February 8th is the Chinese New Year and there are high hopes in the zodiac for the Year of the Monkey. Many luxury brands are looking forward to a fresh new start in China as 2015 may not have been the kindest to their fortunes. Despite economic instability, the sheer magnitude of the Chinese market still makes it a top priority for luxury brands. The Chinese New Year gives luxury brands a lucrative opportunity to create products that are even more exclusive then their ‘regular’ editions.
Luxury timepieces have been somewhat of a scandalous topic in China in the last few years but that has never stopped watchmakers from creating beautiful limited eiditon pieces to honor this major holiday.
Ancient techniques from The Mainland: Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art La Légende du Zodiaque Chinois Year of the Monkey
Vacheron Constantin has a hallmark for intricate and detailed designs. To commemorate The Year of the Monkey, VC utilized paper cutting techniques from China and Swtizerland for this timepiece. The graphics on the watch face are painstakingly etched directly into the metal bringing the motif to life. The highly detailed hand engraved monkey in the center is finished in either platinum or pink gold. The watch face shine and colors are enhanced by high temperature and time consuming specialized lacquering technique.
Métiers d’Art La Légende du Zodiaque Chinois Year of the Monkey is limited to only 12 platinum and 12 pink gold watches making the already collectible VC watches even more desirable.
Black will always be the New Black: Ulysse Nardin Year of the Monkey Classico
This is our favorite of the three. If you look closely you can see the monkey image is actually engraved into the watch face and then filled with gold for a very life like effect. This crafting method brings the monkey to life and it looks like he is playfully ready to pounce! Ulysse Nardin watches usually have some nautical design elements to them but this model stays true to it purpose with a classic black and gold combination and alligator strap.
Ulysse Nardin Year of the Monkey Classico is limited to 88 pieces worldwide and are must for any watch collector, regardless of what New Year he or she celebrates.
Whimsical and very exclusive: Harry Winston Premier Monkey Automatic 36mm
Harry Winston has created a stunning ladies watch to honor The Chinese New Year. While pink may not be the most daring color for a ladies timepiece, HW executes it flawlessly with bold gold flecks, each in their own recess, that convey the image of a playful monkey under a clear starry sky. The monkey is finished in 24K gold and features a cutaway art form known as Jianzhi. Our mischievous monkey grabs for the shiny diamond perched at the 12 o’clock position.
72 diamonds adorn the watch around the bezel and side screws for a total weight of 2.47 carats. If that doesn’t bring a luxury 2016, we don’t know what will! Unfortunately, this highly exclusive watch is limited to a mere 8 units.
By Doron Levy Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media / Source Forbes