8 TIMEPIECES TO USHER IN THE YEAR OF THE RAT
SINGAPORE (Jan 17): Blancpain
The watch maison taps on its expertise at its Métiers d’Art workshop to create its very first porcelain dial that also showcases the art of enamel painting. This special edition, of only eight pieces, features a rat that is painted freehand and then fired to fix the colours on to the porcelain. The watch has a 33m diameter white gold case featuring a bezel set with 48 brilliant-cut diamonds. This timepiece gets its heartbeat from the 1154 automatic movement that you can admire through the sapphire caseback.
The Breguet Classique 9065 comes in auspicious red, something we find really attractive. This watch – designed for women – has a Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial with a vibrant red ruby set on the crown and the date shown in cream numerals. Rounding off the look is a strap made of iridescent red satin with rose gold pin buckle. The watch is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement with a power reserve of 38 hours.
The Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch was launched in 2007 and quickly joined the brand’s other iconic timepieces like the Tank, Panthère and Santos. The most eye-catching part of this design is the way the watch is made to look elegantly distorted so as to accommodate the bold blue bubble of the winding crown that sits beneath a protective arc at the 3 o’clock position. In this particular iteration, the 33mm case is made of 18-carat pink gold that is fitted with 47 brilliant-cut diamonds. The watch also has a mechanical movement with automatic winding and is water-resistant to about 30 metres.
Casio’s G-Shock line of watches have launched a spring festival themed piece influenced by street art. Designed by contemporary artist Jahan Loh, this limited edition timepiece features many Chinese Arts and Culture elements that are rooted in much of Loh’s work. As he puts it: ”Celebrating the year of the metal rat in auspicious red, the pattern on the strap is derived from the Chinese text of 寿Shou (longevity) and the Chinese text for 福Fu (auspicious): Shou (the Chinese character of longevity) and Fu (blessings, auspicious and good fortune) are most popular auspicious symbols in the Lunar New Year season. The calligraphy of good fortune and pattern of longevity is composed of the character of 2 rats and the longevity pattern.”
The L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat timepiece by Chopard marries the Asian traditions such as the Japanese art of lacquer known as Urushi with Swiss watchmaking expertise. Each of the 88 pieces of watch launched has a 40mm dial that depicts a golden rat, standing on an ear of corn – a symbol of abundance – and in front of a kaki, a fruit that is picked in winter and represents longevity. It is facing a bouquet of flowers in the three lucky colours of its zodiac sign: blue, gold and green. Inside the watch is the ultra-thin movement produced in the Chopard Manufacture workshops: the L.U.C 96.17-L calibre which can be viewed in all its glory through the transparent sapphire case-back.
The silhouette of a rat is set against a red mother-of-pearl background on the Premier Chinese New Year Automatic 36mm timepiece by Harry Winston. The rat is brought to live through a reinterpretation of paper cutting, an ancient Chinese art form that was used to adorn walls, doors and windows during the Tang Dynasty. But what’s a Harry Winston design without the jewellery? Fans will not be disappointed as a cluster of different cut diamonds are on the 36mm dial along with eight marquise-cut diamonds that surround a round brilliant diamond centre to create a 3-dimensional piece. Only eight pieces are made and presented in a red box decorated with golden lotus flowers and the rat.
The Trèsor by Omega is a beautiful collection for women marrying classic design with modern touches. This line has proven to be popular, so this Lunar New Year a new selection of styles is introduced including this unique model in red and white sprinkled with diamonds. The polished 36mm stainless steel case is set with
38 single-cut diamonds placed on the curve of the case. Colour choices include a lacquered white dial that has Roman numerals in red with matching red leather strap.
Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz welcomes the year of the rat with four limited series. Our favourite is the one with two rats featured on the Petite Heure Minute 35 mm and 39 mm watches. The animals are pictured sitting on a bed of leaves along with pomegranates that are represented by rubies strewn on the ground that are set on a Grand Feu enamel dial. The case back of both models houses an oscillating weight designed especially for this limited series of 28 pieces. In another model, the 41 mm version has an onyx dial and serves as a backdrop of a Rat holding a pomegranate in its hands.