Hands on with the Dior Chiffre Rouge – an asymmetrical masterpiece

I got to try on the Dior Chiffre Rouge and it’s my new favourite unisex watch

Dior Chiffre Rouge
(Image credit: Beth Girdler-Maslen / T3)

In my humble opinion, no fashion house does luxury timepieces quite like Dior. When it comes to Dior’s collections of the best watches, the brand perfectly blends high-end jewellery with intricate timekeeping, oftentimes combining sparkling gemstones with complex chronographs.

But during my recent visit to the Dior store, where I got hands on with the feminine Gem Dior and Grand Bal Plume, I was most excited to try on the new additions to the Chiffre Rouge collection. With its rugged yet sophisticated looks, the Chiffre Rouge is much more intricate than first meets the eye.

First launched in 2004, the Dior Chiffre Rouge became known for its dramatic and asymmetric style. While it’s commonly worn by men, the recent Chiffre Rouge models break the boundaries to appeal to a wider unisex audience.

At the Dior store, I got to try on the new Dior Chiffre Rouge Black Ultramatte Chronograph and the Dior Chiffre Rouge Black Ultramatte. Both watches have the distinctive crown at the four o’clock position, while the chronograph version has additional pushers on the side for more asymmetry and control over the chronographs.

The Dior Chiffre Rouge Black Ultramatte Chronograph has a 41mm black DLC-coated steel case and bezel. The combination of black and red colours looks striking and bold, and brings out the white accents around the dial, including the hour markers, Dior logo, highlighted hour and minute hands, and the chronograph counters.

Dior Chiffre Rouge

(Image credit: Beth Girdler-Maslen / T3)

The characteristic CD-engraved black screw-down crown sits in pride of place at the three o’clock position, a marked difference to the traditional Chiffre Rouge placing. The reason for this is the crown is flanked by two push buttons: a black chronograph start/stop button at two o’clock and a red chronograph reset button at four o’clock.

Powered by the CD.001 automatic movement, the Dior Chiffre Rouge Black Ultramatte Chronograph has three chronographs on the dial: second, 30-minute and hour counters. Controlled via the pushers on the side, the Dior Chiffre Rouge Black Ultramatte Chronograph is an asymmetrical wonder that’s both practical and stylish.

Despite these fun technical details, my favourite part of the Dior Chiffre Rouge Black Ultramatte Chronograph is the date window. Sitting opposite the red push button at four o’clock, the circular date window is highlighted by three red rings. The date number is white, unless it’s the 8th day of the month, which is displayed in red to pay tribute to the hallmark colour and favourite number of Dior. It’s a thoughtful nod to the fashion house, and brings out the pattern of the dial.

Speaking of patterns, the Dior Chiffre Rouge Black Ultramatte Chronograph has the embossed Cannage motif on the dial, and a Microcannage motif on the black rubber strap. The watch has a 48-hour power reserve and is water resistant to 100 metres.

I also got to try on the Dior Chiffre Rouge Black Ultramatte, which is slightly more subtle than the chronograph version, mainly due to the lack of chronograph counters. It has the same features of the chronograph model, although it’s smaller in size at 38mm, has the black screw-down crown at the four o’clock mark and is powered by the CD.002 automatic movement.

Both Chiffre Rouge watches are a beautiful testament and tribute to Dior, with its red date window, crowns and stoppers. What makes the watches controversial is the oversized buttons and asymmetrical design which doesn’t appeal to all watch lovers. But it’s this aesthetic that makes the new Dior Chiffre Rouge much more captivating to look at, and if you’re a Dior fan, it’s a watch that you’ll want to add to your collection.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!