5 of the best Year of the Monkey watches


Ulysse Nardin Year of the Monkey Classico

Chinese New Year takes place on February 8 2016 and to celebrate many fine watchmakers have taken inspiration from the Year of the Monkey to produce fun, charming and undeniably beautiful timepieces. The ninth animal in the Chinese zodiac, the monkey has many different historical and cultural meanings that have resulted in a surprising range of designs and depictions created using some the world’s most intricate artistic techniques. Why not swap your classic black-tie watch or super accurate chronometer for one of the best Year of the Monkey fine watches this month?

Ulysse Nardin Year of the Monkey Classico

Said to be playful and happy, Ulysse Nardin’s monkey is drawn in a witty, cartoonish design aimed at capturing the animal’s lively spirit. Rendered in the rare and difficult champlevé method of enamelling, the golden monkey stands out against a black background on this timeless piece.

Case: 18 karat rose gold, 40mm

Strap: Leather

Movement: Self-winding UN-815

Water resistant: 50 metres

Limited Edition: 88


Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art La Légende du Zodiaque Chinois Year of the Monkey

Inspired by traditional paper cutting crafts found in both China and Switzerland, Vacheron Constantin’s Year of the Monkey watch is created through a dual process of engraving and enamelling. First, a classic Chinese leaf pattern in etched directly on to the dial before Grande Feu enamelling is used in layers to create this inquisitive and reflective monkey.

Case: Platinum or 18 karat pink gold, 40mm

Strap: Alligator

Movement: Calibre 2460 G4 automatic

Water resistant: 30 metres

Limited Edition: 12 platinum and 12 pink gold


Harry Winston Premier Monkey Automatic 36mm

Bright, colourful and feminine, this ladies watch from Harry Winston is the ideal celebratory piece. The pink mother-of-pearl dial is appliqued with a marquise-cut monkey in 18 karat gold with a diamond eye to create a scene inspired by the traditional Chinese art of Jianzhi.

Case: Rose gold, 36mm

Strap: Leather

Movement: Mechanical calibre HW2008 automatic

Jewels: 76 diamonds totalling 2.56 carats

Water resistant: 30 metres

Limited edition: 8


Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi “Year of the Monkey”

The eighth in the Urushi series created by master Japanese lacquer artist Kiichiro Masumara, Chopard’s Year of the Monkey watch depicts a more lifelike animal picking fruit from the branch of a tree as the sun sets behind it. The painstaking layering process used to create the watch was done in collaboration with Yamada Heiando, the official purveyor to the Japanese imperial family, and executed by Urushi master Minori Zoizumi under the supervision of Masumara.

Case: 18 karat rose gold, 39.5mm

Strap: Alligator

Movement: L.U.C 96.17-L automatic

Water resistant: 30 metres


Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Relief Monkey

One of our hottest luxury watch brands to look out for in 2016, Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz has created, not one, but two Year of the Monkey timepieces. Both based on the popular Petit Heure Minute timepiece, the Relief Monkey features an intricate dial created from black lacquer, onyx, gold and mother-of-pearl. As with Chopard’s timepiece, the monkey is depicted with peaches as is traditional in Chinese culture and created from hand-engraved red gold.

The more classic Monkey timepiece also depicts the animal swinging among peach trees but is this time created through Grande Feu enamelling and miniature painting on an ivory dial. Both pieces also feature a hand-engraved red gold monkey inside the sapphire crystal caseback.

Case: 18 karat red gold, 41mm (Relief Monkey), 39mm (Monkey)

Strap: Alligator

Movement: Calibre 2653 self-winding

Water resistant: 30 metres

Limited edition: 28 of each version