The colour of life: Dior

Christian Dior’s description of red is discreetly celebrated in the new Chiffre Rouge collection

Style 3 Apr 2024

Dior’s new Chiffre Rouge timepieces are bringing the house into the world of men’s horology again

Dior’s new Chiffre Rouge timepieces are bringing the house into the world of men’s horology again

Dior has been creating some standout feminine watches in recent years, while male wrists have gone wanting. Now that’s being addressed with the revival of an old design which is being rescripted and refreshed to appeal to men – as well as women. The Chiffre Rouge collection was originally launched 20 years ago, a sporty steel timepiece with watchmaking cred and designer chops. Named for the red digit – chiffre – number 8 in the date window (the superstitious couturier’s lucky number and the only one appearing in red), the new iterations are back in stealth form with a handsome black matt finish and red detailing. Its Darth Vader looks and asymmetric style – with exaggerated offset crown at 4 o’clock, an extension to the right-hand side of the case, plus a notch in the top left side of the bezel – are bold and resolute, creating a powerful yet elegant wrist presence.

The newest iterations of Dior's Chiffre Rouge timepieces
The newest iterations of Dior’s Chiffre Rouge timepieces

Dior’s signature “cannage” motif has been discreetly incorporated in micro-textured graphics on the dial and oscillating weight, and – on two of the eight models comprising the collection – into a flying tourbillon cage. Five models are out now, including a tourbillon rainbow precious gem-set beauty, and one with an even stealthier black diamond-set bezel, with a further one released in July and another two in October.

It’s as well thought-out under the hood as it is on top, as every model is equipped with a serious automatic movement. Each watch, available in 38mm and 41mm, comes with interchangeable straps in rubber and in leather. Some of the rubber straps were created from the scanned surfaces of Dior handbags which were then used to make 3D rubber moulds to be injection-printed into, creating the illusion of textured fabric with the cannage pattern. As one of the first fashion houses to venture into the luxury watch universe in the 1970s, it’s good to see the house throw its stylish hat in the men’s watches ring again, living up to Christian Dior’s ethos that ‘luxury is, above all, simplicity’.

From £6,800;