, the 1975 launch of the Dior Black Moon was the real beginning of Dior’s horological history. This clean, dark and recognisably of-its-era watch caused waves in the industry, a demonstration of how impactful simplicity in design can be. And it was this spirit which came to the fore once again when Dior’s watchmaking came in-house in 2001 and Victoire de Castellane launched her modern classic: La D de Dior.
However, chiefly a light, bright and sparkling collection, La D de Dior’s latest incarnation — the new Black Ultramatte — is bold in its duality; futuristic while echoes of the past still ring through it loud and clear. With a dial so inky black that it seems to literally suck in light, it’s the ideal accompaniment to La D de Dior’s uncomplicated three-diamond index and dauphine-hand design. Add the subtle ribbon-like sheen of the Milanese strap — its grain mirrored in the satine steel bezel version, or complemented by the muted sparkle of black diamonds for a touch more luxe — and you have a warm, soft midnight of a timepiece. The black DLC-coated steel case remains at the classic La D de Dior proportion of 34mm, with the engraved crown sporting a sprinkling of 13 black diamonds too. There’s nothing to write home about when it comes to the movement — the standard quartz hour and minute function of this watch is as basic as it gets — but that is simply part of this timepiece’s no-nonsense appeal.
With the advent of Christian Dior’s New Look in 1947, black was transformed from being considered a serious, boring and, above all, male colour to a sensual and feminine shade synonymous with elegance and style. “You can wear black at any time,” said the ever-quotable Monsieur Dior. “You can wear it at any age. You may wear it for almost any occasion; a ‘little black frock’ is essential to a woman’s wardrobe.” Could the latest La D de Dior be the wear-for-any- occasion ‘little black watch’ we have all been waiting for? As New Looks go, this one’s a doozy — and just in time for La D de Dior’s 20th anniversary next year. With this move back to one of the House’s most celebrated codes, Dior is making quite the fashion statement. A timeless timepiece, and proof that anyone, and anything, looks better in black. Shop now
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- Words by Rachel Silvestri