Classy rodent watches from Jaquet Droz, Chopard, and Vacheron Constantin
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi
Continuing the tradition of using the Japanese art of lacquering to honour the Chinese calendar year, Chopard welcomes a new Urushi model with a golden rat taking centre stage on the dial.
Depicted with it is an ear of corn, to symbolise abundance, and a persimmon, a winter fruit meant to represent longevity. There are only 88 of these limited edition watches.
Vacheron Constantin Metiers D’Art
If you really fancied the Vacheron Constantin’s Year of the Pig watches from last year, you’ll be happy to know that this year’s editions are basically the same, save for the animal in the middle.
The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rat is still a 40mm digital display watch with an etched 18k gold dial (even the flower patterns are similar) covered in grand feu enamel in blue for the platinum case and brown for the pink gold case.
Jaquet Droz Abundance
This is the only time of the year rats are associated with intelligence, wealth and the beginning of a new day, rather than disease, betrayal and the near end of the human race. Whether or not you buy into the mythology of the Chinese zodiac, it has given watchmakers a chance to play around with less conventional motifs.
And just like it has in recent years, Jaquet Droz presents for 2020 four rat-themed Petite Heure Minute watches.
Of the many flattering superlatives the zodiac’s rat possesses, Jaquet Droz has chosen to highlight the qualities of abundance and fertility in this series, so the pomegranate with its many seeds accompanies the animal in both designs. The first features miniature painting on a grand feu enamel dial and is available in 39mm or a diamond-ringed 35mm, both in red gold.
A more dramatic version in a 41mm red gold or white gold case — the latter set with 272 diamonds — uses a black onyx dial decorated with three-dimensional motifs and ruby pomegranates. All versions have a specially engraved winding rotor to commemorate the Lunar New Year. There are 28 enamel versions available, and eight pieces each of the models engraved in relief.