Happy Chinese New Year With Goat Watches By Jaquet Droz, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin And Arnold & Son
It has almost become tradition now for watchmakers to commemorate Chinese New Year by ringing it in with watches adorned with the appropriate sign of the Chinese zodiac.
2015: Year of the Goat (or Sheep)
The goat is the eighth sign of the 12-year zodiac cycle, and it is sometimes interpreted as a ram or sheep instead of a goat. According to Chinese astrology, goats are kind and peace-loving. Let’s hope that rings true!
Jaquet Droz has authentic historical ties to China, which is why it makes good sense for the La Chaux-de-Fonds-based brand to celebrate the Chinese New Year. It does so with two new models limited to just 28 pieces each in honor of the goat. In fact, three goats are reproduced on the roomy dial of two Petite Heure Minute variations.
The Petite Heure Minute Relief Goats in a 41 mm red gold case boasts an exquisite dial created using champlevé enamel in two colors that evokes a motif of plum blossom. The set of three goats in 18-karat red gold was hand-engraved and applied to the dial.
Highly legible blued hands make their revolutions against the backdrop of a mother-of-pearl subdial (left), while red gold hands revolve against an onyx backdrop in the off-center subdial on the second model at right.
Ulysse Nardin, too, has chosen champlevé enamel in which to create its horological caprinae (caprinae is the sub-family of bovidae that includes sheep and goats).
The Classico Goat, powered by C.O.S.C.-certified automatic Caliber UN-815, features a nanny goat with two kids in tones of white, gold, blue, and black. Housed in a 40 mm pink gold case, the Classico Goat is limited to just 88 pieces.
Vacheron Constantin’s tribute to the new zodiacal year is called Legend of the Chinese Zodiac, and it takes its inspiration from the Chinese art of paper cutting called jianzhi. Legend of the Chinese Zodiac is available in two variations: one in pink gold and one in platinum, both limited to just 12 pieces each.
The dial backdrop comprises a leaf motif, stemming from Chinese iconography, engraved into the gold using a bas-relief technique. It makes for a lovely background for the exquisitely detailed sheep placed right in the center of the dial.
After being engraved, grand feu enamel is added to the dial for the color elements.
The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac is also a calendar in the truest sense of the word: the four windows on the dial respectively show the hours, minutes, day and date. It is powered by automatic Caliber 2460 G4. This limited edition is only sold through Vacheron Constantin’s own boutiques.
Arnold & Son
Arnold & Son releases HM Goats, limited to just eight pieces. Here, the little goat family eating leaves is inspired by a traditional Chinese ink aquarelle technique. The exquisite miniature is painted onto a white mother-of-pearl background framed by a 40 mm pink gold case.
The HM Goats is powered by very flat Caliber A&S1001, which boasts a very healthy 90 hours of power reserve thanks to twin spring barrels.
Quick Facts: Goats
Size: breeds vary from 9 kg /20 lb to 113 kg /250 lb
Hair: short hair, long hair, curly hair, silky hair, or coarse hair
Colors: black, white, brown, or spotted
Friends: very social animals, but unlike their close relation, sheep, they are not flock animals
Family: nanny (mother) goat and kid (baby) recognize each other’s calls soon after birth
Brains: very intelligent and very curious, constantly exploring and investigating
Agility: excellent coordination, can climb trees and nearly sheer cliff faces
Water: hate to get wet and will avoid or jump over puddles
Teeth: lower set for nibbling, sharp upper set for cutting/breaking