Public holidays, anniversaries or even just a particular date have long been used as excuses to cash in by some brands, and the Lunar New Year is no exception. I'm sure we've all marvelled at the tat that has come out over the past few weeks, much of it only vaguely related to the recent festivities but with an added equine angle to it and, of course, splashed in red. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a "hater". Indeed, there were a few seasonal products that caught my eye, and no prizes for guessing they were all watches.
We saddle up first with perhaps the most beautiful and least overtly opportunistic Year of the Horse-related release: the Vacheron Constantin Metiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Horse (right). A pink-gold horse is the central feature of the grand-feu-enamelled dial. And to give the beast maximum space in which to strut its stuff, Vacheron Constantin has placed the indicators - hours, seconds, day and date - in "corner" windows. The case is 40mm in diameter while the strap is brown alligator leather. The movement is the in-house Calibre 2460 G4. This watch is a boutique-only limited edition of 12 pieces in pink gold and 12 in platinum. Prices are available on request.
Next up is a horsey watch from an unexpec-ted source. The Vulcain 50s Presidents' Cricket Pegasus limited edition is a rather curious name for a watch and the execution is eccentric, too. After all, it's ostensibly a Chinese Zodiac Year of the Horse timepiece but the central figure is Pegasus, the winged stallion from Greek mythology. It's that eccentricity, though, that lends the watch character and charm. There are two versions of the timepiece, Pegasus on the Mountain (right) and Pegasus in the Sky. Once again, the artisanal crafts have been brought to bear, with the dial made using the grand-feu-cloisonne technique of enamelling (wherein fine strips of gold wire are bent to create the outline of the shapes with the enamel filling in the sections) - not something you would immediately associate with Vulcain. Inside is the legendary in-house Cricket Calibre V-20 movement, which powers the hours, minutes, seconds and alarm functions, as well as 42 hours of power. The strap is made from black Louisiana alligator leather and the watch is limited to 18 pieces of each version. Prices are available on request.
Finally, we have a bejewelled number from Piaget, the Altiplano 38mm Cloisonné Enamel Horse (right). The most striking thing about this timepiece is the rather animated rendering of a legendary Ferghana horse, part of a breed that played a big part in the history of China. The artist who created the nag is the world's foremost enameller, Anita Porchet, so that fact alone makes this piece highly collectable. The other thing about this watch, given the Altiplano in the name, is its ultra-thin white-gold case with the incredibly thin Piaget 430P movement inside. To top things off, the bezel is set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds. There is also a pink-gold version of the watch and both are limited to 38 pieces each. Prices are available on application.