There's no denying that the 2020/21 New Year celebrations - as defined by the Gregorian calendar at least - were a bit of a let-down, as billions of people across the globe were confined to their houses on a night that has become famed for its raucous hedonism. But with the advent of the Chinese Year of the Ox just around the corner on 12 February, some of the world's most iconic luxury brands are ready and waiting to fill the New-Year-shaped hole in our hearts. Here, Tempus has compiled a selection of the best luxury products commemorating Chinese New Year in 2021.
These special new compositions from Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz selected two distinctive artisanal techniques to apply to their four spectacular new Petite Heure Minute Buffalo pieces. Two contain miniature paintings depicting a peaceful ox against a background of mist-covered mountains, while the other two designs feature relief engraving, an artisanal technique cherished by Jaquet Droz. Each of these four handcrafted compositions are being released in a series of eight.
To welcome the Year of the Ox, Mariage Frères has created a special all-new blend to join the luxury French tea brand’s existing Chinese zodiac collection, Thé Des Signes. Buffle, the new Year of the Ox tea is a subtle composition of intense black tea, with refreshing notes of sun-kissed fruits. The blend incorporates Tibetan goji berries, which are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, making this tea the perfect way to kickstart the Chinese New Year with vitality. Buffle is £26 for 100g.
Another watch design which caught the eye of Tempus was Piaget's ox-themed version of its ultra-thin Altiplano model. The 38mm Altiplano Year of the Ox features a cloisonné watch dial, skilfully executed by world-renowned master-enameller Anita Porchet, and comes in an 18-carat white gold case adorned with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.71 ct.) The new model is powered by the brand’s exceptional 430P hand-wound movement that measures a mere 2.1mm in thickness. It is paired with an elegant black leather strap that is fitted with an 18-karat white gold pin buckle.
For a more ornamental touch, Baccarat Crystal is offering a spectacular new crystal ox design, created in collaboration with visionary Allison Hawkes. The piece, known as the Zodiaque Ox 2021, is available in clear or gold crystal and is mouthblown in France using the traditional method. As Baccarat notes, the ox serves as the "perfect gift to honour those born in the sign".
Apple is releasing a limited-edition set of AirPods Pro themed around the Year of the Ox as part of its 2021 product lineup. The AirPods' box and holder both feature the outline of a slightly altered version of the iOS ox emoji, but the design can also be customised at the request of the buyer.
The Chinese New Year Bag Charm and Key Holder from Louis Vuitton features an ox-shaped charm crafted from a combination of calf leather and the brand's iconic monogram canvas. Mink fur accents and LV studs add an additional layer of luxury to this dual-function piece, while expert craftsmanship is displayed in the finely engraved LV signature on the snap hook and ring.
In time for the New Year, Hugo Boss has released a blouson style reversible jacket featuring black and red print in recognition of the Year of the Ox. The brand has dropped 10 items since mid-October as part of a capsule collection celebrating the Chinese New Year, but this stylish jacket is our personal pick of the bunch.