Today marks the start of the Chinese New Year. In celebration, some top watch brands demonstrate their artistic expertise in horology by unveiling stunning watches dedicated to this Year of the Goat — the eighth symbol in the Chinese Zodiac.
Vacheron Constantin, for instance, continues its Métiers d’Arts Legend of the Chinese Zodiac collection with the unveiling of two new "Year of the Goat" watches. Offered in either pink gold or platinum (just 12 of each), the Métiers d’Arts watch features a stunning goat in the dial center, surrounded by a leaf motif etched directly in the metal. The goat is created in gold and worked in relief so that the hairs on the goat's coat are less than a millimeter thick.
Following the sculpting of gold, the watch dial is individually enameled using the Grand Feu technique — applying layer after layer of enamel to achieve the desired effect. Making the watch even more special is the fact that it is a hands-free timepiece. The hours, minutes, day and date are seen via apertures on the dial. It is powered by the Caliber 2460 G4 mechanical movement and holds the Hallmark of Geneva certification.
Also a master at the decorative arts, Chopard releases its L.U.C XP Year of the Goat Watch. This masterpiece — which celebrates the goat in a festive motif — is created using the ancient art of Urushi, an ancestral Japanese decorative art. The “paint” is actually a varnish of sap derived from the Urushi tree. The resin can only be harvested once annually. Once the dial is painted, the artists turn to the Maki-e technique, in which the lacquer is sprinkled with gold dust. The watch is powered by the L.U.C Caliber 96.17-L, which is an ultra-thin movement with two barrels to offer 65 hours of power reserve.