Cover Photo: Courtesy of Jaquet Droz

This week marks the start of Chinese New Year and the rat has inspired a host of new luxury watches

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Breguet’s Reine de Naples 8955 Cammea

The house of Breguet is celebrating the Year of The Rat with a brand-new Reine de Naples watch. Only eight lucky women will be able to get their hands on this limited edition model, which features a superb cameo engraving of the little critters. Crafted in rose gold, clutches of brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 2.24 carats frame the bezel, while a satin bracelet perfectly complements the chocolate- and beige-shaded dial.

See also: Inside Breguet's New Canton Road Flagship Store, Complete With VIP Areas

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Harry Winston’s Premier CNY Automatic

Harry Winston’s Premier timepiece in rose gold, unveiled especially for Chinese New Year, features a rather artful silhouette of a rat against a vibrant red mother-of-pearl dial. According to the brand, its artisans were inspired by China’s time-honoured paper cutting tradition, and the resulting rat is less literal than many of this year’s other models. Limited to just eight timepieces, this 36mm watch makes for a perfect fit on any woman’s wrist and features plenty of decorative diamonds.

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Jaquet Droz’s Petite Heure Minute

Four variations of the Petite Heure Minute showcase Jaquet Droz’s incredible ability to create naturalistic scenes. The first two models in 35mm and 39mm rose gold depict rats surrounded by pomegranates, elegantly set on a Grand Feu enamel dial. The case back showcases the watches' oscillating weights, which were designed especially for this limited edition of 28 pieces.

See also: 5 Bold Watches That Are Inspired By Nature

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Louis Vuitton’s Tambour Horizon

Twelve new dials by Louis Vuitton pay homage to the 12 symbols of the Chinese zodiac, including–of course–2020’s rat. The version pictured here comes in a sandblasted steel case with a glossy black PVD finishing. Measuring in at 42mm, Louis Vuitton's Chinese New Year models are chunkier, making them ideal for style-savvy men. Their polished steel horns and crowns, boasting the iconic LV logo, ensures that these Tambour Horizons are as stylish as they are functional.

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Panerai’s Luminor Sealand

Panerai has been releasing watches to celebrate the Chinese zodiac since 2009. A distinguishing feature of every Sealander model, this year's Chinese New Year-themed decorated cover is hinged at 12 o’clock. The brush-finished steel case is hand-engraved by Italian master craftsmen using the ancient art of sparsello, a scalpel technique that takes up to 50 hours of work for each watch.

See also: How Luxury Watchmakers Are Changing The Role of Brand Ambassadors

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Vacheron Constantin's Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac

The rat symbolises intelligence, and Vacheron Constantin’s artisans took inspiration from the Chinese art of paper cutting (jianzhi) to achieve the look of the creature that’s seen on the dial. Master engravers etched motifs of Chinese foliage directly into the base before multiple layers of blue and brown enamel were applied and baked. Limited to 12 pieces, the timepiece comes in either pink gold or platinum and is powered by Vacheron’s self-winding calibre 2460 G4.