1/6 Vacheron Constantin
Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac—Year of the Rat
It’s finally out: the very first Year of the Rat Chinese zodiac watch for 2020. The rat symbolizes intelligence, and Vacheron Constantin’s artisans took inspiration from the Chinese art of paper cutting (jianzhi) to achieve the look of the creature that’s seen on the dial. Master engravers etched motifs of Chinese foliage directly into the base before multiple layers of blue and brown enamel were applied and baked. Limited to 12 pieces, the timepiece comes in either pink gold or platinum and is powered by Vacheron’s self-winding calibre 2460 G4.
2/6 Franck Muller
Invisible Setting Tourbillon
Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller’s Round collection is defined by sleek and sophisticated designs that ensure its watches are as timeless as they are coveted.
The Invisible Setting Tourbillon model is especially notable because of the arrangement of its baguette-cut diamonds. Hundreds of them adorn the piece’s case, dial, and bracelet and are hand-set in white gold alongside blood-red rubies. One of these watches is now in the collection of professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who was pictured wearing the diamond-drenched piece earlier this year at a press conference.
3/6 IWC Schaffhausen
Portofino became a must-visit destination in the 1950s, with influential personalities including Winston Churchill, Grace Kelly, and Liz Taylor sailing along its coastline in plush yachts, before whiling away their evenings in one of the fishing village’s many luxury hotels. IWC Schaffhausen has long been famed for its engineering excellence and has taken inspiration from the Italian destination for its Portofino collection. This 37mm model, complete with a silver-plated dial, is designed for smaller wrists and women who are after an understated timepiece that’ll stand the test of time.
4/6 Bovet 1822
Amadeo Fleurier Virtuoso V
Unveiled earlier this year, the new version of Bovet 1822’s Virtuoso is robed in an opulent 18k rose gold Amadeo convertible case. A Bordeaux- hued guilloché dial is made using a dozen layers of translucent red lacquer, which are painstakingly applied to the metal base before polishing adds depth and a velvet-smooth finish. Its horological complications include jumping hours, retrograde minutes, reverse hand-fitting, and a double co-axial second display. Combining a jumping hour disk and a retrograde minute hand is a rarity in watchmaking because of the complex engineering that’s required.
Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton watch
This skeleton watch by Cartier is a very special piece. Powered by an automatic- winding mechanical movement—calibre 9621 MC—measuring just 5.6mm thick, this attention-grabbing timepiece comes in a titanium case complete with a red alligator-skin strap. Sword-shaped hands made from rhodium-finished steel sweep across a complex dial made from skeletonized red lacquered bridges that form Roman numerals. A beaded crown is set with a ruby cabochon for a final, unexpected touch.
Delicate and ultra-feminine, this pink gold Rendez-Vous Moon watch in a 39mm case not only highlights Jaeger-LeCoultre’s watchmaking expertise but also pays tribute to the night sky with a mother-of-pearl dial complete with elegant appliqué numerals. If you’re investing in a diamond watch it’s important to research the piece’s technical details, and the gem-setting on this model’s outer ring are claw-set, allowing for the maximum amount of light to enter the case’s sides—the result is bewitching. And if that weren’t enough, its automatic mechanical movement made of 265 parts boasts a 40-hour power reserve.