A love of the East, with particular interest in Chinese civilization, has long been a strong influence of the creative vision of Jacquet Droz. This year’s Geneva House saw four varieties of exquisite watches introduced, the Petite Heure Minute with the Fire Rooster, created by experts Les Ateliers d’Art. The dials of the first two models were decorated with miniature paintings in hot enamel, and the other models were decorated using the art of miniature sculptures, with jade and white pearl inlaid and hand engraved.
Bovet 1822 created two models, one in white gold and the other in red gold, both released as part of a limited edition for its customers. Their mother-of-pearl dial is decorated with a rooster, hand painted by the house’s master jewellers. It is amazing just how much detail is traced onto every feather on the bird’s chest, tail and wings. As a matter of fact, the Bovet models have an interesting feature: they are bilateral, meaning the image of the fiery bird can be turned, if desired, to reveal a dial far more classic in style.
The Swiss company Chopard has introduced its very own wristwatch with a Fire Rooster: the L.U.C. XP Urushi – Year of the Rooster. The dial shows the rising sun, flowers and the bird, which in Chinese mythology heralds the new day with his cry and repels evil spirits. Watches made from gold, mother-of-pearl and painted with lacquer by artist Kiichiro Masumura can be seen in previous Chopard works, also in the L.U.C. Urushi series.
The Piaget brand is celebrating the Year of the Rooster with the release of the Altiplano Year of the Rooster model, created in collaboration with the extraordinarily gifted enameller Anita Porchet. To implement the conception of its zodiac design, the crafter used the Grand Feu cloisonné hot enameling technique. Anita uses the finest threads of gold, which serve to outline the silhouette of the rooster’s feathers and a dial in white mother-of-pearl, surrounded by pavé set diamonds.
One of the most colourful interpretations of a Fire Rooster watch come in the form of two models from the Vacheron Constantin collection Meters d’Art. The dials are decorated with the figure of the bird, engraved by hand in 18-carat gold and platinum. The background has either brick or navy blue colour, decorated with tiny flowers – all done in hot enamel heated at several separate stages.
The watch jeweller Harry Winston has used the hot enamel technique for the second time in created a limited edition watch, Premier Rooster Automatic 36mm. Its body is made from pink gold, and a thin thread of diamonds winds around the dial. Under the sapphire glass, a proud rooster, every plume carefully painted on the gold dial disc by an expert with hot enamel.
The watch house had added to its Classico Collection a model with the tenth Chinese zodiac sign. The pink gold dial is decorated with an enameled rooster, skillfully made using the champlevé technique. Ulysse Nardin has specialized in this technique for over 25 years, creating grooves on the surface of a gold dial and filling them with enamel as a colouring agent.
The Sicis steel watch is yet another example of how the Italian brand’s virtuoso jewellers have mastered the micromosaic technique. This difficult method requires the creation of a pattern of tiny ceramic sticks under a microscope. On the clock face of the Red Rooster watch, the jewellery masters crafted the symbol of pride: a rooster.