No other garment conjures up romance quite like a ballgown. The voluminous dresses allow the haute couturier a chance to be playful and expressive, and are the pinnacle of their craftsmanship – often taking hundreds of hours of painstaking work to complete. It’s no secret that ballgowns were a huge source of inspiration for Christian Dior, who would regularly draw them in his personal sketchbook. The legendary designer, who founded his eponymous maison in 1946, once mused that, ‘The ballgown makes you dream, and must make you a dream woman.’
This sentiment is the foundation of the ultra limited-edition Grand Bal de Printemps collection from Dior Haute Horlogerie. Representing the timeless romance and intricate craftsmanship of the house of Dior and the ballgown, these exquisite timepieces feature a unique “inverse calibre”, where the oscillating weight is embedded in the dial, rather than the back of the watch. This heavily bejewelled movement continuously swishes and sways like a ballgown in motion. The latest, recently unveiled collection – in which each piece is a meticulously crafted one-of-a-kind – features different variations of the same design. Blurring the lines between high jewellery and technical watchmaking, some dials are finished in luxe velvet patterns, whereas others feature guilloché, a fine pattern engraved with spirals. The oscillating weight is punctuated with a hundred precious stones, with the case itself set with diamonds and the back delicately engraved with a replica of one of Monsieur Dior’s famous sketches.