Lunar New Year means Lunar New Year watches and 2022 offers Switzerland’s finest the chance to interpret the Water Tiger into watch form.
Those born in the year of the Water Tiger – last celebrated in 1962 – are said to communicate well, with the water element tempering some of the boldness and daring of the tiger with a layer of calmness.
HYPEBEAST takes a look at the pick of the Water Tiger watches from entry level to haute hologerie.
Arnold & Son Year of the Tiger Perpetual Moon
Arnold & Son handpaints a scene of waterfall and bamboo on a hematite disc using luminous pigments and gold powder, set with a tiger, hand-engraved in 18K rose gold. Looming over the whole scene is an oversized moonphase disc of black aventurine glass set with a mother of pearl moon that glows thanks to a coating of Super-LumiNova. Inside, beating at 3Hz, is a manufacture A&S1512 caliber, offering a 90-hour power reserve. Limited to eight pieces, the 42mm rose gold Year of the Tiger Perpetual Moon is priced $59,400 USD via Arnold & Son.
Blancpain Traditional Chinese Calendar
Blancpain’s Traditional Chinese Calendar watch covers each and every Lunar New Year, with a unique movement capable of indicating both Chinese and Gregorian calendars, as well as moon phases. Instead of releasing a new watch each year, Blancpain instead updates the design with a winding rotor engraved with the new year’s animal, in this case the tiger. The 45mm platinum watch features a grand feu enamel dial which displays the Chinese calendar’s double-hours, day, month with indication of leap months, signs of the zodiac, as well as the five elements and the ten celestial stems. The 2022 model is limited to 50 pieces and priced $87,800 USD.
Breguet Classique 7145 Tribute to Year of the Tiger
The Tiger takes over the dial of Breguet’s 40mm 18K rose gold Classique 7145 Tribute to Year of the Tiger, depicted using a mixture of traditional guilloché and engraving, with each dial taking a week to create. Elsewhere the watch carries known signatures of the brand including an engraved logo between the seven and eight o’clock markers and blued steel Breguet hour and minute hands. Inside beats a hand-decorated ultra-thin automatic 502.3 calibre, that was first developed in the 1960s and remains one of the thinnest autos in production at 2.4mm. The eight-piece limited edition is priced £43,600 GBP (approximately $58,500 USD) with more information via Breguet.
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Tiger
Since 2013, Chopard has been creating watches dedicated to the sign of each zodiac year based around its L.U.C XP ultra-thin model, using the Urushi Maki-e lacquer technique. This 88-piece edition, with a 39.5mm case of ethical 18K rose gold, has been decorated by Japanese master lacquer artist, Minori Koizumi, who lavishes 160 hours of skill on each dial, building up layers of lacquer with flakes of gold in between to form the illustration. Priced $25,400 USD via Chopard.
Harry Winston Premier Chinese New Year Automatic 36mm
Harry Winston takes a cuter route with its depiction of the tiger for its eight-piece Premier Chinese New Year Automatic 36mm. Two cubs playing with a series of rosettes – inspired by the grand entryway of Harry Winston’s Fifth Avenue salon – are formed of 18K red gold and red-beaded mother of pearl while the dial is peppered with 65 brilliant-cut diamonds and a large emerald-cut diamond serving as the 12 o’clock marker. The watch’s 36mm 18K rose gold case and buckle are set with a further 74 brilliant cut diamonds. Price available on application.
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Carbon Gold Tiger
Hublot has taken a different approach with its entry to this year’s tiger watches, adopting a more figurative style with the Spirit of Big Bang Carbon Gold Tiger. The watch is imbued with the appearance of tiger stripes through the use of carbon encrusted with gold, the first time the material has been used in the Spirit of Big Bang model. The edition is limited to 200 pieces, priced £29,500 GBP (approximately $39,600 USD) via Hublot.
Piaget Altiplano Chinese Year of the Tiger
Piaget once again call upon the services of the world’s most respected enamelist, Anita Porchet, to craft the regal-looking white tiger on the dial of its Altiplano Chinese Year of the Tiger in cloisonné enamel, first outlining the scene in fine gold wire before infilling and firing with enamel powder. The bezel of the 38mm 18K white gold watch is set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds while it is powered by Piaget’s ultra-thin 430P manually wound movement. 38 pieces are being made, priced £58,000 GBP (approximately $78,000 USD) via Piaget.
Swatch Tiger Power 2022
Swatch’s Tiger Power 2022 features a black 47mm Bioceramic case – the brand’s proprietary soft-touch blend of ceramic and bio-sourced plastic derived from castor beans, and a bio-sourced plastic strap with highlights of new year-appropriate red and gold. The gold-toned dial features a faceted tiger’s head graphic created using 3D printing. Priced $160 USD.
TAG Heuer Carrera Year of the Tiger Limited Edition
TAG Heuer has taken the Water Tiger brief quite literally with a textured blue tiger strip motif on the dial – something repeated on the presentation box – and a blue tiger graphic on the sapphire crystal caseback of this 300-piece limited edition 41mm polished stainless steel Carrera. Rose gold-plated indices provide a striking contrast against the blue. Priced £3,100 GBP (or $3,750,100 USD).
Ulysse Nardin Special Edition Classico Tiger
Ulysse Nardin takes advantage of its ownership of world-renowned enamel workshop, Donzé Cadrans, to apply two separate enamel techniques. The first is Champlevé, where voids are engraved in the dial to be filled with colored enamel, before the surface is polished flat and the remaining metallic surfaces engraved. The second is Paillonné enamel, that sees the moon formed from silver strips and the stars formed from gold strips, before being covered with a translucent layer of enamel. 88 pieces are being created, priced £36,900 GBP (approximately $49,600 USD). Visit Ulysse Nardin for more information.