With the Chinese New Year starting in just a couple of weeks, watch brands are amping up their special editions. This year is the year of the Rabbit and Chopard has the lovable zodiac sign covered in two different watches. This year, the brand unveils 88 pieces of the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit watch and 88 pieces of the Happy Sport Year of the Rabbit.
As legend has it, the rabbit has a unique relationship with the moon and is said to inhabit a jade moon. The rabbit is said to be the keeper of peace and prosperity. These are concepts Chopard tries to depict in its watches – each incredibly different and using different techniques and movement to tell their story.
The ultra-thin 39.5mm L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit is created in 18-karat ethical rose gold – a standard gold for all of Chopard timepieces moving forward. The watch boasts an artistic dial created using the ancient art of Urushi lacquer and the Japanese Maki-e technique. Each dial is crafted in Japan by a world-class artisan that specializes in Maki-e – a process that uses gold flakes between each Urushi lacquer layer to decorate a dial. In this case, the dials are produced in the workshops of Yamada Heiando by master artisan Minori Koizumi. Because of the hand craftsmanship that goes into the making of the dials – at least 160 hours each — each is a unique piece of work. The black background dial boasts two frolicking rabbits, one gray and one red, dancing beneath a full moon and surrounded by Chinese olive trees.
This watch is powered by the ultra-thin automatic winding L.U.C Calibre 96.17-L with micro-rotor and 65 hours of power reserve. The ultra-thin movement yields a final watch that is a remarkable 6.7mm thin. The watch retails for $26,200.
Happy Sport Year of the Rabbit
For a more whimsical and feminine play on the Year of the Rabbit, Chopard releases the Happy Sport watch with seemingly free-floating diamonds on the dial. The watch features a rich red gradient textured mother-of-pearl-dial – a traditional Chinese celebratory color that symobolizes joy good fortune. On the dial: a sitting rabbit — outlined in gold against the red dial — with its nose pointed toward 2:00. Its coat of fur is depicted as powdered gilded gold drawings in floral motifs that allow the red to show through. The signature Happy Sport five diamonds float around the dial with every move of the wrist. The total message: elegance, mischief, awareness, grace.
Crafted in stainless steel and ethical rose gold, the 33mm watch boasts a diamond-set bezel in ethical rose gold. It is powered by the 148-part Chopard 09.01-C automatic mechanical movement with 42 hours of power reserve. The Happy Sport Year of the Rabbit watch is finished with a red alligator strap. It retails for $18,900.
(This article by Roberta Naas first appeared on Forbes.com.)