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This year, the confluence of the Chinese zodiac and the five elements—metal, earth, air, water, and fire—has given us the Wood Dragon, symbolizing growth and progress as well as wisdom and good fortune.
Each year, top-end watch brands tend to release a special edition, realized with a high degree of artistry and savoir-faire, surrounding the current year of the Chinese zodiac—with this year being no different. But while pigs, rats, and chickens are cool and all, there’s something about a dragon that takes on a decidedly more badass aspect. Hence the watches we have below, which constitute this month’s roundup of high-end, “watch guy” fare. (See here and here for previous entries.)
From simpler, time-only fare to a flying tourbillon, these three entries represent the tireless effort of master craftsmen and expert watchmakers, toiling away to building stunning little works of miniaturized art. (We’ve also got a non-dragon watch in there, if you’re after something a little more restrained.)
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon
A limited edition of 88 pieces, the Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon ($29,500) is eye-catching in a distinctly Hublot—read: maximalist—sort of way, but the brand’s collaboration with Chinese artist Chen Fenwan has resulted in a simply gorgeous dial and a unique strap, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. The dragon itself, which graces the dial in wild shades of purple, blue, and gray, is composed of layers of hands, H-shaped screws, and wheels—the sort of horological equivalent of a paper cut-out sculpture created by the artist as a basis for the watch’s design. The strap, meanwhile, is made using a rubber marquetry motif reminiscent of a dragon’s scales, and takes eight hours of handwork to realize. While not nearly as complicated as the aforementioned Ulysse Nardin, it’s an equally compelling watch for entirely different reasons.
Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon Dragon
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