By Roberta Naas | February 2, 2016 | Watches & Jewelry
February rings in the Chinese new year, and 2016 is all about monkeying around in high style.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:
Jaquet Droz introduces two different Year of the Monkey watches this season. One features a gold sculpted monkey, while the other (shown here) is a hand-painted Year of the Monkey Petite Heure Minute watch ($37,100). The stunning timepiece features an ivory Grand Feu enamel dial with a hand-painted monkey sitting amid bright orange peaches and green leaves. It is being created in a limited edition of just 28 pieces. Available by appointment at King Jewelers, 18265 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami Beach, 305- 935-4900
This Harry Winston Premiere Year of the Monkey watch ($48,500) is designed to enthrall women with its stunning pink mother-of-pearl dial with gold flecks and a golden sculpted monkey. The 36mm timepiece is powered by an automatic movement with 186 parts, and the 18k gold monkey on the dial is created using a technique similar to the Chinese art of jianzhi (paper cutting). The gold watch is set with 57 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing more than 2.3 carats. Just eight pieces will be made. Available by appointment at Morays Jewelers, Miami Design District, 50 NE Second Ave., 305-374-0739
From Vacheron Constantin, the new Métiers d’art Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Monkey watch ($124,000) is a hands-free timepiece. The hour, minutes, days, and date of the mechanical watch are displayed via apertures, enabling the entire dial to be viewed without obstruction. Each dial is engraved and enameled with a center monkey amid a foliage motif. Just 12 of each version (red or blue dial) will be built. Available by appointment at Tourneau, Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-866-4312
Ulysse Nardin takes a different tack with its Classico Year of the Monkey watch ($39,800). The brand’s artisans at its Donzé Cadrans, Switzerland, dial-making workshop depict the monkey in “comic strip” style. The monkey and the leaves are created via champlevé enamel work, where cells are carved on the dial and then filled with metallic enamel. The self-winding watch is a COSC-certified chronometer. Just 88 pieces will be made. Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-1786
February 8 marks the beginning of a new year in the Chinese zodiac calendar—the Year of the Monkey—and several top watch brands are pulling out all the stops when it comes to creating Métiers d’arts timepieces that reflect these intelligent, playful animals. Legend has it that the Monkey King was asked to watch over the Garden of Celestial Peaches, wherein the peaches offer eternal life. However, the smart simian chose to eat the peaches and was thereafter a symbol of health, long life, and good luck in Chinese lore, and is usually depicted in the peach garden. This year, the brands that offer Year of the Monkey watches are presenting ancient art techniques on their dials and top mechanics inside with the final product being a masterpiece that pays homage to this ninth symbol of the Chinese zodiac.
photography courtesy of jaquet droz (jaquet droz); harry winston (harry winston); ulysse nardin (ulysse nardin); vacheron constantin (vacheron constantin)