This Lucky Piggy: Ring in the Lunar New Year with an Auspicious Watch
Probably one of the best things about living in the Philippines is that we get to ring in the New Year not once, but twice: first, on December 31st, along with the rest of the booze-guzzling, fireworks-displaying world, and then again at the turn of the lunar calendar, a.k.a. Chinese New Year.
A full day off from work so soon after people are still shaking off the holiday hangover is definitely something to celebrate, and hey, it’s also the perfect time to renew those resolutions, watch dragons dance through the malls, and break out every crimson thing in your wardrobe.
Another way you can mark the Lunar New Year: Bring out your special Chinese New Year watch, as many watchmakers take part in the celebrations by releasing a special timepiece to mark the occasion. It’s a great gift for anyone who might be particularly superstitious, including yourself. Here are a few worth noting.
1| Chopard L.U.C. XP Urushi Year of the Pig
The delicate lacquer work showcased by Japanese national treasure Kiichiro Masamura is beyond compare, crafted out of the sap harvested from Japan's and China’s Urushi tree. The master artisan oversees the creation of every single one of the 88 dials; a closer look reveals not just the pig at the center, but the attention to detail in the gemstone flowers and greenery. You can also appreciate how fine artistry meets superior workmanship, as the ultra-thin 18k rose gold case houses the mechanical self-winding L.U.C. Caliber 96.17-L.
2| Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Connected Watch
The luxury giant’s entry into the smartwatch category boasts access to exclusive content, dedicated travel apps, and customized dials—including this adorable animated pig. (The monogram-shaped eyes are kind of the giveaway.) All the other 11 signs of the Chinese zodiac are available, too, if you prefer to wear your own on your wrist. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the watch comes with everything LV diehards hold dear, like luxe leather straps featuring the beloved Damier pattern.
3| Panerai Luminor Sealand 44m
How about a watch that has all the heft and substance of a Luminor, but outfitted with beautiful craftmanship and art? Unveiled for the first time in 2009, Panerai celebrates a decade of honoring the tradition of the Lunar New Year with this limited-edition (again, only 88 units available) watch. Each model is engraved by hand using the ancient Italian Sparsello technique, where craftsmen carefully inlay the design with threads of gold.
4| Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art the Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Pig
The luxury Swiss watchmaker gives you the gift of choice with two models: one with a dark blue strap and platinum case, and another with a brown strap and a case in rose gold. Both are equipped with four apertures that indicate the hours, minutes, weekday, and date, allowing you to tell time in a way that doesn’t at all disrupt or interfere with the pig in the middle of the dial. It rightfully takes centerstage, etched with a layered technique using a design based on Chinese iconography.
5| Swatch Gem of New Year
Count on the most democratic Swiss watchmakers around to come out with a quirky timepiece that will help you ring in the new year without breaking the bank. You might have to look a little bit closer to spot the pig right above the six o’clock marker, but with its golden polished dial and red and gold patterned silicone strap, this watch is anything but subtle. It also comes in its own special red pig-shaped box, because… well, why wouldn’t it, really?
6| Tag Heuer Carrera Caliber Heuer 01
Let’s say you want to celebrate the Lunar New Year, but not in a way that’s literal or cheesy; God forbid you should wear anything remotely resembling an animal on your wrist. That’s where a cool, sporty, red-strapped watch comes in. A classic watch inspired by the motor racing world, it really doesn’t get any more masculine than this. The skeleton dial and modular steel case show you mean business, but the red-tinged second hand, luminescent hour markers, and perforated rubber strap show you came to party.
7| Apple Watch Series 4
Yes, this is an Apple Watch, but it was listed among the suggestions in their annual Chinese New Year Gift Guide, so we’re going to say it counts. The tech brand made moves to tap the CNY market by releasing Apple Watch Sport models with red straps exclusive to Asia in 2016, and now it offers straps in a breathable, adjustable nylon weave dubbed the Sport Loop. You can also get it in calfskin Hermès leather, fluoro-elastomer, or stainless steel, if you wish. But bear in mind that for good luck, the shades to get them in are red and gold.