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INTRODUCING: Dior’s New Chiffre Rouge Collection

Dior Chiffre Rouge

Revived on its 20th anniversary, the horological icon is no mere fashion watch.

At the risk of dating ourselves, we fondly recall our excitement when we first laid our eyes on the Dior Chiffre Rouge when it was launched in 2004. The first self-winding watch from the Maison, it carried some serious fashion and watchmaking cred, created by the then-creative director of Dior Homme, Hedi Slimane, and powered by a customised version of the El Primero from Dior’s LVMH sister brand Zenith. Unfortunately, the collection was quietly discontinued after 2015, which inevitably triggered a burgeoning cult following in the years to follow. Whether acknowledging calls for its revival, or reinstating its horological ambition, or a little bit of both, Dior is finally relaunching this iconic collection on its 20th anniversary with eight new models for 2024 – five of which will be available from February, one from July, and the rest from October.

Dior Chiffre Rouge
The Dior Chiffre Rouge is characterised by an asymmetrical silhouette, an oversized crown angled at four o’clock, and a date window also at four o’clock.

Roughly translating to ‘Red Figure’ in English, Chiffre Rouge features red accents as a nod to Dior’s couture heritage while evoking a sense of passion and boldness. Its sleek, modern case is characterised by an asymmetrical silhouette, with a bold linear cut on the right-hand side and an oversized crown angled at four o’clock. On the dial, the date window is also positioned at four o’clock, where Monsieur Dior’s favourite number, eight, is displayed in the Maison’s red like a lucky charm that reappears every month. Though previously available in various materials, from precious gold to high-tech ceramic, the Chiffre Rouge has remained resolutely self-winding through the years.

Dior Chiffre Rouge
The Chiffre Rouge is now adorned with the geometrical ‘cannage’ pattern – Dior’s signature motif.

The refreshed collection judiciously adheres to the design codes of its forbears right down to the automatic calibres. However, to distinguish themselves from their predecessors, the watches are now adorned with the geometrical ‘cannage’ pattern – Dior’s signature motif – which can be found on the dial as well as the oscillating weight. While information for upcoming models is scarce, we can confirm that they include two tourbillon references, one with a bezel set with multi-coloured precious stones, will be released soon. 

Dior Chiffre Rouge
The Dior Chiffre Rouge presents a modern take on a bejewelled watch with a bezel set with black diamonds and a rose gold bumper.

Meanwhile, the new Chiffre Rouge collection is headlined by three Black Ultramatte models in steel with black DLC coating. At a very wrist-friendly 38mm, the two three-hand time-and-date references are the perfect his-and-hers watches, with the all-steel version being the purest expression of the revived collection. The other, limited to 300 pieces, is a modern take on a bejewelled watch with a bezel set with 60 black diamonds totalling 1.2 carats and a rose gold bumper on the watch’s right side. Water resistant to 100m, they are equipped with the CD.002 movement, reportedly based off the workhorse Sellita SW300, providing 50 hours of autonomy.

Dior Chiffre Rouge
The Dior Chiffre Rouge Black Ultramatte Chronograph has a 41mm steel case coated in black DLC.

Bigger and bolder at 41mm, the chronograph model ought to delight style savants and horological pundits alike. Also water resistant to 100m, it is powered by the CD.001 automatic movement, which is essentially an El Primero calibre designed and decorated by Zenith for Dior. 

Dior Chiffre Rouge
The CD.001 automatic movement is an El Primero calibre designed and decorated by Zenith for Dior.

A welcome addition to the collection, and another hat-tip to Dior’s fashion roots, is the new interchangeable system that allows easy strap-change among rubber ones in a range of tasteful hues with macro and micro cannage motif as well as black alligator leather straps. With its unique fusion of haute couture and horology, the Chiffre Rouge seems to have really hit its stride, and we’re all for it.

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