The Chinese New Year has become an annual artistic endeavor for many of the most expensive and highly respected luxury watch brands. A chance to add to their Métiers d’Art collections, Panerai, Blancpain, Vacheron Constantin, Chopard, Jaquet Droz and Piaget have all released limited edition watches honoring the Chinese Year of The Rat.
Year of The Rat Luxury Watches
Beginning on January 25, 2020, the Year of the Rat will commence (and run until February 12, 2021). According to Chinese culture, the rat is known for its intelligence and shrewdness.
In tribute to the millennial tradition of the Chinese zodiac, Panerai unveils the new Luminor Sealand – 44mm (PAM00863) in limited edition for the year of the rat.
Panerai celebrates the year of the rat with a special edition of 88 pieces decorated using the ancestral technique of sparsello. Italian know-how delivers a new interpretation of Chinese astrology while enhancing it. The new Luminor Sealand – 44mm beats to the rhythm of the P. 9010 caliber, a mechanical movement with a three-day power reserve thanks to its two barrels. It is also equipped with a quick setting device for the time updating the calendar simultaneously. This self-winding caliber entirely designed and developed by the Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel is only 6 mm thick.
Water-resistant to 10 bar (around 100 meters), the new Luminor Sealand – 44mm is mounted on a bracelet in semi-matt gold calfskin with beige stitching. The whole is presented in a pear tree case. A second black rubber strap as well as a special tool to change the strap and a screwdriver to remove the buckle complete the box.
These incredibly detailed 40mm, transparent-back watches are automatic and include hours, minutes, day of the week and date displays in 4 apertures on the face.
With each edition limited to a number of 12, the Vacheron Constantin Year of The Rat Watch is handcrafted with 22k and platinum in an 18K pink gold or Platinum case and bezel. Each has an alligator band.
On the occasion of the Chinese Year of the Rat, Blancpain unveils its first watch with a porcelain dial entirely handmade in its Métiers d’Art workshops.
Making a porcelain dial requires dexterity and patience. It follows several stages punctuated by long phases of drying and cooking. The latter makes it possible to vitrify porcelain and give it shine, translucency and unalterability.
Enamel painting is associated with the art of porcelain. Each animal and each decoration is painted freehand using an extremely fine brush. A long-term oven at 1200 degrees fixes the colors on the porcelain. Reaching such a temperature, impossible with an enamel dial on a gold base, opens up new fields of possibilities in terms of colors and intensity.
This brand is shining the spotlight on its Ateliers d’Art by featuring four variations of its Petite Heure Minute watch that celebrate the sign of the Rat. This animal thus marks the start of a new cycle in the Chinese calendar. In each of these creations, Jaquet Droz has paired the Rat with the pomegranate, which has been regarded as a symbol of life and fertility since ancient times because of the many seeds contained within it. Fertility and continuous renewal are thus the benefits of the pomegranate, the fruit of power and a symbol of life.
The first two models (Petite Heure Minute 35 mm and 39 mm) depict two rats on a bed of leaves dotted with pomegranates, set on a Grand Feu enamel dial. Both variations are produced in red gold, and the 35 mm model is set entirely with diamonds (case and pallet lugs).
A second scene, engraved in red gold, depicts two rats reveling in a basket of pomegranates, continuing the metaphor of prosperity, abundance and intelligence.
For the 41 mm version, the Petite Heure Minute is available in two other animal-inspired variations that explore the same theme yet feature an onyx dial in a shade of black that is as pure as it is intense. This incredibly deep black serves as the backdrop for a Rat holding a pomegranate in its hands.
These two prestigious pieces are crafted in either red gold or white gold (case, rat, hands, and oscillating weight engraving). In addition, the white gold version is set with 272 diamonds that illuminate its ring and pallet lugs with radiant sparkle while creating contrast with the dark intensity of onyx.
Chopard L.U.C XP URUSHI Year of The Rat, 39.5 MM, AUTOMATIQUE, OR ROSE, EDITION LIMITEE
Chopard is once again honoring Asian traditions by calling on the ancestral Japanese art of Urushi to create the dial of the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat timepiece.
This work of art highlights the theme of the next zodiac sign in the traditional Chinese calendar: the Rat, renowned for its intelligence and perspicacity.
Each of the watches in this refined and powerfully symbolic 88-piece limited edition crafted in 18-carat rose gold is powered by an ultra-thin movement produced in the Chopard Manufacture workshops: the L.U.C 96.17-L calibre.
New Last Minute addition! Piaget Altipano Year of The Rat Watch
Luxury manufacturer Piaget has launched a limited-edition of its Altiplano watch spotlighting the Chinese astrological sign for 2020, the rat.
Ultra-thin watch in white gold and diamonds. Dial with Rat motif in cloisonné enamel. Black alligator-skin strap. Since 2012, Piaget has been celebrating the Chinese New Year with a limited edition Altiplano inspired by Chinese astrology. Created in cloisonné “Grand Feu” enamel by artist Anita Porchet, the dial in delicate light gray tones pays homage this year to the zodiac sign of the Rat.
The delicate 38 mm diameter white gold case featured on this Swiss watch is set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds and houses the Manufacture Piaget 430P, with the ultra-thin hand-wound caliber indicating central hours and minutes. A limited edition of 38 timepieces, this ultra-thin luxury watch, presented on a black alligator-skin strap with ardillon buckle, is exclusively available in Piaget Boutiques.
Happy New Year!