Welcome a year of affluence and good fortune with 2019’s batch of Chinese zodiac watches.

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Commemorate the Chinese Year of the Pig with watches by Jaquet Droz, Chopard and Vacheron Constantin.


The animal in the last position of the Chinese zodiac is also the last to come to mind when one thinks of  glamour or sophistication. But in the hands of watchmakers gifted in metiers d’art, the pig motif manifests what its zodiac symbolises: prosperity and hard work.

The motif is obviously made to celebrate the Chinese New Year, but Jaquet Droz’s interpretations don’t deviate from its storybook style. The first is the Petite Heure Minute Pig, which showcases the art of miniature painting. The ripe wheat crop in the background represents abundance and prosperity, while the visible disinterest of the pig before it displays its calm and good sense. The men’s and women’s models each have 28 pieces available.

The Petite Heure Minute Relief Pig is more dramatic in style, with a relief engraved pig depicted in front of eight oak trees on an onyx dial. It is limited to 28 pieces for the red gold model, and eight pieces for the white gold model with diamond-set case and lugs.

Engraving is also applied in Vacheron Constantin’s Metiers D’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Pig. Instead of engraving in relief, the handengraved pig is applied to the centre of the dial. The delicate foliage decorating the watch face is inspired by Chinese iconography and is etched directly in the metal, giving the appearance of them floating over the dial. There are two references — one in platinum and the other in pink gold — and each is limited to 12 pieces.

Over at Chopard, the art of Japanese lacquering continues to thrive. Its latest L.U.C XP Urushi model shows off a golden pig with a protruding stomach (the symbols of abundance and joviality) appearing against a colourful forest background. All 88 dials were created by Urushi grand master Minori Koizumi of the Yamada Heiando company, under the watchful eye of Master Kiichiro Masamura, a Living National Treasure in Japan.

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Right on the heels of the Bamford Carbon Monaco and the Carbon Aquaracer, Tag Heuer’s popular Carrera line is getting the carbon fibre treatment to mark its 55th anniversary in 2018. The Carrera Carbon Tourbillon Phantom gets its name from its black opaline dial, black gold-plated, and black PVD-covered parts and case, and a darker version of the Calibre Heuer 02T movement. The 45mm COSC-certified tourbillon features a fixed bezel and lugs made of carbon, and the model is limited to 500 pieces. Slightly smaller are the 43mm Heuer 02 Carrera Carbon models in rose gold and carbon, and blue rhodium with carbon. Though lacking a tourbillon, the watches offer a generous power reserve of 80 hours. They are available as a limited edition of 350 and 750 pieces respectively.
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The legendary dive watch from Blancpain has enjoyed numerous iterations in its 66-year history, and its latest is the first standard Fifty Fathoms model to come in titanium. The tough, lightweight material is a sensible choice for a dive watch (as evidenced by previous models such as the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe and Fifty Fathoms GMT), so to have it on a basic Automatique model is a welcome move. It still measures 45mm in diameter and comes with a ratcheted unidirectional rotating bezel, scratch-proof domed black sapphire insert, lumed hour markers and hands, and 300m water resistance. The exhibition caseback provides a view of the 1315 calibre, which is equipped with a silicon balance spring and off ers five days of reserve power.
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Collaborations between watchmakers and car manufacturers are plenty in the world of haute horlogerie, but for a brand as cutting-edge as Roger Dubuis, only a marque that is equally avant-garde would make a good partner. That partner is Lamborghini. What first came of their alliance was the Excalibur Aventador S in 2017, and this year we are getting the Excalibur Huracan Performante. Named after the Huracan sports car, the watch boasts a brand new automatic movement, the RD630, which comes with 60 hours of power reserve. There are lots of automotive-inspired design cues to be found here, including a decorative bridge resembling a spoiler, a crown inspired by the racing nuts on supercar wheels, and an Alcantara strap featuring a rubber inlay that mimics the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R’s tyre pattern. Bright yellow accents complete the sporty look.