03.05 ALL ABOUT DIOR

IN A DIOR TIME

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The love that Christian Dior held for gardens and flowers is admirably expressed in the house's timepiece creations.

"I especially enjoyed being in the company of plants and gardeners," the couturier wrote in his memoirs. It was thanks to his mother, on the family property at Granville in Normandy, that he discovered how to tame nature. Later, his admiration would extend to the gardens à la  française   in the Versailles parkland. If the bezel of a Dior VIII covered in pavé citrines or in rows of peridot baguettes seems to evoke the regular parterres of topiary throughout the year and the seasons, the D de Dior Précieuse, set with brilliant-cut diamonds, draws the contours of a simple wild flower transformed by gems. Sapphires, rubies, peridots, garnets, tsavorites, tourmalines, opals, jades, turquoise, and multicolored diamonds are to gemology what flowers are to botany: an explosion of color. The Dior VIII bracelets of pyramidal ceramic and their geometric design are like the rectilinear paths that lead to the grove of a garden à la française .

This same architectural rigor can be seen in the marquetry of stones on certain dials, in the strict lines of the Chiffre Rouge   or in the arrangement of the bridges of a Tourbillon. The mechanical movements realized by the greatest watchmakers recall the precision of the orthonormal alignments in the gardens of Versailles as well as the treasures of engineering developed during the time of Louis XIV so that an underground network of canals could feed pools, fountains, and water jets in tandem with the king's passage through the gardens. If the gardens have proved so inspiring for Dior timepieces it's also because everything about them is based on the rhythm of time, the cycle of the seasons, everything recalling the mechanical, whether it be movement or the universe itself.

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