From Franck Muller to Dior, here are the timepieces you should be wearing this coming Chinese New Year
The fourth animal of the Chinese zodiac, the rabbit is a demure animal reliant more on intellect and wit than overt shows of strength. Symbolising longevity, peace, and hope, it also makes for an elegant artistic subject—especially on wrist-worn works of art, as produced by only the most accomplished of watch Maisons. This year is the Year of the Water Rabbit, and a slew of limited-edition timepieces have been released to commemorate it.
#FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard
Franck Muller enlists Tokyo-based streetwear label #FR2 for the #FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard, a stylish sports watch dressed in stark black and white, with the fashion label’s trademark copulating bunnies motifs on the dial. Though chic and whimsical, the watch is also robust and performance-focused, housed in cutting-edge carbon and glass fibre composite case that is tough yet extremely light. On the inside, the #FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard runs on an in-house automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve. Exclusive to the Southeast Asian market, the watch is limited to 800 pieces.
Breguet Classique 9075 Chinese New Year Edition
The Breguet Classique 9075 starts as a dainty, feminine and simple timepiece: a three-hander with a self-winding movement presented in a 33.5mm white gold case. The grand feu enamel dial, however, is a showcase of the manufacture’s in-house artistic capabilities: a soft, elegant depiction of the water rabbit in shades of blue and white. The six rabbits dancing around the dial add a whimsical note, and all patterns are hand-engraved, with some beneath layers of translucent enamel to add a sense of depth.
Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar
Blancpain’s Traditional Chinese Calendar watch was first released more than a decade ago as a considerable technical development that had a complexity to rival a perpetual calendar. On a simple white enamel dial, one finds the indications for the Chinese calendar—double hours, day, month (including leap months), as well as zodiac signs, the five elements, and 10 celestial pillars. It also includes a moonphase, with the Gregorian date indicated on the circumference. This year’s edition finds its 45mm case crafted out of platinum, and a display caseback through which one can see the white gold rotor engraved with a pair of rabbits.
IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 Edition “Chinese New Year”
IWC distills Chinese New Year down to its essentials with this version of its dressy Portugieser. Sporting a burgundy dial with gold-plated hands and applique indices, it is a classy presentation of the traditional red-and-gold and a more covert way to celebrate the festive season. A rabbit can be found on the gold-plated rotor of the IWC-manufactured 82200 calibre, which has a 60-hour power reserve and visible through the display caseback. Limited to 500 pieces, it is otherwise similar to the core collection Portugieser Automatic 40 with its steel case and 40.4mm diameter.
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art The Legend Of The Chinese Zodiac – Year Of The Rabbit
Vacheron Constantin’s rabbit-themed watches come as a pair: nine each, one in platinum with a cool blue theme, and one in pink gold with a warmer bronze outlook. Each dial is centred with a meticulously hand-engraved rabbit, regally lifelike, and in a material that matches the case. The rest of the dial is coloured enamel with a foliage motif. The 40mm watches are united by the unusual calibre 2460 G4, which displays hours, minutes, day and date via four windows at the edge of the dial, leaving plenty of real estate for the exacting metiers d’art—the real draw of this watch. (Price available upon request.)
Piaget Altiplano Rabbit
At 38mm in diameter, Piaget’s Altiplano is, as ever, a balance between classic elegance and dressiness, and is a sufficiently sized canvas on which to showcase artisanal techniques. This edition hosts a grand feu cloisonne enamel dial, a technique that imparts a golden outline to the pair of rabbits it depicts. A diamond-set bezel adds a luxe touch. In typical Piaget fashion, the watch is especially svelte; its white gold case is less than 7mm in thickness. This watch is part of a series of annual limited editions created in collaboration with Anita Porchet, the most renowned name in enamelling. Only 38 examples of this watch will be produced. (Price available upon request.)
Ulysse Nardin Classico Rabbit
This year’s special edition Classico from Ulysse Nardin is a rich artistic rendition. Through cloisonne and champleve enamelling, the warm-toned scene is one of a pair of rabbits in front of a mountainous, sunset backdrop. Such techniques, along with other traditional enamelling crafts, are a specialty of Donze Cadrans—a studio acquired by Ulysse Nardin in 2011. Limited to 88 pieces, the Classico Rabbit sports a 40mm rose gold case and hosts a self-winding three-hand movement.
Dior Grand Soir Year of the Rabbit
The Dior Grand Soir Year of the Rabbit is a classically feminine piece, two-toned with a steel case and pink gold bezel. The bezel is set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds, and a further 18 are found on the steel buckle of the beige satin bracelet for about 1.48 carats in total. The dial is full of detail, presented in aventurine, mother-of-pearl, and yellow gold for a contrast of colours and textures, and set off by hour and minute hands in rose gold. The watch is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement and is limited to 88 pieces. (Price available upon request.)