In welcoming the Year of the Rooster, we discovered that Swiss horology and the tenth animal sign in the Chinese zodiac twelve-year cycle have more in common than meets the eye. The two are characterised by endurance, a strong sense of timekeeping, industriousness, high attention to detail and leadership. It is only a matter of course that they be brought together in perfect harmony, and there is no better time to do so than now. Here are the special editions inspired by the rooster. Let the good times roll!
LUMINOR 1950 SEALAND 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC ACCIAIO 44MM
In keeping with house tradition, Panerai releases a special edition dedicated to the Chinese Zodiac in celebration of the coming Spring Festival, this time distinguished by a hand-engraved depiction of the rooster in traditional oriental iconography style. Strong yet sophisticated in character, the Luminor 1950 Sealand makes a bold statement of the animal sign’s key attributes – perseverance, courage and individuality. Through an ancient technique named after its tool “sparsello”, the outlines of the rooster featured on the cover are formed with multiple layers of gold threads beaten to fill the grooves. The work requires exceptional skill on the part of the craftsmen as it is carried out after the lid has already been engraved and polished.
Once uncovered, a grey dial indicates the time and date in simple and easy to read Arabic numerals, along with linear hour markers and luminous dots, a small seconds dial at 9 o’clock and the date at 3. Water-resistant to 100m with a power reserve of three days, the steel watch comes fitted with a soft brown leather strap and is presented with a spare black rubber strap, a special tool for changing the strap and a screwdriver. Available in just 99 pieces, exclusively in Panerai boutiques.
L.U.C XP URUSHI “YEAR OF THE ROOSTER”
Chopard’s annual occasion of ringing in the Lunar New Year with Swiss fine watchmaking has developed into a merry menage a trois following the application of a time-honoured Japanese tradition involving the art of lacquering enriched with mother-of-pearl marquetry. In this vibrant rendition of the rooster on the dial is captured the lively and perseverant energy of the rooster as well as the profound level of meticulosity and respect for tradition and culture upheld by the three disciplines.
In Japanese tradition, the sap of the “lacquer” tree is skilfully harvested, aged and treated to become a lacquer. This extremely hard material is applied in a number of extremely thin layers. The Urushi master uses it to imprison tiny purpose-cut mother-of-pearl fragments for an iridescent effect that further enhances the dial of the L.U.C XP “Year of the Rooster”. Gladioli flowers complete the auspicious composition by serving as a symbol of good luck. To create this precious dial, as with all previous L.U.C XP Urushi editions, Chopard has worked with its loyal partner: the Yamada Heiando firm which is an official purveyor to the Japanese imperial family. Together, they have called upon the service of Master Kiichiro Masumura, ragarded as the finest exponent of his art.
The grand masterpiece is framed within the characteristically slim and elegant casing of the L.U.C XP in rose gold, powered by an ultra-thin movement boasting 65 hours of power reserve and finished to striking perfection. Available in 39.5mm, the highly artistic and symbolic timepiece is produced in a limited collection of 88 pieces.
METIERS D’ART THE LEGEND OF THE CHINESE ZODIAC – YEAR OF THE ROOSTER
Vacheron Constantin is pursuing its dialogue with collectors and passionate devotees of Haute Horlogerie by enriching its Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese Zodiac with the sign of the rooster. These two new creations, realised in twelve models each, combine technical excellence with the beauty of several artistic crafts.
China, a nation with which Vacheron Constantin has been cultivating special ties since 1845, first introduced the paper-cutting technique as Jianzhi, a popular art echoed in Swiss culture through its famous Scherenschnitt paper-cutting. This artistic approach has been given a fresh interpretation thanks to the expertise of the master engravers and enamellers. The foliage motif appearing on the dial based on classic Chinese iconography is etched directly in the metal. The pattern remains semi-embedded and stands out from its gold base by a subtle stage-setting of variously accentuating reliefs creating a depth effect. This makes the vegetation appear to be floating over the dial.
Then comes the stage of Grand Feu enamelling, an ancestral technique that remains the preserve of a very few particularly skilled artisans. By applying the enamel in successive layers, the enamel specialist enhances the intensity of the blue or bronze-toned dial. Achieving the necessary mastery of colour and of reactions to firing at temperatures between 800 and 900 degrees Celsius calls for an expertise that can only be acquired over long years of experience. The rooster, made of platinum or pink gold, is hand engraved and delicately applied to the dial centre, while the calibre makes it possible to create an ideal stage for the decorative arts, by giving the central dial motif a starring role. The hands-free time display is achieved through four apertures showing the hours, minutes, days and dates – the first two of the dragging variety and the last two of the jumping type.
Confident and dynamic, the rooster rules the roost with hard work and natural instinct. Very little escapes the senses of this highly observant creature, renowned for his sociable, gregarious nature. One who takes pride in his role as a herald of dawn, dispelling any negative presence with every crow, the rooster is widely appreciated for his great sense of time. All his energetic panache and indomitable spirit is encapsulated in Ulysse Nardin’s latest addition to the Classico collection.
In this classical depiction, the artist employs the centuries-old champlevé method of enamelling that brings its sketch to life. A rare art form and one mastered by very few, the champlevé technique involves the carving of cells with a chisel directly on the dial, which are then filled with enamel. Its colours come from the careful blending of different metallic oxides. The dial is fired until the enamel melts and is then smoothed and polished. The final step, which is also the most delicate, consists of enriching the motif by chiselling all the metal parts on the surface.For over 25 years, Ulysse Nardin has been bringing this artistry to its dials, and is today oneof the few watchmakers who have perfected the centuries-old craft. A watch full of personality in a dapper 40mm case in 18k rose gold, the Classico Rooster is limited to 88 pieces and makes a fine collector’s edition.