Celebrate the year of the dragon with these exquisite timepieces

Photo of Chinese Calendar 2024

From Blancpain to IWC, luxury watch brands are celebrating the Year of the Dragon with finesse

With every Lunar New Year, the ancient rhythms of the Chinese zodiac breathe fire into the hearts of master horologists. For the Year of the Dragon, the most celebrated watchmaking houses conjure timepieces that are more than mere emissaries of time.

Think watches imbued with the essence of the zodiac signssuch as Richard Mille’s 2012 collaboration with Jackie Chan, graced with a dragon coiling around the movement. Or look to the Glashütte Original’s Senator Meissen Tourbillon Year of the Dragon Edition, with a golden dragon depicted on its elegant porcelain dial.

Richard Mille x Jackie Chan 2012
Richard Mille’s RM057 was a collaboration with Jackie Chan in 2012. Photo by Richard Mille

The Year of the Dragon not only signifies fortune and success. For esteemed watchmakers, it heralds unbridled creativity. As we welcome the Chinese New Year, here are six exquisite timepieces crafted to commemorate its majestic presence.

Blancpain Chinese Calendar 2024 Limited Edition

Housed in a substantial 45.1mm red gold case, Blancpain’s 36-piece limited edition Chinese Calendar 2024 celebrates the Year of the Dragon in sublime style. Blancpain debuted its Chinese Calendar complication in 2012, a feat that took five years and unparalleled technical mastery to achieve.

Despite its comprehensive display of information, the dial boasts seamless legibility–thanks to Blancpain’s finesse in watchmaking. This variant features a rich green grand feu enamel dial, elegantly complemented by red gold appliques. Hollowed leaf-shaped hands glide across the indices, while a distinctive serpentine hand tracks the date of the Gregorian calendar. This timepiece’s Chinese calendar complication, on the other hand, is based on the lunisolar calendar, which encompasses 12 lunar cycles, zodiac signs, the five elements, and celestial stems, all neatly distributed across three subdials. The brand’s renowned under-lug correctors add to the watch’s elegance, enabling effortless adjustments. On the back of the watch, an exquisitely engraved dragon adorns its rotor, a nod to the year it commemorates.


Photo of IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon
IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon. Photo by IWC

The IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon exudes a stately and auspicious presence. The dial, rendered in a deep, rich burgundy hue, evokes the fiery essence of the dragon and the colour that signifies prosperity for the Chinese. This stunning backdrop is tastefully complemented by gold-plated hands and appliques, creating a striking contrast and ensuring legibility.

The watch’s Chinoiserie-inspired design extends to its back, where one finds an artfully crafted gold rotor bearing a meticulously detailed dragon. As this dragon undulates with the movement of the rotor, it creates an enchanting illusion of the mythical creature gliding through the mechanics of time. Clad in a 41mm stainless steel case, the watch is powered by the automatic calibre 69355 with column wheel for a smooth activation of the chronograph. Limited to 1,000 pieces.


Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon

Photo of Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon. Photo by Hublot

Inspired by the ancient art of Chinese paper cutting, this timepiece features a striking silhouette of a dragon on its dial. However, this majestic representation is not just a flat image, but a sculptural, three-dimensional work of art with depth and dynamism. Designed by artist Chen Fenwan, the dragon looks alive, floating gracefully among the hands in a burst of blue and fuchsia.

The rubber strap completes the mythical beast, decorated with dragon scale motif. Each scale is coloured and nano-vulcanised, a process that spans eight hours. Housed in a 42mm titanium case, this watch is limited to 88 pieces and is powered by the automatic HUB1710 movement with 50-hour power reserve.


Piaget Altiplano Dragon Zodiac High Jewellery Watch

Photo of Piaget's Altiplano Dragon Zodiac High Jewellery Watch
Piaget Altiplano Dragon Zodiac High Jewellery Watch. Photo by Piaget

One of 14 gorgeous timepieces crafted by Piaget to celebrate the Year of the Dragon, this watch is as resplendent and regal as it gets. The centrepiece of this exquisite watch is its dial, painstakingly crafted into an artistic tableau by master enameller Anita Porchet, who has worked with Piaget since 2006. A lavishly engraved gold dragon adorns the dial, its sinuous form gracing a sunburst backdrop, with its claw clasping onto a captivating deep black opal that resembles a smouldering ember. Porchet’s contribution comes in the form of the sunburst blue backdrop, which features the paillonné enamel technique whereby a piece of foil (the ‘paillon‘) is placed between layers of translucent enamel to achieve a shimmery effect.

Embellishing the watch’s exterior, the lugs and bezel are adorned with an array of baguette and brilliant-cut diamonds. These luminous stones add a layer of radiant sophistication, endowing the timepiece with a dazzling and opulent finish. Limited to just eight pieces, the watch is powered by the Maison’s 830P ultra-thin hand-wound movement that comes with 60-hour power reserve.


Piaget Phoenix High Jewellery Watch

A striking plumage of marquise and brilliant-cut diamonds dress the Piaget Phoenix High Jewellery Watch in an artistic expression of the majestic phoenix. This intricate design is further enhanced by the fiery brilliance of rubies, creating a mesmerising contrast against the cool lustre of white gold. Measuring at 32mm, the timepiece comes in a white or pink gold case. While the white gold version stands out with its ruby accents, the pink gold variant offers a softer yet equally captivating charm, seducing with its alluring blend of gold and diamonds.

Like its dragon-themed counterpart, the Phoenix High Jewellery Watch is also powered by Piaget’s 830P ultra-thin hand-wound movement, ensuring impeccable timekeeping with a 60-hour power reserve.


Bovet Recital 26 Chapter Two Golden Dragon

Photo of Bovet Recital 26 Chapter Two Golden Dragon
Bovet Recital 26 Chapter Two Golden Dragon. Photo by Bovet

Some watchmakers believe in the art of subtlety—Bovet isn’t one of them. The Bovet Récital 26 Chapter Two Golden Dragon dazzles collectors with its grandeur and opulence right from the very first glance.

Cradled within the watch’s sloped, writing-desk-inspired 46.5mm 18k red gold case, lies a lavish 18k gold dragon sculpture. Every scale of this regal guardian, painstakingly etched for over 40 hours, exemplifies Bovet’s attention to detail. The majestic creature rules over the watch’s precious complications, resting gracefully on Bovet’s patented double-sided flying tourbillon and guarding its hemispherical world-time display. The dial is further adorned by a mother-of-pearl moonphase indicator and a sublime, domed blue quartz dial that displays local time. Despite packing a host of complications, the watch boasts an impressive five-day power reserve.