Those born in the Year of Monkey are said to be competitive, ambitious, and at times mischievous. Ninth out of 12 of the Chinese zodiac animals, monkeys can also be passionate lovers with the right partner. Watchmaking artisans have picked up on the theme and are presenting iconic luxury timepieces. Curated by SolitaireLuxe in the run-up to Lunar New Year, we present these special monkey-inspired timepieces.
From Blancpain comes the limited edition Traditional Chinese Calendar timepiece from the Villeret collection. The 45mm diameter platinum case features a double-hour indication, zodiac signs, date and month sub-dials of the Chinese calendar, as well as its signature component, a white grand feu enamel dial. With only 36 pieces available, the self-winding watch is adorned with a Madagascar ruby crown with an engraved monkey through a sapphire caseback.
The Swiss haute horlogerie brand looks to the Chinese classical literature story — the legend of Sun Wukong, or the ‘Monkey King’ for their latest Monkey collection. Adding to the Petite Heure Minute series, the collection comprises of four models – Monkey in 35mm and 39mm and the Relief Monkey in red and white gold. Using engraving and enamelling techniques, each timepiece displays the iconic zodiac against a scenic dial. Also a symbol of intelligence and long life, the monkey represents the brand’s historic bonds with China since the founding father first presented his creations in the Forbidden City in the 18th Century.
Harry Winston introduces the Premier Monkey Automatic 36mm to mark the start of the Chinese Monkey year. Featuring a pink mother-of-pearl dial adorned with flecks of 24k gold, the highlight of this mechanical automatic timepiece is the 18k gold and diamond-eyed monkey with its tail twined around an emerald-cut diamond at 12 o’clock. Only eight pieces available.
East meets West in this Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac luxury timepiece by Vacheron Constantin. The hands-free time display watch features a foliage motif on the dial, etched with classic Chinese iconography and a hand-engraved monkey made of either platinum or gold. The monkey is placed on top of enamel layers done by skilled artisans using one of the most difficult techniques, called the Grand Feu enamelling. The Calibre 2460 G4 self-winding timepiece comes in both platinum and 18k 5N pink gold. Only 12 pieces available for each colour.
A new addition to the exclusive Chinese Zodiac collection by Officine Panerai, the Italian brand released a special edition Luminor 1950 Sealand 3 days Automatic Acciaio Ref. PAM00850. The 44mm diameter watch features stunning engraving work of a monkey on the steel cover of the dial. Using a special tool called a sparsello, threads of gold are then inlaid in the grooves embellishing the monkey. There are only 99 pieces available.