Chinese New Year: The luxury watches paying tribute to the Year of the Dragon
With the Year of the Dragon almost upon us, these luxury brands have released limited edition watches to coincide with the Chinese New Year
On 10 February, the world will enter the Year of the Dragon as celebrations begin to mark the Chinese New Year. Each year, these festivities mark the transition between the Chinese zodiac signs, with celebrations lasting for up to 16 days, culminating in the Lantern Festival (this year it falls on 24 February).
And to mark this special occasion, luxury watch brands across the globe have released limited edition watches to pay tribute to the Year of the Dragon. So if you’re looking to find the perfect luxury gift for someone celebrating the Chinese New Year, we have rounded up some of the best haute horology designs for you to choose from.Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Tribute Enamel Dragon
Jaeger-LeCoultre has released the limited edition Reverse Tribute Enamel Dragon as an homage to the craft of enamelling and engraving. Created to coincide with the Chinese New Year, this watch is the luxury Swiss watch brand’s tribute to the Year of the Dragon.
The watch is designed in such a way that if you swivel the watch case to its opposite side, it reveals a majestic dragon surrounded by golden clouds. The dragon, which is engraved into the pink gold case metal, is made to look like it is leaping out of the background of the glossy black Grand Feu enamel.
The polished surfaces of the dragon’s body along with the fine details of its scales — which are highlighted with black rhodium — and the contrasting sandblasted texture of the clouds catch and refract the light to enhance the illusion of movement and power.Ulysse Nardin’s Blast Tourbillon Dragon
Ulysse Nardin is marking the Lunar New Year with it’s new Blast Tourbillon Dragon. The Blast Tourbillon is known for its unconventional know-how and design, and with this new limited edition design, the luxury Swiss watch brand is combining this craftsmanship with Chinese folklore, where the majestic dragon meets the alluring pearl.
According to the traditional Chinese culture, the dragon symbolise strength, power and good fortune and is frequently associated with pearls, which represent purity, wisdom and wealth. When these two symbols come together, as in countless tales, they signify a harmonious blend of power, providence and prosperity.
And in many tales, the dragon is seen ceremoniously guarding the pearl, which is what the new Ulysse Nardin watch sets out to depict in hand sculpted rose gold. It coils its way around and through the skeletonised X structure, as though slithering out from within the movement itself. And before it sits the pearl atop the cage of the flying tourbillon.Genus’s family of Dragons
To mark the Year of the Dragon, Swiss independent brand Genus has revealed not one, but an entire family of Dragons. Entirely designed, developed and assembled in Genus’s workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, the Genus Dragon is the world’s first and only watch to feature an articulated dragon expressing the passage of time.
The elements indicating the tens-of-minutes take on the shape of the mythical creature, with its body sculpted in 18 karat gold. The range offers a vast array of variations to appeal to a large and diverse clientele, with the offer to personalise each piece, allowing the owner to choose the aesthetics, finishes, engravings, colour schemes and gem settings.Roger Dubuis’s Excalibur Dragon Monotourbillon
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Dragon Monotourbillon is the brand’s tribute to the Lunar New Year. The limited edition Monotourbillon is adorned with a very complex 3D dragon, made of 27 brass elements. Each element is decorated with black lacquer on the sides, pink gold galvanic treatment on top and a polish finish.
These 27 elements are held on four brass plates. And to give life and volume to the dragon, the different elements are positioned on 25 different levels. The Tourbillon is only mounted on one side making it a difficult thing to create. And the case back is decorated with a metallization of the dragon silhouette.Breguet’s Classique timepieces
Breguet is paying tribute to the Year of the Dragon with two brand new watches: the Classique Double Tourbillon Dragon – 5345 Special Edition and the limited edition Classique Dragon – 7145.
With the special edition, a dragon is depicted to twirl between the two tourbillons.The entirely hand-engraved gold dragon is secured to the two barrel bridges and is depicted clutching a pearl made of mother-of-pearl in its talons. The dragon’s shape and colour can also be personalised to suit the buyer’s needs.
With the Classique Dragon, the crimson red dial features different shades between the chapter ring and the centre is produced using Grand Feu enamelling. The dragon standing on the dial is entirely hand-engraved in rose gold applique and is depicted to keep a watchful eye on the pearl.Jacob & Co’s Mystery Tourbillon Twin Dragons
Jacob & Co has been releasing dragon-themed high watchmaking timepieces for the last seven years. And this year, as a tribute to the Year of the Dragon, the luxury brand has created the Mystery Tourbillon Twin Dragons to show its constant dedication to the creature.
With a world-exclusive movement, the only flying central twin triple axis back-to-back tourbillon, this one off time piece houses a pair of miniature dragon sculptures. Coiled around the tourbillon sphere and each other, their bodies are hand-crafted from rose gold, with their heads perpetually chasing the pearl of wisdom.
The two pearls are a pair of large Jacob-cut 288-facet white diamonds, where one acts as the hours hand and the other acts as the minutes hand, making for a truly majestic creation.Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph – the Year of the Dragon
Tag Heuer is releasing two limited edition watches to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Crafted in gold and steel, these watches pay homage to Chinese culture and the success embodied by the Chinese Dragon.
The steel version of the watch boasts a sunray-brushed silver dial while the gold version has a sunray-brushed 18 karat pink gold-plated dial. Both are adorned with rhodium-plated and 18 karat pink gold plated indexes accentuated by a red lacquer. The caseback design is fully customised to reveal a printed Chinese Dragon figure around the sapphire glass.
And if you’d like to know more about Tag Heuer Carrera, read our cover story with Ryan Gosling right here.