Credit: Senatus

Every year watchmakers celebrate the Lunar New Year with limited edition timepieces set to dazzle. Here are some of the best selections from 2021, the Year of the Ox.

Vacheron Constantin - Metiers d'Art, The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac

These collectible watches come in a pair: a platinum variant featuring a blue dial and an ox done up in white gold, or a rose gold model with a burnished bronze dial and a pink gold ox. Only 12 have been made of each. What makes these two so special is the inspiration behind it. The watches are inspired by the ancient art of paper-cutting, called Jianzhi. This art creates a remarkable effect that is truly breathtaking. Vacheron Constantin have outdone themselves to create one of the most stand out watches for this year’s Chinese zodiac edition.

Left: ref. 86073/000R-B646 | Right: Ref. 86073/000P-B647 | Credit: Vacheron Constantin

Arnold & Son Perpetual Moon Year of the Ox

What do you call a mother of pearl moon-phase indication with a few constellations thrown in? Beautiful. What about a painted scene on a textured haematite dial surface with a yellow gold ox in the foreground? A work of art. Only eight pieces of this piece of art are available and it’s a true beauty. The ox finds itself in an environment befitting that of royalty with towers, pagoda’s, and trees. The beautiful golden bull is found amongst it as if it owned it. One of the slickest of all the Lunar New Year editions.

Ref. 1GLAR.Z02A.C161A | Credit: Arnold & Son

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Buffalo

Jaquet Droz have created watches that are rustic and stylish. While not technically created specifically for the Lunar New Year they still depict an ox and they’re just so gorgeous that I had to add them.

There are four models and three scenes and each of them is simply stunning. Jaquet Droz has stated that Chinese lore dictates that children born under the sign of the ox are usually known for their honesty and hard work. That’s exactly what these watches reflect. The dials depict scenes that slow things down so you can remember to appreciate the simpler things in life. This is reflected in the design of the dial itself, as the actual time plays second fiddle to the scene before it.

Left to Right : ref. J005123206, ref. J005003228, ref. J005023295 | Credit: Monochrome Watches

Harry Winston Premier Chinese New Year Ox

Now ignore everything that was just said about the Jaquet Droz selection because Harry Winston has done the complete opposite. Subtle the Premier Chinese New Year Ox is not, but it is beautiful in its own very extraverted way. It isn’t quiet, it demands to be seen. It’s regal, even, and this is due to the 18-karat rose gold ox set against a red mother-of-pearl dial. Also, the 105 cut diamonds with an extra emerald-cut adds to the extravagance. It’s a decadent statement that would be a crime to hide under your sleeve.

Ref. PRNAHM36RR032 | Credit: Forbes

Piaget Altiplano Year of the Ox

The Piaget Altiplano Year of the Ox is one of the most understated of the Chinese Zodiac watches we’ve seen so far. I say understated despite the 78 diamonds found on the bezel but it’s the dial that I’m talking about. It’s a special edition of the ultra-thin Altiplano that features a grand-feu cloisonne dial that features, you guessed it, an ox. This ox was designed by artist Anita Porchet. The ox is strong and powerful. It’s regal in a different manner to the Harry Winston rendition. The ox knows its power, it doesn’t need to flaunt it with diamonds – just a little gold trim. A brilliant watch that will only see 38 made.

Ref. G0A45540 | Credit: Lux Expose