Every year a new zodiac sign becomes the star of the Chinese New Year. Beginning January 28, 2017, that sign is the rooster. The very vocal bird is said to symbolize confidence, loyalty and punctuality – hence the morning calling. Heralding the dawn and crowing to chase away demons, the rooster is a quick-witted soul with strong attitude. Additionally, the rooster is known for taking pride in its appearance — making it the perfect subject for artistic watch dials. Here we bring you a look at three terrific “Year of the Rooster” watches that will help ring in the Chinese New Year.
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi – Year of the Rooster
Once again, Chopard turns to the ancient Japanese art of Urushi lacquer painting to portray its stunning Year of the Rooster concept – this year on an ultra-thin L.U.C watch. The stunning rendition of the rooster is amazingly colorful and texturally artistic –blending Japanese art and Swiss craftsmanship under one superb roof. The lacquer used in this technique is taken from the sap of a tree – harvested skillfully only once a year and aged to perfection. The material is quite difficult to apply and takes time and patience. In this rendition, the Urushi master paints within tiny mother-of-pearl outlines that enhance the iridescence of the rooster with its puffed out chest and vivid turquoise, golden and orange-hued tail feathers. He rests alongside a bed of eight gladiolas, which symbolize good luck. The dial is created in partnership with the Yamada Heiando, firm that is an official purveyor to the Japanese imperial family. The L.U.C 96.17-L self-winding movement with micro rotor powers the ultra-thin watch, which has two barrels and ensures 65 hours of power reserve. Crafted in 18-karat rose gold the 39.5 mm watch is being created in a limited edition of just 88 pieces.
Piaget Altiplano Chinese Zodiac
This year marks the fifth year that Piaget has created a zodiac sign on the dial of its ultra-thin Altiplano watches to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This year’s rendition is resolutely realistic with a white mother of pearl dial background and a black and white rooster masterfully hand pained in Grande Feu cloisonné’ enameling. The watch is created by the famed master enameller Anita Porchet, who has captured the depth and shadows of the rooster’s feathers in heightened glory using contrasting tones of gray, white and black. The comb on the rooster’s head and its wattle beneath the chin are vibrant red – one of the most difficult colors to achieve in enamel work. The 18-karat white gold case is bedecked with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds. The watch houses the Manufacture Piaget 430P ultra-thin mechanical manual-wind movement with 43 hours of power reserve. Just 38 pieces of the 38mm watch will be made.
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art the legend of the Chinese Zodiac
As is typical with Vacheron Constantin, the brand unveils two renditions of its Métiers d’Art “Legend of the Chinese Zodiac” watches – each holding the coveted Hallmark of Geneva, certification and each created using sculpture, enamel work and engraving. The hands-free watches are powered by the technically advanced mechanical Caliber 2460 G4, developed and manufactured in house by Vacheron Constantin. Time is read through four apertures: one each depicting hours, minutes, day and date in “jumping” format. The movement consists of 237 parts and offers 40 hours of power reserve. Inspired by the ancient Asian art of paper-cutting (Jianzhi), Vacheron Constantin aligns several artistic elements to depict a background of foliate on the dial – etched into the metal – from which the center sculpted 18-karat gold rooster stands strong. Offered in either 18-karat white gold against a blue Grand Feu enamel dial, or in 18-karat rose gold against a copper-colored Grand Feu enamel dial, the rooster appears to be standing amid the foliate. A transparent sapphire caseback on the 40mm watch enables viewing of the movement. Just 12 pieces will be made of each version.