chinese calendar

Not Exactly a Chinese Watch, But…

vacheron constantin year of the dogI try to write about Chinese-made watches and other watches from Asia on this blog, but sometimes other timepieces pop up that are interesting, not only to me, but to other collectors who might be interested in either Chinese watches or Asian culture.

In this case, the watch I’m going to write about today comes not from China, but from Switzerland.  In fact, this watch comes from one of the oldest watchmaking companies in the world – Vacheron Constantin.

What does this old Swiss watch company have to do with anything I might write about on this blog?  They have introduced two watches that were created specifically to commemorate 2018, which on the Chinese calendar is the Year of the Dog.

The Year of the Dog watches, one of which is available in platinum and one in rose gold, is part of a series of the company’s “Legend of the Chinese Zodiac” series.

What watches they are!

Each watch depicts an incredibly lifelike sculpted dog in the center of the dial, which is either blue or bronze enamel, depending on which of the watches you buy.

The dog will attract attention, because he is right in the center of the dial, which features no hands.  Instead, the time is displayed through small windows that appear at the 2 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock positions.

vacheron constantin year of the dogThese windows depict the hours, the minutes, the day of the week and the date.   All of this is operated via Vacheron Constantin’s own in-house Caliber 2460 G4 movement, which features 237 individual parts.  You can see these parts through the back of the case, which has sapphire crystal covering the back.

The watch case measures 40mm across, and as I previously mentioned, the cases are available in either platinum (blue dial with a white dog) or rose gold with a bronze dial and a pink gold dog.

Only twelve of each of these watches will be made, making them a rarity as soon as they are completed.  Of course, buyers for them will likely be somewhat of a rarity, as well – the price of the watch is quite high:  reportedly a bit more than U.S. $100,000 for the gold version.  The platinum version will likely be a bit more; perhaps U.S. $125,000 or so.

People do buy such watches, however.  Part of the appeal is their scarcity; if you want one, you pretty much have to make the decision to buy it as soon as it has been announced.  It’s possible that even then will be too late.  Companies such as Vacheron Constantin have a handful of loyal, but well-heeled customers who are likely informed about any new models the company might be producing.

These customers are no doubt informed about these models well in advance, and by the time they are actually done being manufactured, they’re likely already spoken for.

Of course, it’s possible that one or two might be available to the public for actual sale.  If you are interested in this beautiful watch (and who wouldn’t be?), you may wish to contact the company directly via their Website.