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December 08, 2022

the year of the monkey

the year of the Monkey

Chinese zodiac inspired watches

In the past years we have seen an incredible growth of the Chinese luxury purchase, and the watchmaking world has not been untouched. To encounter their needs, some brands started to create what now has become a true trend: watches inspired by the Chinese New Year zodiac.

2015 have been the Year of the Goat, and several Maisons celebrated it with their timepieces.

A constant characteristic of this artworks is the use of refined and ancient artistic techniques to craft extremely complicated dial. We can find gold, silver, precious stones or mother of pearl, finely painted, enameled, sculpted or engraved by amazingly skilled artisans.

The 8th of February 2016 a new Chinese year begins. This time will be the turn of the monkey, and some big names already announced the launch of their monkey inspired watches.

Chopard – L.U.C XP Urushi

Chopard worked with Japanese artist Yamada Heiando to create a maki-e (traditional multi-layered lacquering technique) dial. The monkey gathering eight peaches is a traditional Chinese theme that symbolizes longevity and good fortune, since the peach stands for good health and eight is a lucky number.

Chopard - Year Of The Monkey - Watch Insanity

Jaquet Droz – Petite Heure Minute Relief Monkey

Jaquet Droz introduces two new watches based on the classic Petite Heure Minute, using the peaches symbol as well. The The Petite Heure Minute Monkey has an Ivory Grand Feu enameled dial with miniature painting; while the Petite Heure Minute Relief Monkey has a gold dial with lacquer and hand-engraved and hand-patinated mother of pearl, hand-engraved and hand-patinated 18-carat monkey relief applique, and onyx hours and minutes subdial. Each model is available in two versions.

Jaquet Droz - Year Of The Monkey - Watch Insanity

Ulysse Nardin – Cheerful “Year of the Monkey

Ulysse Nardin honors the monkey’s exuberant essence with the “Year of the Monkey” timepiece, the latest addition to its Classico Collection. The champlevé method of enameling, made by Donzé Cadrans, brings the subject to life. The champlevé technique consists of cells being carved with a chisel directly on the dial and filled with enamel. Its colors are generated from different metallic oxides, and for this piece, a neutral palette has been selected. The dial is then fired until the enamel melts.

Ulysse Nardin - Year Of The Monkey - Watch Insanity

Harry Winston – Premier Monkey Automatic 36mm

A tiny monkey, deftly suspended from a glittering gemstone, glints on a backdrop of pink and gold: this enchanting spectacle has been dreamed up by the artisans of Harry Winston Timepieces to celebrate Chinese New Year. The monkey profile is carved from yellow gold appliqué with marquise-cut openwork, the dimensions appear fleshed out and the creature seems to come to life. The subtle cutouts evoke Jianzhi, or paper cutting, a prized art form used since the dawn of time to convey traditional Chinese wishes of prosperity and a long life.

Harry Winston - Year Of The Monkey - Watch Insanity

Vacheron Constantin – The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac

The two version of the Monkey, the latest release of the “Legend of the Chinese Zodiac” collection by Vacheron Constantin, binds Chinese iconography and Swiss savoir-faire. In the Monkey sculpture we find a fresh interpretation of the Jianzhi paper-cutting technique, molded thank to the expertise of Vacheron’s master engravers and enamellers. The foliage motif appearing on the dial and based on classic Chinese iconography is etched directly in the metal, accentuating reliefs creating a depth effect. Then comes the stage of Grand Feu enameling, that applied in the successive layers, enhances the intensity of the blue or bronze-toned dial.

The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - 2016 the year of the monkey