Happy Chinese New Year! This Friday, February 16, marks the start of the Year of the Dog, the 11th sign in the Chinese Zodiac. To mark this momentous occasion, the master artisans at Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin, Breguet and Panerai have created limited-edition dog-themed watches.
The dog embodies certain important traits that include loyalty, bravery, honesty and devoted attention. The dog is smart and incredibly lively. These are the features that Ulysse Nardin strives to depict in the dial of this exquisite watch. Created in Grand Feu enamel in a Champlevé technique, the dial of the watch shows a long-haired pup, ears erect, playing in the forefront of a midnight blue dial.
The dial is made in the Donze Cadrans manufacture, owned by Ulysse Nardin, where all of the brand's dials are created. This one is done by chiseling the dial and then filling in the chiseled areas with enamel that is then fired in a kiln. The delicate and time-consuming process ensures that each dial is unique. The 18-karat rose gold watch is powered by the COSC-certified self-winding UN-815 mechanical moment with 42 hours of power reserve. Just 88 pieces will be made.
Another dog-themed beauty is from Vacheron Constantin. Part of the brand's Métiers d’Arts “The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac” collection, the new 40mm watch is a hands-free timepiece with a magnificently sculpted dog occupying the entire center of the dial, with leaf pattern scrollwork in the background. Without traditional hands to indicate the time, the hours, minutes, day and date are shown via apertures surrounding the dog. The watch is offered in platinum with a blue dial or in rose gold with a red dial and just 12 of each will be made.
Breguet also weighed in this year with a version of man's best friend in the Breguet Classic 7145 Chow Chow watch. Powered by a mechanical movement that can be viewed through the sapphire caseback, the Classic 7145 watch features the dog in the center of the dial, happily stealing the show. The fully engraved white gold dog sits atop some coins and is set against a hand guilloché dial. The detailing of the dog on the dial requires hundreds of hours of engraving work, as well as dozens of hours creating the guilloché ivory background. Just eight pieces will be made.
Another brand we carry here, Panerai, has unveiled a Year of the Dog watch in the form of a fully engraved and pierced hinged-cover on the Panerai Luminor 1950 Sealand 3 Days Automatic Acciao watch. The cover opens to reveal the dial beneath, but it is on the cover where the gold-and-black engraved and lacquered dog sits in majesty against a plum-flower background. Panerai will produce 88 pieces of this watch.
This may be the best year to demonstrate your love for man's best friend.