Give Me Five! Happy Chinese New Year Of The Horse
This New Year rings in the year of the horse, and thus a select group of horse-themed watches by high-quality watch manufacturers.
A sign of respect, though perhaps not necessarily authenticity as some crucial elements (such as the color red) are not in evidence, these ticking treasures celebrating an extremely festive moment of Chinese culture are unique heirlooms in and of themselves – mainly thanks to the rare, handcrafted work that goes into them.
The horse is a Chinese zodiac sign, which is linked to the traditional Chinese agricultural calendar. It is a symbol of absolute happiness (which these watches will certainly make you if you own one!) as well as loyalty, vivacity and a bit of nomadic prowess.
Greet the New Year and encounter happiness! 新年快乐 新年快樂
Ulysse Nardin Classico Horse
Ulysse Nardin utilizes its signature champlevé enamel to pay tribute to the equine spirit of this new Chinese year. The lifelike dial is created using this handcrafted technique by first carving recesses into the dial using a chisel and then filling these in with enamel. The Classico Horse model is limited to an auspicious 88 pieces in an 18-karat rose gold case and is powered by automatic UN Caliber 815, which has been officially certified for accuracy by the C.O.S.C. www.ulysse-nardin.com
Vacheron Constantin Year of the Horse
How fitting to make this themed watch also a calendar in the truest sense of the word: the four windows respectively show the current hours, minutes, day and date. These are surrounded by enameling on the gold dial inspired by the art of Chinese paper cutting (known as Jianzhi) as well as a beautifully engraved gold horse in the center.
This work of art is housed in a 40 mm red gold or platinum case and powered by automatic Caliber 2460 G4, which is stamped with the Seal of Geneva. And, naturally, they are limited to just 12 pieces.
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Horse
This special edition of the beautifully understated L.U.C. XP features an incredibly artistic rendition of a hand-painted stallion prancing among lotus flowers in rare urushi lacquer. The type of urushi utilized here is called maki-e, which sees the lacquered coating sprinkled with a metal powder – in this case gold – to accentuate the outlines of the depicted figures.
It goes without saying that there are only a few artisans in the entire world who master this technique. The in-house horsepower hidden below the decorative dial is automatic L.U.C. Caliber 96.17-L, which features a technically demanding micro rotor to wind the twin spring barrels ensuring 65 hours of power reserve.
Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Enamel
It is a well-known fact that Jaquet Droz has had a long association with China – many of Pierre Jaquet Droz’s original automata are still exhibited in collections belonging to former Chinese royalty. The modern brand continues to celebrate the new year with an annual special edition.
This year the brand even introduced three within the Ateliers d’Art line utilizing specialty crafts of the Swiss marque including engraving, miniature painting and enamel. The timepiece shown depicts – what else? – horses upon an enamel dial that is absolutely predestined for such artistry with its characteristic wide, open space. Housed in a 39 mm red gold case, it is limited to just 88 pieces.
Officine Panerai Luminor Sealand Year of the Horse
This highly unusual Panerai model is the sixth consecutive limited edition dedicated to Chinese New Year. What began in 2009 as an annual edition continues now with the PAM847, which naturally honors this year’s horse. Its most obvious element is the hinged stainless steel cover that is hand-engraved in bulino style with the equine depiction and inlaid with gold threads for the color contrast that couldn’t be more unusual for this style of engraving. Limited to just 100 pieces, this Luminor includes small seconds and a magnified date on the characteristically clean grey dial. www.panerai.com
And as an added bonus, the Roberto Coin Cheval Chinois Collection
Thanks to the current trend of (primarily men) wearing funky bracelets along with their aesthetic luxury wristwatches, we are happy to include a horse-themed specimen in this roundup by famous Italian jewelry designer Roberto Coin.
He offers three choices featuring Arabian horse heads in 18-karat yellow, white or rose gold, which can also be embellished with colored or traditional white diamonds.