Today marks the dawn of the Year of the Rabbit, the new year according to the Chinese Lunar calendar. And as every year, multiple brands have dedicated a special watch to celebrate the occasion. Incorporating the theme either in spirit, with images of rabbits or colours important to Chinese culture, or with an adaptation of a calendar watch, each one honours the event in a special way. Yet, one of them stands out a little more than others as it marks a genuine world premiere. So let’s kick off this Buying Guide with that very watch, shall we?
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Xiali Calendar
The new Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Xiali Calendar is perhaps the most significant watch on this list, as it is the first-ever mechanical watch that comes with a complete Chinese calendar. Set in the refined Tonda PF exterior, the incredibly complex movement displays all elements of the Lunisolar Calendar on an Imperial Red dial with a fine barleycorn guilloché motif. It shows the name, animal and element of the year as well as the number of the day, length of the month, number of the month, moon phase, intercalary month and solar terms. Superb stuff for those with an understanding of Mandarin. It comes on an integrated stainless steel bracelet and retails for CHF 59,000.
For more information, please visit Parmigiani.com.
Quick Facts – 42mm x 12.2mm – stainless steel case with knurled platinum bezel – sapphire crystal front and back – Imperial Red dial with barleycorn guilloché pattern – rhodium-plated gold hands and appliques – indications with the name of the year, animal and element, number of day, long or short month, moon phase, month number and an indication of the intercalary month, and solar terms – calibre PF008, in-house – automatic winding – 42 jewels – 28,800vph – 54h power reserve – integrated stainless steel bracelet – CHF 59,000
IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 Edition Chinese New Year
The Portugieser is truly one of the cornerstone collections by IWC Schaffhausen and represents the more refined, classical side of the brand. The collection was expanded two years ago with an automatic model in a 40mm diameter. This is now used to create a special 500-piece edition dedicated to the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. It comes with a burgundy-red dial finished with gold-plated indices and hands. Around the back, a special rotor with a Rabbit can be seen driving the IWC calibre 82200. Worn on a black calfskin leather strap, it retails for EUR 8,650.
For more information, please visit IWC.com.
Quick Facts – 40.4mm x 12.4mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front and back – burgundy-red dial with gold-plated indices and hands – IWC calibre 82200, manufacture – automatic movement with Pellaton winding system – 31 jewels – 28,800vph – 60h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds – black leather strap – IW358315 – limited edition of 500 pieces – EUR 8,650
Blancpain villeret traditional chinese calendar ‘Year of the water rabbit’
Blancpain has been creating special watches dedicated to the Chinese zodiac calendar year after year. This year is no exception, with the Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar ‘Year of the Water Rabbit’. This complex watch combines both elements of the Gregorian calendar and the Chinese calendar. The Gregorian date is read on the perimeter of the dial, with sub-dials for the 24 hours, five earthly elements, and ten heavenly stems all in Mandarin. The movement is driven by a special rotor that’s decorated with the image of two bunnies. For more details, check out our story here. Only 50 will be made, all on a black alligator leather strap and at a price of EUR 89,360.
For more information, please visit Blancpain.com.
Quick Facts – 45.2mm x 15.1mm – 950 platinum case, polished – sapphire front and back – 5 patented under-lug correctors – white Grand Feu enamel dial – Chinese signs of zodiac, date and month of Chinese calendar, indication of five elements, celestial stems and leap month – Gregorian pointer date – moon phase – applied white gold Roman numerals – Blancpain in-house calibre 3638 – automatic winding – 39 jewels – 28,800vph – 168h power reserve – black alligator leather strap with folding clasp – limited edition of 50 pieces – EUR 89,360
TAG Heuer carrera chronograph year of the rabbit
TAG Heuer joins in on the celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year with a very sporty watch, the Carrera Chronograph. Perhaps not the easiest of watches to incorporate the Year of the Rabbit theme, but it works quite well! The familiar Carrera Chronograph case is retained, topped with a fixed black ceramic bezel. The dial has a printed wave-like texture to give it character, finished with rose-gold-plated and red accents on the indices and hands. The sapphire crystal caseback over the Heuer 02 movement shows an image of a red rabbit with golden ears to commemorate this year’s zodiac animal. Presented as a limited edition of 500 pieces, it will set you back EUR 6,750.
For more information, please visit TAGHeuer.com.
Quick Facts – 44mm diameter – stainless steel case – fixed ceramic tachymeter bezel – domed sapphire crystal – sapphire crystal caseback with red rabbit motif – black dial with printed waves – snailed chronograph sub-dials – rose gold-plated hands and applied indices – red lacquer and lume details – calibre Heuer 02, in-house – automatic integrated chronograph with column wheel and vertical clutch – 33 jewels – 28,800vph – 80h power reserve – hours, minutes, chronograph with 30-minutes and 12-hours, small seconds, date – black leather strap with folding clasp – limited edition of 500 pieces – EUR 6,750
Arnold & Son Perpetual Moon Year of the rabbit
Arnold & Son also stepped up and presents an intriguing watch dedicated to the Chinese Lunar New Year, with the Perpetual Moon Year of the Rabbit. Dresses in an 18k rose gold case, the oversized luminescent moonphase moves across a black aventurine background. In the lower half, a hand-engraved rabbit is applied, nestled in between foliage and in front of a traditional Chinese pagoda. Elements of the dial have been treated with Super-LumiNova, which makes for quite the spectacle at night. The manual wound Calibre A&S1512 can be seen through the caseback, with an additional moon phase indication for precise setting if needed. Worn on a black alligator strap with a rose gold pin buckle, it is limited to 8 pieces and costs CHF 57,000.
For more information, please visit ArnoldandSon.com
Quick Facts – 41.5mm x 11.67 – red gold case, polished – sapphire crystal front and back – black aventurine glass dial with 18k rose gold rabbit figurine – hand-painted landscape with constellations, gold powder and Super-LumiNova – mother-of-pearl oversized moon phase with Super-LumiNova – Calibre A&S1512, manual winding – 27 jewels – 21,600vph – 90h power reserve – hours, minutes, moon phase, second moonphase on caseback – black alligator strap with pin buckle – limited edition of 8 pieces – CHF 57,000
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light & Fire
Girard-Perregaux has gone down a completely different route for its celebration of the Year of the Rabbit. Instead of opting for a calendar complication, zodiac signs or a red dial, GP has chosen a red polycrystalline YAG case. Dubbed the Laureato Absolute Light & Fire, for obvious reasons, this continues the style of previous almost full transparent watches in the Absolute sub-collection. The movement inside is fully skeletonised and constructed with a NAC-treated mainplate and bridges. It retains the integrated design thanks to the shaped black rubber strap that closes with a folding buckle. Limited to just 18 pieces, it has a price tag of CHF 95,000.
For more information, please visit Girard-Perregaux.com.
Quick Facts – 44mm x 11.56mm – red polycrystalline YAG case – black PVD-coated titanium lugs and crown – octagonal bezel with 8 screws – sapphire crystal front and back – openworked NAC-treated bridges and octagonal mainplate – skeletonised hour and minute hands – small seconds – polished triangular indices – exposed barrel and balance wheel – calibre GP01800-1143, in-house – 25 jewels – 28,800vph – 54h power reserve – black rubber strap with fabric effect and folding buckle – limited to 18 pieces – CHF 95,000