On January 28, 2017 the Chinese New Year commences with the Year of the rooster. You’ll sure know that each year is dedicated to an animal of the Chinese zodiac and, if you’re really, really into watches, you’ll also be familiar with the habit of Swiss watch brands dedicating some obscure, but successful collections to each of these significant animals. Worry not, though, if this is something new to you as we’ll help you catch up with five of the very latest and coolest pieces created specifically for the upcoming year of the rooster.
Ulysse Nardin amazes with what is a remarkably detailed dial decorated in copper-colored metallic enamel. This unique enamel paint is mixed with hand-engraved shapes and surfaces to create a most vivid and, dare we say, naturalistic depiction of the rooster.
A fun thing to consider for this, and all the four other watches in fact, is how the artisans encapsulate the dominant qualities associated to this year’s Chinese zodiac animal. As such, the rooster is considered to be a symbol for loyalty, prosperity and good will. Roosters are also bold and protective, something so eloquently captured in the champlevé enamel dial of this Ulysse Nardin Year of the Rooster.
Ulysse Nardin Year of the Rooster
Jaquet Droz, as avid collectors of the brand will know, does not shy away from creating numerous spectacular variants that mark the Chinese New Year. Four versions have been crafted for the year of the rooster. The Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute offers not only hand painted enamel dials (with or without diamonds in the bezel), but also two variants with hand-engraved 18k gold relief appliques over mother of pearl and jade dials, making for a strikingly three-dimensional depiction of the mighty rooster.
Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Rooster
Piaget reached for the Altiplano and dressed its 18k white gold, 38mm case with diamonds and the dial in grand feu cloisonné enamel. Handcrafted (and signed!) by renowned master enameller, Anita Porchet, this mixture of carefully toned enamel and unfathomably thin veneers of gold will sure stand out from among the rest.
Piaget Altiplano Year of the Rooster
Chopard has chosen what may be the most colorful and vivid way of celebrating the year of the rooster with the Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year Of The Rooster edition. These remarkable dials are crafted by the Yamada Heiando of Japan, masters of maki-e, the traditional lacquer technique that combines natural lacquer with precious metal powder and tiny bits of mother of pearl. Encapsulated in a 39.5mm, 18k rose gold case, this L.U.C will make for a comfortable daily wear.
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rooster
The same could only be said about our last pick if your wrists are sized more generously: the Panerai Luminor 1950 Sealand 3-Days Acciaio PAM852 comes in a 44mm, hunter-style case in steel. The 9th masterpiece in the series launched by Panerai in 2009, he latest addition is celebrates the year of the rooster with a hand-engraved and painted lid on the front of the timepiece. Underneath this sophisticated and colourful shield lies Panerai’s special dial design in two-tone black and silver reserved for these ultra-rare models. Available as 99 piece limited edition, the PAM852 is powered by Panerai’s in-house P.9000 calibre.
Panerai Luminor 1950 Sealand 3-Days Acciaio PAM852
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Victor Toth – Czech Republic
Victor Toth is a Prague-based, professional photographer-turned-watch enthusiast and freelance journalist, whose journey into the complex world of fine watchmaking had begun a number of years ago. Over this time it has become his passion to share his understanding of the finer details of beautiful timepieces, all in an effort to encourage a more thorough appreciation of this wonderful and complex universe of fine mechanics.