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7 limited-edition watches to mark the Chinese New Year of the Dragon

Countdown to the Lunar New Year with these standout timepieces

The Chinese New Year is one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar, a time to start over anew. This year, Saturday 10 February sees us leaving the year of the timid rabbit behind and entering the bold, vivacious era of the dragon. Some of the world’s finest watch brands and jewellery houses have created limited-edition Lunar New Year watches to celebrate the occasion, incorporating dragon-themed motifs as well as traditional Chinese colours and symbols. 

7 Chinese New Year Watches For 2024; The Year Of The DragonPin
Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Enamel Dragon

Feted as powerful, charismatic and lucky, the dragon is the fifth animal of the Chinese zodiac and the only mythological animal in the ancient lineup of 12 celestial beasts. While the milder rabbit manifests in fluidity, quietness and contemplation, the mighty dragon represents something more commanding and dominant, bringing an authoritative energy into the new year.  

While tradition has it that the giving of clocks is considered bad manners during Lunar New Year, our modern era means that watches are increasingly being accepted as symbols of luxury and longevity, both to give and to receive. Here’s our edit of the most exquisite Chinese New Year watches to invest in this Lunar New Year 2024. 

The Glossary Edit

Chinese New Year Watches for The Year of the Dragon

Piaget

41mm Altiplano High Jewellery Dragon Watch

When it comes to beautiful Chinese New Year watches, Piaget’s creations are always among the most exquisite. Crafted in partnership with the master enameller Anita Porchet, a frequent collaborator with the maison, Piaget’s new limited-edition high jewellery timepiece is one of its most beautiful yet.

 It features a golden dragon clutching a black opal ‘fireball’ in one of its claws, set against an engraved sunburst dial. Traditionally, Chinese dragons are often depicted either holding or chasing a flaming pearl, a symbol of immortality, spiritual enlightenment and power. The watch is limited to eight numbered editions, since eight is considered the most auspicious number in China – a fine way indeed to ring in the Year of the Dragon.

7 Chinese New Year Watches For 2024; The Year Of The DragonPin

Price on request

Harry Winston

Automatic 36mm Chinese New Year Watch

Red is an exceptionally lucky colour in Asia – associated with good fortune, joy and passion – so Harry Winston’s new Lunar New Year watch features the shade in spades. Its 36mm diamond-set case and buckle are both crafted from warm rose gold, whilst its strap is made from scarlet-tinted leather. 

On the dial, a red hand-lacquered dragon arches through a mother-of-pearl sky adorned with swirling clouds, its jaws opening to reveal a gleaming pearl. A second pearl is set into the crown, whilst a halo of brilliant-cut diamonds – with larger diamonds at every five-minute marker – encircles the watch’s rose gold hands. Again, this watch is limited to only eight pieces.

7 Chinese New Year Watches For 2024; The Year Of The DragonPin

Price on request

Jaeger LeCoultre

Reverso Tribute Enamel Dragon Watch

Invented in the 1930s to protect the Reverso’s glass and dial from being shattered during polo matches, over the decades Jaeger LeCoultre’s signature reversible case has become a wearable canvas. It allows the maker to incorporate all manner of ingeniously tiny artworks or personalised details onto each watch. 

For their Chinese New Year watch, the back of the Reverso displays a motif of a dragon, created by the maison’s in-house master engravers and enamellers. Set against a chic black Grand Feu enamel background, the golden dragon sits amidst swirling clouds, a pearl of wisdom clasped in one of its delicate claws. Each miniature marvel takes 80 hours to produce, and the timepieces will be made to order.

7 Chinese New Year Watches For 2024; The Year Of The DragonPin

Price on request

Christian Dior

Grand Soir Year of the Dragon Watch

Just as with its couture gowns, Dior’s limited-edition Grand Soir watches represent some of its most sophisticated and refined creations. This year’s Lunar New Year watch sees the features of a cheerful golden dragon with a feathery mane interpreted onto a silvery sun-brushed dial. Two marquise-cut diamonds are set into its eyes, whilst its cheeks and the tips of its beard sparkle with tiny brilliants. Yet more round-cut diamonds are set into the yellow gold bezel. 

On the back of the watch, another smiling dragon’s face appears on the translucent glass, its golden hue echoing the gold-plated automatic movement beneath. Only 18 pieces will be made, so you’d better act quick if you want to snap up this tribute to the Year of the Dragon.

7 Chinese New Year Watches For 2024; The Year Of The DragonPin

£33,000

Vacheron Constantin

Les Cabinotiers Grisaille High Jewellery Dragon Watch

For the first time, Vacheron Constantin’s master enamellers have used grisaille – a painting technique employing fine layers of rare white Limoges enamel that dates back to the 16th century – in the creation of its latest high jewellery watch to mark Chinese New Year. 

Combined with a vivid green tint, the practice gives extraordinary depth and detail to the dial featuring a mythical five-clawed dragon and its flaming pearl of immortality. Here, the pearl has been set into a gleaming white gold case and framed with 146 baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel, middle and lugs. The timepiece is one-of-a-kind, making this particular dragon a very rare beast indeed.

7 Chinese New Year Watches For 2024; The Year Of The DragonPin

Price on request

Tag Heuer

Carerra Chronograph Year of the Dragon Watch

Lucky red and gold have also been combined in a Lunar New Year watch by Tag Heuer, which has launched a striking limited edition Carerra Chronograph in pink gold to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. In keeping with the Carerra’s signature sporty look, there’s no figurative design on the dial. Instead, the Carerra’s sub-dials have been tinted with burgundy lacquer, to match its leather strap, and a subtle calligraphic dragon character has been added just above the date window.

The dragon itself appears on the back of the exhibition case of the watch – a detailed design coiled in the same direction as the oscillating rotor. Just 50 rose gold pieces are available, alongside 50 all-steel versions.

7 Chinese New Year Watches For 2024; The Year Of The DragonPin

£19,650

Blancpain

Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar Watch

In 2012, the last time it was a Year of the Dragon, Blancpain debuted its Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar watch, which was the very first to combine a complex Chinese calendar alongside the traditional Gregorian date and moon phase windows. 

For the Year of the Dragon in 2024, the maker is introducing a brand-new version of this limited-edition complication, composed of ‘red gold’. It features the motif of a dragon on its winding rotor, paired with a red ruby and the engraved Chinese characters for ‘dragon’ and ‘wood’, to represent this year’s animal and lucky element. Only 50 of these timepieces will be made.

7 Chinese New Year Watches For 2024; The Year Of The DragonPin

Price on request

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