If your years as a watch geek don’t predate 2015, you are forgiven for not clocking that Dior does watches. While many of fashion’s big hitters (Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Gucci) have worked hard to earn their seats at the watchmaking table—Bradley Cooper and Idris Elba respectively doing their bit to spread the word—Dior has been happy not really being part of the conversation.

I say “not really” because Dior does have some horological pedigree, but its pieces are few and far between—especially for men. During Hedi Slimane’s time as Dior Homme creative director, he was responsible for unveiling the Dior Chiffre Rouge watch in 2004, which the house revisited in 2015.

Dior's New Watches Signal the Start of a Serious Comeback

Thue Rahbek Nørgaard

Given Slimane’s rep in menswear for loving slim-fit silhouettes, it’ll come as no surprise that the original Chiffre Rouge was sleek, black, and dripping in asymmetrical sex appeal, with a few statement features (namely a crown at four o’clock). In the 20 years since, it has acquired a niche, cult-like appeal whereby either you’re a big fan for its Dior-ness, or it’s never been on your radar.

As Dior brings back the Chiffre Rouge after nearly a decade (presumably lying dormant in the luxury house’s R&D cupboard), I asked several watch world experts to opine about it. Some had little to nothing to say while others court it with great fondness.

“I actually don’t understand why they stopped the collection in the first place,” says Revolution’s Eleonor Picciotto. “The Chiffre Rouge embodies such an era of style, elegance, and discretion where watch designs were thought with a purpose in details—not just for the sake of making another watch.”

Dior's New Watches Signal the Start of a Serious Comeback

Thue Rahbek Nørgaard



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