la Rose Dior Bagatelle: What’s on your wishlist to Santa?

07Dec10

‘Tis the season of holiday gift guides, wish lists and non-stop thoughts about what to give, get and re-gift. Of course, practical as we may be, every once in a while our desires can drift from the affordable to the aspirational. I always have at least one thing on my list that falls into the aspirational category. Today’s posting is an hommage to a ring that will surely be gracing many wishlists. If only Santa really did exist! What bells do you have to jingle to get your hands on one of these beauties?

This photo essay was featured in Elle France (comments translated from the House of Dior into English). The photos alone will make you appreciate the process — and the unbelievable craftsmanship will help you get comfortable with the hefty price tag.

“Hiding behind each piece of jewelry is a desire, a drawing, the complex work of numerous collaborators and the emotion of the materials.”

This isn’t just jewelry, it’s art and passion driven by the incomparable Victorie de Castellane. de Castellane launched the haute joaillerie collections for Dior in 1998. Jewelery has always been an intrinsic part of her world-view. At the tender age of 5, she took a priceless charm bracelet and ripped it apart, creating a pair of earrings for herself. Precocious and a precursor of things to come…

The creative process always begins with a sketch on a post-it note.  (Yes, a post-it!) From there a line drawing, then a gouache print is created (an opaque form of watercolours). Once ready to be given life, a wax model is created and the process of creating the real thing begins.

The wax elements are sent to an exceptional metalworker. Above, a mold is made so many bands can be created at once. The mold is filled with gold and once set, the “tree” is plunged into frigid water thus dissolving the mold and leaving only the gold. The pieces are then removed from the trunk and the intense assembly process can now begin.

The pieces leave the metalworker and return to the stone setting atelier.

Hand making the holes for each individual diamond. Thirteen different sizes of diamonds are used to create this ring. The drill marks both the depth and width of each different diamond.

The individual pieces are cleaned and polished before any setting begins. This is both a quality check of each of the 10 individual pieces that compose the ring and a way to make sure every piece is brilliant and beautiful. Certain pieces, once assembled, cannot be polished.

Once polished, the 6 pieces that compose the actual rose must be assembled and sent to de Castallane for approval. Every rose ring is personally approved.

The individual pieces are set into a cement topped wand to allow the stone setter to work more easily. The process of setting all the stones for ONE ring can take up to 3 weeks.

Two different types of setting are used in the ring. One is an invisible set pavé – a very tight setting used to make the  gold almost invisible so the eye sees almost nothing but diamonds. The other method is a contoured V setting.

The artisan and his wands.

The diamonds involved in a Rose ring. Can you imagine the patience this takes? And very nimble fingers…

Stones are set and the 10 pieces are ready to be assembled!

The finished product is stunning. Lusting after one? The Rose Dior bagatelle is available only at select Dior locations and is priced at 19 500 euros (or 26 000 USD). Hope you enjoyed!

(Images courtesy of Dior joaillerie and Elle France)

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One Response to “la Rose Dior Bagatelle: What’s on your wishlist to Santa?”


  1. 1 Dior’s jewelry designer gets her own exhibition « BOURDON DESIGN

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