Home » Dior’s Chiffre Rouge Watch Is Back and as Bold as Ever

Dior’s Chiffre Rouge Watch Is Back and as Bold as Ever

The world of watches made by designer labels used to be a place where watch hounds would venture with trepidation—if at all. With so much to choose from by specialist watchmakers, fashion brands rarely offered collectable appeal. That’s changed. The past decade or so has seen those same brands invest heavily in watchmaking while previously skeptical collectors became converts.

Dior started making watches earlier than most, in the 1970s. But it really entered the game with the launch in 2004 of the Chiffre Rouge, a sporty steel watch that offered both credible watchmaking and designer chops. It was around for several years before fading from the brand’s roster. But now the Chiffre Rouge—so named for the red digits, or chiffres in French, in the date window—is back in a strikingly handsome matte black finish.

Dior Chiffre Rouge Black Ultramatte Chronograph$13,500 AT DIOR

Of the various iterations, the 41mm steel Chronograph watch is our favorite. It’s stealthy, a little menacing, and its angular asymmetry looks and feels like something only a designer with style foremost in the mind could have achieved. Visually it’s a kind of cubist homage to the tool watch, with more than a dash of Darth Vader about it, something that gives it a lot of presence on the wrist.

But watch collectors have every reason to take it seriously too, because things are just as considered on the inside. Under the hood of the new chronograph beats a modified version of the famed El Primero automatic movement from Dior’s LVMH stablemate Zenith. In the Chiffre Rouge, it’s renamed in-house the CD.001. But whatever you want to call it, its presence leaves no doubt about Dior’s serious intentions in the watch market.

Source: Esquire