4 Limited-Edition Watches Celebrate China’s Year of the Horse

Arnold & Son HM Horses SetJanuary 31 marked the start of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Horse. Since the huge growth in demand for luxury watches in the Asian market, several top watch brands have commemorated the lunar New Year with limited-edition timepieces. We’ve already shown you Jaquet Droz’s Ateliers d’Art Horse watches; here are four more from three other luxury brands.

The recently revitalized Arnold & Son brand has released a limited edition of 28 pairs of watches celebrating the Year of the Horse, with black or white lacquered dials that feature hand-finished miniature paintings of charging horse, inspired by those depicted in traditional Chinese ink-wash paintings. One of the watches’ dials features a black and a gray horse on a white lacquer background and the other a white and a gray horse on a black background. A close-up look at the paintings reveals tiny brushstrokes that create the rich, detailed texture of the images.

The Arnold & Son HM Horses watches have round, 40-mm 18k rose gold cases, with curved sapphire crystals and sapphire exhibition casebacks. (A diamond-set bezel is optional.) Aside from the miniature horse paintings, the dials are minimalist: just two gold hands for hours and minutes and a subtle chapter ring made up of tiny dots. The movement is Arnold & Son’s manual-wind Caliber A&S1001, developed and manufactured entirely at the brand’s atelier in la Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, which has a 90-hour power reserve in two barrels and a bevy of haute horlogerie finishes. (Click on watch photos for larger images).

Arnold & Son HM Horses Set
The Arnold & Son HM Horses watches (above) and their movement, Caliber A&S1001 (below)

Arnold & Son Caliber A&S1001

Panerai has been creating and releasing Special Edition watches for the Chinese New Years since 2009. This year’s edition — following up the previous models commemorating the years of the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon and Snake — is the Panerai Luminor Sealand, which is limited to 100 pieces. Dedicated to the year of the Horse, the Luminor Sealand (PAM00847) features a hinged cover with an engraving of a horse, carried out entirely by hand by Italian master craftsmen, a nod to Panerai’s Florentine heritage. The painstaking process utilizes a special tool called a sparsello to make the grooves in the steel, which are then inlaid with gold threads. The gold is then inserted in repeated parallel layers and hammered until it completely fills the engraved outlines. Under the decorative case cover is a traditional Panerai Luminor 44, with small seconds and date, and a 316L stainless steel case, water-resistant to 50 meters. The movement is Panerai’s COSC-certified manual-wind Caliber OP III; the strap is soft brown leather. The watch is priced at $23,900.

Panerai PAM 847
Panerai Luminor Sealand

Bovet’s new watch devoted to the Year of the Horse is the most exclusive of the bunch — a one-of-a-kind model that features a detailed miniature painting of a horse, executed by hand under a microscope, on its white mother-of-pearl dial. The watch, called Bovet Amadeo 43, is in an 18k rose-gold case which, like the other watches in Bovet’s Amadeo series, can be used to convert the timepiece from wristwatch to table clock to pocketwatch. Bovet says that this unique piece will go on tour throughout the United States this year.

Bovet Year of the Horse Unique Piece
Bovet’s Amadeo Fleurier 43 “Year of the Horse” Unique Piece
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  1. Steve Cseplo

    If anybody out there is interested, Swatch is producing a watch that celebrates the Year of the Horse also and it’s quite nice.

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