Watchmakers celebrate with Year of Rabbit timepieces
By: Gloria Fung
January 16, 2023
According to folklore, the rabbit is said to be one of the kindest, most patient of the 12 zodiac animals. Its graceful and elegant movement and agility make it one of the most cheerful members of the zodiac
Some watchmakers capture the playfulness and gentle spirit of the rabbit through designs that highlight various savoir-faire and watchmaking techniques, while others pay homage to the genius of ancient Chinese timekeeping traditions.
Here we look at timepieces that capture our hearts and the spirit of the festive season.
Parmigiani Tonda PF Xiali Calendar
There is no rabbit here on the dial: Parmigiani opts to celebrate the Lunar New Year with a watch that spotlights the Chinese complete calendar complication. The Chinese complete calendar function combines solar and lunar calendars on the same dial, and the piece is an ode to Michel Parmigiani’s passion for high complications. The Chinese calendar is divided into 24 solar terms and offers a display of the seasons -the complication also signals the arrival of spring which falls on the first day of Chinese New Year.
The rose gold timepiece is paired with a beautifully fashioned burgundy dial.
Piaget Altiplano Zodiac
An adorable pair of rabbits depicts a scene of joyful energy across Piaget’s Altiplano dial in this Year of Rabbit edition. Anita Porchet, renowned enamel artisan and long-time Piaget collaborator, brought the dual of rabbits to life using the intricate cloisonné enamel technique.
The 18-karat white gold piece is accented with diamonds around the bezel and is limited to 38 pieces.
Breguet Classique 9075 Chinese New Year
Five rabbits prance around the dial of Breguet’s 33.5mm Classique 9075 Chinese New Year watch. The rabbits and the bamboo motif at the centre of the dial are engraved in enamel and applied atop the blue grand feu enamel dial. The timepiece is further accented with the sparkle of an auspicious 88 diamonds around the bezel and lugs.
Harry Winston Premier Year of the Rabbit
Nothing signals the arrival of the Lunar New Year better than a bright pop of red. Harry Winston takes the Chinese folk reference one step further by drawing inspiration from the legend of the Jade Rabbit that sacrificed itself to feed three hungry sages.
A red Jade Rabbit hops its way onto Harry Winston’s Premier dial- diamonds are found around the bezel and on the lugs and as accenting details on the dial, including the rabbit’s tail and eyes. Specs of gold further accent the red mother-of-pearl dial to give the watch that cheerful festive appeal.
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac
Vacheron Constantin continues its tradition of making Chinese zodiac watches this year with a piece that features the rabbit looking regal and serene. Presented in a platinum and a pink gold reference, each limited to nine pieces, the dial sports four apertures displaying jumping hour, minute, day and date. The intricate lace-like design of the dial, fashioned in grand feu enamel, is inspired by the traditional Chinese paper-cutting technique, jianzhi, often used as decorations for celebrations such as weddings, birthdays, and of course, Chinese New Year. The rabbit, in pink gold or platinum to match the respective cases, is meticulously hand engraved and applied onto the centre of the enamel dial.