A Stitch in Time: Two of Our Favorite Fashion Watches from COUTUREtime
The fashion houses of Dior and Gucci are synonymous with haute couture, and yet still make some very alluring fashion watches on view now at COUTUREtime.
Watchonista is at COUTURE this weekend and while the show is about jewelry and watches, we would be remiss if we didn’t discuss timepieces from two of the world’s biggest fashion houses: Dior and Gucci.
For decades, fashion watches were treated as an afterthought. Some, like Dior, had their timepieces manufactured by respected watchmakers, such as Bulova. Others merely licensed off their names and the resulting watches had very little in common with the stylistic direction of the brands.
But for many luxury brands, the trend over the last decade has been to bring the design of fashion and accessories together under one roof. And each house has at least one example of an amazing complication or superlative example of métiers d’art. The result? Some of the most interesting looking watches you will see at COUTURE.
D is for Diversity and Dior
When it comes to diversity, Dior has got its competition beat. The watch collection features a wide range of timepieces, all of which reference the luxury brand’s fashion heritage.
The big news from the La D de Dior collection are three Gem Dior watches designed by Victoire de Castellane. These stone-cold beauties feature a new 30mm case, in a bold, asymmetric shape that references the crystalline structures of uncut gemstones stones, as if they came straight from the mine.
The unusually shape and highly polished 18k gold bezel frames either a slice of malachite or chalcedony gemstones. Any watchmaker will tell you how difficult it is to work with these materials, making this watch a wonderful showcase for the jeweler’s skill as well as the dress and watchmaker’s art.
The atelier is also unveiling the Dior VIII Montaigne collection. These three, limited to 88 pieces timekeepers were inspired by Christian Dior’s fascination with the constellations. Each model represents a different phase of the moon: crescent, half and full moon.
The dial is truly a work of art. The night sky is delicately recreated with gold threads and diamonds. And the fine details don’t stop there: The hour and minute hands are facetted; the curved sapphire glass recalls the contours of the moon; and the case-back is decorated with a crescent moon pattern. The well-proportioned, 18k yellow gold 33mm case is set on a luxurious black alligator strap with a yellow gold prong buckle studded with round diamonds.
And unlike many jewelry watches, the Dior VIII Montaigne houses a nice reference CD153552A001 Automatic
movement with a 42-hour power reserve.
In 1972, Gucci was one of the first fashion houses create their own timepieces. The success of their heavily branded designs in turn made their watches instantly recognizable status symbols in the 1980s and beyond.
Today, under creative director Alessandro Michele, Gucci is once again the most coveted label in fashion. Michele is responsible for the look of all things Gucci, including watches, meaning that all aspects of this lifestyle brand are closely aligned.
One of the reason’s Gucci is so hot right now is because Michele is very much into drawing upon the brands symbols and traditions. These icons help bring all of the timepieces together visually. For example, one of our favorites is a stainless steel 40mm automatic GMT with a guilloche dial set on an emerald-colored alligator cuff. The Gucci signature on this timepiece is a GMT function shaped like a king snake. A yellow gold PVD case version with a chevron dial and black alligator cuff is also available.