Luxury watchmakers have released pig-themed watches for the 2019 Lunar New Year
Fortune favours the bold
As we barely digest those turkey dinners and revel in the thoughtful gifts we've gotten over Christmas, here's something that's a bit of a kick in the gut: 2018 is almost over. But no fret, in a month or so, we can look forward to yet another round of public holidays and celebrations - Chinese New Year.
With it comes an influx of zodiac-themed timepieces by luxury watchmakers. Using these timepieces as a platform to showcase their incredible mastery of different metiers d'art techniques, these watchmakers pay tribute to the year of the pig with artistic depictions of the cuddly animal.
Utilising the ancient Japanese art of Urushi, Chopard commemorates the Year of the Pig with the latest addition to its zodiac collection of timepieces, the LUC XP - the XP referring to the fact that the timepiece is ultra-flat. It has enlisted the expertise of Master Kiichiro Masamura, a Japanese lacquer artist who specialises in this rarefied skill, and uses a varnish that's made from sap from the lacquer tree. Minute quantities of the resin are harvested every year, and are treated for three to five years before they can be used. Five layers of the honey-textured lacquer are applied to the dial to attain the image of the pot-bellied pig, symbolising abundance and joviality. The timepiece is available in a limited edition of 88 pieces using ethically sourced rose gold.
On the canvas of the Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Pig, the watchmaker has not just portrayed the realistic depiction of the animal, but also managed to illustrate the characteristics of those born in the year of the pig. A hefty task, but one that it undertakes with much aplomb. The artisan employs the technique of miniature painting to render a (very cute) pink and black pig in a field with abundant wheat crops. In keeping with its calm nature, it is unaffected by the prosperity in the background. Available in both 35mm and 39mm case sizes, the timepiece is limited to 28 pieces each.
The hallowed maison of Vacheron Constantin showcases its dedication to artistic skills with the Métiers D'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Pig timepiece. The Chinese art of Jianzhi, aka paper-cutting, has been reinterpreted by the Swiss watchmaker for this watch. The hand-engraved pig takes centrestage on the dial, standing proud against a Grand feu enamel dial that serves as the canvas for the foliage that has been etched from metal. The execution is top-notch, and the effect is three-dimensional. So as not to disrupt the artwork on the dial, the watchmaker displays the hours, minutes, day and date in four apertures. While the platinum case is matched with a blue dial, the rose gold one is enhanced by a copper tone, each available in a series of 12 pieces.