With the ever-changing situations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the last two years seems to have flown by in no time at all. Although it feels like it was just a short while ago, when we were ringing in the year of the Metal Ox, Chinese New Year has sneaked up upon us once again and now, we find ourselves already anticipating the next Chinese zodiac animal in line, the Water Tiger.
As such, it is only customary that we look at some of the insanely gorgeous Tiger watches out there in the market. For those of you who are fortunate enough to be able to procure one of these ferocious beauties, we hope you’ll be rocking them on your wrist as we roar into the Chinese New Year.
Piaget Altiplano Chinese New Year Tiger
For Piaget, the creation of a watch for the year’s Chinese zodiac has become somewhat of a tradition within the brand. In the last 10 years, they have almost completed the cycle of animals present in the Chinese Zodiac. The tiger you see here is the result of a 4000-year-old process called cloisonné grand feu enamel. This is done by using gold ribbons to create miniature partitions, or cloisons, in which the different enamel pigments are placed. Then the dial is fired multiple times at temperatures between 820°C and 850°C to lock in the gorgeous colours for all eternity.
Arnold & Son “Year Of The Tiger” Perpetual Moon
For this brand, the scenery of the tiger was depicted with the clever use of a multitude of different materials. The tiger was created by hand-engraving and burnishing 18K rose gold. The tiger prowls on a disc of hematite with glittering inclusions, while bamboo is painted on with gold powder. Adding yet another dimension to the watch, the moon phase indicator sits brightly in the night’s sky as a result of its mother-of-pearl material with luminescent material applied so it glows in the dark. This moon also sits on a dial of deep black aventurine glass giving it the effect of a night sky full of stars.
Ulysse Nardin Classico “Tiger”
The Ulysse Nardin tiger is set against a mountainside scenery illuminated by the full moon in the sky. The tiger glows brightly through the champlevé enamelling technique giving it a texture that brings it to life. The moon and the stars however were created with an age-old decorative technique called paillonné enamelling that sees the craftsman lock in thin gold or silver leaf under a clear coating of enamel.
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Tiger
Chopard chose to immortalise the tiger on the watch with a more Asian-centric technique – Urushi Lacquer. The dials were created by the century-old company Yamada Heiando and crafted by Master lacquer artist Minori Koizumi who devotes no less than 160 hours to this meticulous task. As layers of the sap of the Toxicodendron vernicifluum tree are meticulously applied in layers, gold flakes are also placed to illuminate the night’s sky.