Watches commemorating the Chinese New Year have been a mainstay for horological maisons and independent watchmakers alike. To mark the Year of the Dog, which began on 16th February, 2018, some of the world’s foremost authorities in watchmaking have chosen to honour man’s loyal best friend in an exquisitely beautiful display of craftsmanship.
HOT brings you a selection of exceptional Year of the Dog watches that showcase artistic techniques from around the world and demonstrate the painstaking precision of master watchmakers, refined over time.
Breguet’s 18K white-gold Classique 7145 Chow-Chow is the brand’s dedication to the Year of the Dog. The beauty of this timepiece lies in the guilloche dial which features a hand-engraved likeness of a Chow-Chow, a breed that is highly revered in China. Limited to only 8 pieces, each version of this exclusive watch is a truly unique masterpiece.
The work of Breguet’s expert artisans is complemented by the sapphire crystal caseback, highlighting the self-winding movement and the fluted caseband. The Classique 7145 Chow-Chow comes with a leather strap fastened by a gold folding clasp.
Partnership of Precision
Employing the ancient Japanese art of Urushi, a lacquer technique named for the tree whose resin is used to create the lacquer, Chopard’s newest addition to its L.U.C XP Urushi collection, Year of the Dog features the Akita breed of dog in idyllic natural surroundings.
The ultra-thin 39.5mm diameter watch in 18K rose gold is a testament to the outcome of blending two distinct yet equally detailed art forms, practiced by their respective masters. Created by Chopard under the watchful eye of Urushi masters, the dial of the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Dog is a breathtaking work of art.
The exceptional skill of the Chopard watchmakers is represented through the 6.8mm thick case and the sapphire crystal caseback which displays the mechanical self-winding movement of the watch with its 65-hour power reserve. The movement itself displays the highest aesthetic standards with its beveled, engraved and guilloché finish and bridges bearing Côtes de Genève.
A limited series of 88 pieces, the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Dog has a hand sewn alligator leather strap and an 18K rose gold buckle to match the case.
The case of the new Panerai Luminor 1950 Sealand 3 Days Automatic Acciaio, dedicated to the Chinese Year of the Dog is a beautifully hand-engraved tribute to the loyal animal.
Using an ancient Italian technique called ‘sparsello’, the polished steel cover of this timepiece is an intricately decorated creation. The Sparsello technique requires multiple layers of gold threads to be inlaid in parallel layers in grooves etched into the steel. The threads are then beaten down to fill the grooves, forming the outline of the dog on the cover.
Traditional Chinese icons and plum flowers, auspicious in Chinese culture, accompany the image of the dog, and the entire process of inlaying and beating the gold thread is undertaken after the steel cover has been engraved and polished require extreme attention to details and accuracy to avoid any errors or damage.
The engraved cover hides a classic grey dial indicating the hours, minutes, seconds and date, with a small seconds dial at 9 o’clock and the date displayed at 3 o’clock.
The Luminor 1950 Sealand 3 Days Automatic Acciaio has a 44mm case and a soft brown leather strap. The limited edition 88-piece watch also comes with an addition black rubber strap, a tool for changing the strap and a screwdriver, making it as versatile as it is superbly artistic.
Shades of Grey
Staying true to its own tradition of honouring the Chinese New Year with a timepiece that celebrates the Year of the Dog, Piaget has elevated the dial of its characteristic Antiplano watch using the Grand Feu cloisonné enameling technique.
The 38-piece limited release of this 18K white gold timepiece set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds highlights the unparalleled skill and creativity of the enameller. The life-like essence of the dog is captured through a delicate play on light and shadows, using black and white to create infinite shades of grey.
Featuring the Manufacture Piaget 430P ultra-thin movement, the Altiplano Chinese Zodiac watch displays the hours and minutes and has a power reserve of 43 hours. The black alligator strap also has a white gold buckle to match the sleek 38mm case.
As one of the only brands in fine watchmaking dedicated to the tradition Grand Feu and Champlevé techniques of enameling, Ulysse Nardin has created its Classico collection to showcase its mastery of the ancient art.
The Classico Dog, Ulysse Nardin’s tribute to the Chinese Year of the Dog is an exceptional timepiece that seamlessly blends the technical skill and precision of haute horlogerie with the delicate craftsmanship of Grand Feu Champlevé enameling.
The 40mm rose gold case and open case back perfectly complement the enamel representation of a husky dog seen on the dial. The watch has a leather strap fastened with a rose gold buckle and has been crafted as a limited edition of only 88 pieces.
Vacheron Constantin’s Métiers d’Art Legend of the Chinese Zodiac collection gets an update this year with the maison’s Year of the Dog timepiece. Available in two iterations, each limited to only 12 pieces, this exquisitely detailed watch combines technical advancements with artistic beauty.
The Year of the Dog watch from Vacheron Constantin highlights the use of several artistic techniques, including traditional Chinese Paper-Cutting, etching designs on metal, Grand feu enameling and hand-engraving.
Available in either platinum or 18K pink gold, Year of the Dog watch has a 40mm case and the dial is 18K gold with a hand engraved, Grand Feu enamel-worked dog in platinum or pink gold. The hands-free display, in blue or bronze-tones, indicates the hours, minutes, day of the week and date through apertures, and the entire dial-face is etched with traditional Chinese iconography using an effect that causes the patterns appear as if they are floating above the dial.
The movement, developed and manufactured in-house complies fully with the highest standards of the Hallmark of Geneva quality label. The Year of the Dog timepiece has either a dark blue or brown hand-sewn alligator leather strap and is accompanied by a corrector pen and a magnifying glass which allows the wearer to closely observe the meticulous detail and unmatched artistic precision of the dog motif.
The eleventh animal in the Chinese zodiac calendar, the dog is known for its loyalty and honesty. Dog lovers, fans of Chinese culture, patrons of exquisite art forms or simply those born in the Year of the Dog as well as connoisseurs of the finest watchmaking capabilities will definitely enjoy adding any one of these unique timepieces to their collection.