Three New Watches Celebrate the Year of the Wood Dragon

The Lunar New Year is set to begin on Feb 10th, coinciding with the date of the new moon, which will fall at 22:59 UTC on February 9th. This will be the Year of the Wood Dragon, which is said to bring authority, prosperity, and good fortune. We are in luck, as the good fortune starts early with multiple releases from many brands celebrating the new Lunar Year. Here are three stand out releases. 

First up, the Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon Dragon. Since 2020, the Blast Tourbillon has been Ulysse Nardin’s symbol of unconventional know-how and for this Lunar New Year, they are quite literally releasing their inner dragon. They have crafted a 5N rose gold hand-sculpted dragon that coils its way around and through the skeletonized “X” structure. The entire case is made of 5N rose gold and DLC coated titanium. Limited to 88 pieces, it is 45mm in diameter and the MSRP of $100,600. 


Next up is the Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar. In 2012 Blancpain achieved a world first, with a watch that combined both the complex Chinese calendar and a Gregorian date and moonphase. To celebrate the Lunar New Year, Blancpain has engraved a dragon on the red gold rotor flanked by a red ruby. This ultra complicated movement has 464 individual components on 6 layers and its complexity nearly matches that of a minute repeater. The dial has been created in full fired grand feu enamel, its green color harmonizing with the red gold case. Limited to 50 pieces, it is also 45mm in diameter and the MSRP is $70,000.

I have saved the wildest for last, the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon, created in collaboration with Chinese artist Chen Fenwan. Inspired by the traditional art of paper cutting, the hands, wheels and H-shaped screws have been layered to form a 3D silhouette of an eastern dragon. Hublot pays further homage to wood through the natural fibers that form the soul and spirit of paper. In Hublot parlance, it is the perfect fusion of tradition and modernity, combining metaphors and symbols to create a striking and unique design. Limited to 88 pieces, it is 42mm in diameter and the MSRP is $29,500.

As you can see, the designs and styles are wildly different from one brand to the next, as are the prices. It is so interesting to see how each company has chosen to commemorate this holiday, which is celebrated by an estimated 2 billion people across the globe. If I had to choose one of these three, it would be the Ulysse Nardin. The incredibly beautiful and meticulously sculpted 3D dragon reminds me of the amazing dragon dances I witnessed in my youth in Montreal’s Chinatown. In my opinion, this one best represents the spirit of the Year of the Wood Dragon.

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Based in Montreal, Quebec, Marc has been an enthusiastic watch collector for well over three decades. Having witnessed and participated in the birth of the internet watch community, he has played a role on multiple watch forums and his articles have appeared on-line and in print since the late 1990s. Today his passion for all things horological is as pronounced as it has ever been, while he continues his never-ending search for watch next.