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