Every year, a handful of the finest watch brands create timepieces celebrating the Chinese zodiac just in time for the Chinese New Year. Harry Winston is one of those brands, and this year, for the Year of the Ox, the Swiss brand goes all out – unveiling bold red, beautiful métiers d’ arts and more. Part of the brand’s Premier collection, the Premier Chinese New Year of the Ox watch with automatic movement. The 36mm watch will light up wrists and eyes with its captivating design.
The Ox is the second of 12 animals that comprise the Chinese Zodiac. The Chinese New Year of the ox, which comes on the heels of the year of the rat, begins officially on February 12, 2021. The Ox is beloved for its strength and its hard-working nature. Without the ox, the Chinese culture could not farm their lands to the extent that they do. The ox, and people born in the year of the ox, are thought to be courageous, honest and responsible.
With these traits in mind, the master artisans at Harry Winston opted to portray the ox in all its glory – turning to rose gold and diamonds against a stunning bold red background. These colors – favorites of the Chinese culture – also embody a sense of good fortune and prosperity. Together, all of these elements make this timepiece a true good luck charm.
The ox on this Chinese New Year watch is positioned at the center of the dial with its hooves at 6:00, including one hoof that is depicted in mid-air as though the ox is walking. Its tail looks to be wagging behind it and its diamond eyes seem to be intent on some goal. The ox is formed using 18-karat rose gold and its curved horns are set with diamonds, as is the lower portion of the body. In total, the ox alone is set with 103 brilliant-cut diamonds and another two brilliant-cut diamonds are used as markers for the time.
The rest of the majestic ox’s body is made of red mother of pearl to match the dial background. Only the ox’s eyes are made of white mother of pearl. The red mother-of-pearl dial background boasts two different finishes, a natural beaded format that offers iridescent appeal for the top half and an etched motif for the lower half, emulating nature’s landscape.
The time is indicated in hours and minutes using an off-center dial that is ringed with diamonds, including one large emerald-cut diamond at 12:00. The emerald cut was Harry Winston’s favorite shape. The case and lugs are further set with diamond brilliants. In total, the 36mm 18-karat rose gold case is set with 57 brilliant-cut diamonds. Even the red alligator strap boasts a buckle set with 17 brilliant-cut diamonds. In fact, the total number of diamonds on the watch is 180, weighing just about 2.80 carats.
The magnificent watch is powered by a Swiss-made mechanical automatic movement that offer 68 hours of power reserve and is visible via a transparent sapphire case back. The back also is engraved with the numbered edition of the watch, as just eight pieces will be made. Four years ago, Harry Winston created the Year of the Monkey watch, which retailed then for nearly $50,000. We expect the price of this watch to be similar.
(This article by Roberta Naas first appeared on Forbes.com)