These Chinese New Year 2022-Themed Watches Are a Must-See
Since it follows a different calendar, Chinese New Year falls on a different date every year. In 2022, it falls on February 1 and will last until the lantern festival on the 15th. It’s a very significant holiday celebrated by a quarter of the world population - Chinese families come together to bond with relatives over a feast, houses are cleaned to welcome the new year, and people read their fortune predictions to see if it will be a good year or just an okay one for them.
Watch brands are joining in on the celebrations too, by releasing limited-edition, Chinese New Year themed watches. And they didn’t just release a red and gold watch and called it a day, luxury names actually released very interesting watch designs that would catch the attention of collectors and enthusiasts alike!
The Harry Winston Premier Chinese New Year Automatic. Source: Channel News Asia
Here are the top watches of 2022 that will make you say Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy Chinese New Year!).
VACHERON CONSTANTIN LEGEND OF THE CHINESE ZODIAC YEAR OF THE TIGER
Starting off with arguably the best-looking on this list, Vacheron Constantin’s CNY 2022 piece looks more like an artwork than a watch really. It’s the newest release in the brand’s Métiers d’Art series, and is the product of hundreds of hours of work from master engravers and enamellers in the Swiss watchmaker’s fold.
Can't help but stare. Source: Vacheron Constantin
Instead of a traditional dial with hours and minute markers, the Swiss brand went for an aperture style dial, with one aperture for the hours, minute, day and date, and for good reason. They were able to use as much as they needed of the dial for the art - a majestic tiger engraving as the centerpiece, on a background inspired by jianzhi, or the Chinese art of paper cutting.
The aperture style dial adds to its uniqueness. Source: Vacheron Constantin
The watch comes in two versions, a pink gold and platinum case version both equally stunning, and with a limited run of only 12 pieces each. With such a few pieces, the people who’ll be able to acquire it would be lucky, no matter their zodiac sign.
Dior Grand Soir Tiger
Dior Grand Soir is the fashion brand’s watch arm that combines horology with the arts. The watch collection has had many astounding entries already, and the latest is the Grand Soir Tiger coming in just in time for the Year of the Tiger 2022.
Watch or jewelry? Yes, it's both. Source: Dior
As its predecessors, the watch design would appeal to the female watch crowd. The case measures 36mm composed of stainless steel, and the diamond-encrusted pink gold bezel gives it the appearance of jewelry. Of course, the star of the show, the dial is a mesmerizing display of white and gold tones in a feather pattern making up the tiger’s silhouette. The eyes and nose are Marquise-cut diamonds. The hands match the pink gold of the bezel.
The feline-themed Dior watch is an 88-piece limited run and will be available in China on February 1.
Piaget Altiplano Year of the Tiger
Piaget is not going to miss Chinese New Year in 2022, having created CNY-themed watches for a decade already in their Altiplano collection. This collection is characterized by their flat cases and even thinner movements making for dress watches that feel subtle but look luxe.
The way the dial art was made is almost as fascinating as the watch itself. Source: Watch I Love
This year, they are adding the Zodiac Tiger on their watch. People born under this sign are said to be noble, wealthy and powerful, and these traits are all captured with the regal white tiger art on the dial. Adding more significance to the watch is the way the design was created, which is at the hands of artisan Anita Porchet, who has mastered all enamelling techniques.
The watch features an ultra-thin 38mm white gold case and a diamond-dotted bezel. It is a beautiful convergence of horology, gem-setting, and enamelling, and 38 people will be lucky to acquire one of these for the New Year.
CHOPARD L.U.C XP URUSHI YEAR OF THE TIGER
We’re big fans of Seiko here in namokiMODS, and by extension we’ve had an eye for Japanese art. This is why our favorite CNY 2022-themed watch in this list is this entry by Chopard. It features a golden tiger at the fore of a mountain landscape, roaring at the starry night sky and this striking scene is drawn in the style of Japanese maki-e, a style of lacquer decoration using powdered gold and other precious metals.
A watch of refinement. Source: Deployant
The Urushi in the watch name comes from the Urushi tree, where the lacquer is extracted from and giving the dial its sublime, brilliant sheen. Fun fact: Urushi sap is poisonous to the touch and when inhaled, but Japanese craftsmen have been working with this material for so long that they were able to completely neutralize the harmful effects!
One of only a few dials, slowly and gracefully coming into existence. Source: Deployant
The Chopard watch is a limited edition of 88 pieces, with each dial being hand painted by artisans from the same lacquerware company that services the Japanese Imperial family.
TAG HEUER CARRERA YEAR OF THE TIGER
And last but not least, we have Tag Heuer’s Carrera Year of the Tiger Watch which went with a different direction for their themed watch for 2022. Unlike all the other watches on this list which have bold, unmissable Tiger motifs on the dial of their watches, Tag Heuer went the subtle route and used only Tiger patterns for the dial in a blue shade, adorned with rose-gold plated hour markers and hands.
Still a marvel of a watch. Source: Tag Heuer
Turn the watch over, and you see a black and blue crouching tiger on the see-through caseback, poised to strike. While the design doesn’t jump out at you as much as the other limited edition watches on this list, we would say that this way, it is subtle enough that people can still comfortably wear the watch without attracting too much attention and distinct enough that people will still notice.
Looks as if it wants to pounce on the crown doesn't it. Source: Tag Heuer
There will only be 300 pieces of this watch ever made and will sell for $3,750 at retail.
Making Your Own CNY-Themed Watch
All the entries in this list will be manufactured in extremely limited numbers, and with very high price tags without a doubt. These will be out of reach for most of us.
But of course since you’re into watch modding, you can create an even more limited edition watch that is personalized just for you. If you want to get into the Lunar New Year spirit with a Seiko mod of your own, we have the parts you'll need.
Just an example of what you can build. Source: Reddit
Red and gold are very lucky colors in Chinese belief, which is why you’ll see these two colors pretty much everywhere during CNY. By incorporating these two colors into your mod, you can make your own watch celebrating this holiday. We have gold versions for a variety of our SKX007 cases like our Bell and Ross Square Case, our Captain Willard Case, and more! You can check them all out by clicking this link.
And you’re in luck! If you’re shopping for a gold Seiko watch case, you can get one from us with a $22 discount with code NMKLNY2022!
Of course we have other parts in gold to match the case. From hands and bezels to even the rotors, we have gold versions on most of our parts. You can even make an all gold watch if you want. But if you want to match it with red to get that look for Lunar New Year, we have the parts for that too, and you can check them out by clicking here.
This long holiday is very significant for billions of people from all around the world, and it’s not just the Chinese that celebrate it. Many countries within and outside of Asia like to take part in the cultural festivities and traditions that this season brings. People exchange gifts, eat auspicious and symbolistic foods, and wear golden jewelry to attract good fortune.
It may seem like an extravagant festival as a holiday, but the real essence of Chinese New Year is a fresh start in one’s life, new hopes for prosperity, and a time of being with your family and loved ones. So remember these virtues and have a Safe and Happy Chinese New Year, modfam!
Xin Nian Kuai Le 新年快乐!