Celebrate Chinese New Year with these stunning luxury watches
Marking the end of winter, Chinese New Year is almost here. And with up to 16 days of celebration launching the moment the first new moon appears, those waiting for the main event on February 12 will welcome the Year of the Ox.
According to The Chinese Zodiac, there are cycles of 12 years, each represented by animals. Legend has it that the Jade Emperor ordered that animals would become part of a new calendar and that the 12 who arrived first would be selected for it. They raced across a river. The Ox came second after helping the monkey clinch first place. People born under this sign (including racing driver Lewis Hamilton and Hollywood’s Jack Nicholson) are said to be reliable, diligent, honest and clever.
Watches are not traditionally given as presents at Chinese New Year but are usually created to remember it. Here is a selection of some of the most eccentric luxury watches on offer for 2021:
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac—Year of the Ox
You’ll be extremely lucky to get hold of Vacheron Constantin’s new offering as there are only 24 in the world. With 12 available in a 40mm platinum case with dark blue alligator strap and with the rest in pink gold with brown strap, lovers of fine detail will enjoy the etched leaf design and hand-engraved platinum ox on the dial. Vacheron's relationship with China's most knowledgeable collectors dates back to the mid 1800s. The brand has used the country’s paper-cutting technique jianzhi for its latest zodiac-inspired watches.
The Calibre 2460 G4 movement inside is showcased through a clear baseback and provides a dragging hours and minutes indicator.
Piaget Altiplano Year of the Ox
Piaget has given its ultra-thin Altiplano a red and gold look for good fortune, with a 4,000-year-old decorative technique. Designed by artist Anita Porchet, the 38mm diamond-set white gold timepiece uses wafer thin gold ribbon pieces and is blasted in temperatures of over 800°C to achieve a glossy finish. Piaget’s 430P hand-wound movement ticks over inside.
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Ox
Utilising a Japanese Urushu technique involving lacquer and gold powder, Chopard has used its L.U.C XP watch for a Chinese New Year makeover. The golden ox was designed by master lacquer artist Minori Koizumi.
This timepiece features a stunning ethical rose gold 39.5mm case and boasts a 65-hour power reserve. But again, it’s a limited edition, this time with 88 pieces available worldwide - eight being a lucky number in China.
Blancpain Villeret Chinese Traditional Calendar
Probably the most complicated of all the Chinese New Year offerings for 2021, is this one. It not only features the Gregorian calendar mixed with a Chinese calendar, but it also displays the five elements - wind, earth, fire, water, metal) and ten celestial stems over a 10-year cycle. And somehow here, the Ox, who sits over an aperture at 12 o’clock, is less important than these functions.
50 editions are on offer each with a staggering seven-day power reserve, alongside an unlimited 18K gold edition.