February marks Chinese New Year, which always brings us a new animal from the Chinese zodiac to celebrate for the next 12 months. As per tradition, many luxury watch brands decorate their timepieces with the annual animal symbol. In 2019, we celebrate the Year of the Pig.
Below, see divine swine creations from some of the classiest Swiss watch houses.
Vacheron Constantin's Métiers d’Art The Legend Of The Chinese Zodiac series is different from many other watches because it has no hands. Instead, it shows hours, minutes, and days through four windows of a disc, a design that allows the artist to freely customize the dial space. For the Year of the Pig, the watch features the lucky animal, carved from a low-lying crown gold, with a face decorated with floral motifs resembling ancient Chinese paper cut flowers. Decorated using multi-layer coating techniques to achieve different colours as needed, this model comes in brown and blue.
For this edition of its Petite Heure Minute style, Jaquet Droz, which has an established reputation from inventing automaton mechanics, used a precise colour painting technique to convey the pig's abundance and prosperity. The body is made of rose gold; the men's models have a 39-millimeter diameter, while the women's models are 35 millimeters and feature diamonds. Each house is only producing 28 designs, so hurry if you want to get your hands on this limited-edition watch.
Since 2012, Piaget has created a special Altiplano watch with the face featuring the zodiac image. For the Year of the Pig, artist Anita Porsche decorated the pig's face with the old technique of superphosphate, or high heat dosing, and decorated with diamonds around the edges. This collection's standout feature is the ultra-thin mechanism, which is part of Piaget's brand identity.
Many of Chopard's best pieces are part of the L.U.C collection, which includes the brand's Chinese New Year series. The artisans decorate the face with the zodiac pattern in many ways, and for the Year of the Pig, the watch features Urushi, an old Japanese lacquer technique. Master Kishiro Masamura, an Urushi expert, knows the secret is adding rubber from the Urushima tree to the lacquer on the dial. He gradually adds the design colours and gold power, using a small brush and a feather. Just as beautiful as the painting, the watch features a thin mechanism.
Harry Winston's offering for the Year of the Pig is the Premier Chinese New Year Automatic 36mm, whose fiery red mother-of-pearl marquetry perfectly captures the festive mood. Framed within the 18-carat rose gold diamond-encrusted bezel and case is the lucky animal, portrayed on the dial mosaic-style with magnolia flower petals and a twinkling diamond eye. Complete with a striking red leather alligator strap, this is one timepiece that definitely stands out.