The beginning of a new cycle is a great excuse for a brand new watch.
With all the work-from-home, lockdowns and travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the last two years just seemed to have breezed by. It feels like only yesterday we were celebrating the year of the Metal Ox and now, all of a sudden, it is the Lunar New Year once again and we are heralding in the next Chinese zodiac in the 12-year cycle, the Water Tiger.
With the Lunar New Year marking the start of a new cycle, it is perhaps a great opportunity to look at kicking off the year of the Water Tiger with a new timepiece to adorn your wrist. Instead of talking about red themed watches or those with tiger motifs, we have instead decided to combine the signs for happiness and prosperity in Chinese culture and present to you nine fantastic watches that have a generous portion of red gold in their designs.
Chopard Alpine Eagle Large
Chopard’s Alpine Eagle collection is one that uniquely stands out among the other watches of the brand. It represents the middle ground between sporty (plentiful in their Mille Miglia collection) and dressy (which is the case for most of Chopard’s collection), giving yet more options to any fan of the brand. Additionally, it also comes with a bucket-load of heritage value, as the Alpine Eagle that first debuted in 1980 was designed by none other than Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the current co-president of the brand.
The Alpine Eagle Large brings back the retro-chic vibes of the 1980s and updates it with modern sensibilities. The most obvious is its larger 41 mm case, which is in keeping with today’s watch size trends. The movement is also a modern Chopard 01.01-C calibre which has been certified as a Chronometer movement by the COSC. The bi-colour design of this Alpine Eagle combines Chopard’s proprietary A223 Lucent Steel, a material harder and more luminous than traditional steel, and Ethical Rose Gold, a material acquired from responsible sources, and has met international best practice environmental and social standards.
Blancpain Villeret Quantième Phases De Lune
Not forgetting the female watch enthusiast, this extremely elegant watch is sized at 33.2mm in diameter offering women with smaller wrists a slim and sleek option that will fit them perfectly. However, unlike most watches of this size, this timepiece offers a mechanical movement instead of a quartz one which will appeal to the growing number of female watch enthusiasts out there. It is amazing how Blancpain was able to fit an automatic winding movement, with a radial date display and moon phase indicator within a 10.2mm thick watch.
In keeping with the theme of this article, the case comes in stunning red gold, and while the reference pictured here is paired with an alligator leather strap, there is also an option for a gorgeous Mille Mailles bracelet.
Zenith Chronomaster Original
For the ultimate watch purist, the Chronomaster Original should be already on their radars. This watch was inspired by the historical Zenith A386, arguably one of the first automatic Chronographs ever made. Unveiled in 1969, the original A386 was one of the first steel watches to be equipped with the now-legendary El Primero movement.
The Zenith Chronomaster Original takes its inspiration from the original model and offers the same emblematic tri-colour chronograph registers in shades of grey and blue, albeit in a case of rose gold. More importantly, however, this watch keeps the original 38mm case diameter which will appeal to those looking for historical accuracy. The movement has also been updated with the El Primero 3600, an automatic high-frequency chronograph movement with 1/10th of a second chronograph function and a power reserve of 60 hours.
TAG Heuer Carrera
For something a little less indulgent and a little more subtle, you can hardly go wrong with the fantastic TAG Heuer Carrera. This has become a staple daily beater for many due to its wallet-friendly price tag and its simple but classic good looks.
The link with red gold for this watch comes in the form of its 5N rose gold plated hands. You would be amazed at just how a small touch of red gold against a black dial can elevate the elegance of a watch. So, if you are looking for an everyday piece but need just that extra touch of sophistication, this is the reference that should be on your radar.
The case is a subdued 39mm diameter in size and is made from stainless steel. And underneath its stylish exterior, beats the tried and tested Calibre 5, self-winding movement with a power reserve of 38 hours.
Santos de Cartier Chronograph
The Santos de Cartier is a collection that has deep roots in the Cartier brand. Going back to 1904, the very first version of this watch was a timepiece that Louis Cartier made for the famous Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont so he could tell the time while flying. The solution was to strap a timekeeper to his wrist and even if they did not realise it at the time, this was one of the very first wristwatches ever made.
More than a century later the spirit of this original watch still lives on in the Santos de Cartier collection. And this reference even comes equipped with a chronograph, a complication that Dumont would undoubtedly have wanted on his wristwatch. The Extra-Large model measures a diameter of 43.3mm and is made of a luxurious 18K rose gold case. The watch is powered by the calibre 1904 CH MC movement and will be paired with either an alligator or rubber strap, both equipped with Cartier’s “QuickSwitch” interchangeability system.
Corum Admiral 38 Automatic
Yet another stunning example of an elegant ladies’ watch comes with the Corum Admiral AC-One 38. The Admiral collection from Corum is designed to reflect the brand’s passion for the sea. To that end, it includes 12 nautical pennants instead of Arabic numerals as indicators and this is complemented by a very unique 12-sided case.
This particular reference in an 18K Rose Gold and a bezel full of round diamonds, and a white, textured dial simply oozes elegance. It is suited perfectly for a luxurious weekend getaway, preferably on a large yacht, surrounded by azure blue waters. The 38mm size makes it perfect for women who want a bolder watch that will fill more of their wrist, instead of the dainty pieces that perhaps may be more suitable for a gala on land.
The watch offers an automatic winding movement with the Calibre CO 082 and is paired with a white rubber strap so you don’t have to worry about it in case you decide to go for a little swim.
Bvlgari Serpenti Seduttori
More a jewellery statement piece than a watch, the Serpenti is one of the most iconic collections of Bvlgari. This Serpenti Seduttori takes the seductive textures of snakeskin and recreates it using nothing but 18K rose gold. The result is a beautiful bracelet that mimics the ‘scales’ of the snake wrapping comfortably around the wrist.
Even the watch itself is created with a serpent-head silhouette in a 33mm diameter. This reference is further imbued with opulence through the addition of round brilliant cut diamonds on the case and bezel, a dial fully snow-set with diamonds, and snow pavé diamonds that run the full length of the bracelet. All in all, there are 813 diamonds on the watch, and to top it all off, there is a pink, cabochon-cut ruby on the crown.
Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton
This gorgeous new watch from Franck Muller represents the culmination of craftsmanship on many levels, resulting in a watch that perfectly combines watchmaking know-how and artisanal crafts. Skeletonising a movement is difficult enough on its own, but when you add the additional curve from the brand’s iconic Cintrée Curvex that allows the watch to practically hug the wrist of the wearer, you can appreciate the amount of technical knowledge poured into the Vanguard Rose Skeleton.
The movement, the in-house Calibre MVT FM 1540-VS15, has a special high-efficiency escapement and twin barrels offering a massive 4 days of power reserve. However, the complexity of the movement further added to the challenge of skeletonising its bridges and to the placement of the beautiful roses. As it is a skeletonised watch, special attention was given to the finishing of the movement, this includes satin finishing, circular graining and hand-chamfering to the tiniest of components. The case is made with 18k rose gold and hand-set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Montblanc Bohème Full Calendar
Although on the surface, Montblanc may seem like a brand that is relatively new to the watchmaking game, in reality, they have garnered centuries of watchmaking know-how by absorbing the enormous talents of the Minerva manufacture. This is exactly why, a full calendar with moon phase indicator feels perfectly at home in one of Montblanc’s watches.
What is even more astounding is that they have managed to fit this complication in a slim and sleek 36mm case within their key feminine product line – Bohème. Adding to its elegance and sophistication, the watch with all its functions conspicuously displayed on its dial, is enhanced with a sunburst guilloché pattern on the dial. The hour indicators and the dots for all 31 days of the month are created in rose-gold, a material that is also mirrored on the hands. For the hour indicators that are not numerals, diamonds have been added to give it just that extra bit of finesse.
Drop by the nearest boutique to pick up a new rose gold watch this Lunar New Year.