Limited Edition Items Commemorating The Year Of The Dragon
With the new year approaching, over the past few months we’ve seen companies previewing their limited-edition collections celebrating the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese calendar. From ostentatious to understated, blowout to budget, here’s Jing Daily’s guide for anyone looking for that perfect dragon-themed gift. If you missed it the first time around, make sure to check out part one of our Year of the Dragon Gift Guide.
Blancpain Limited Edition “Chinese Dragon” Caruso Watch
This month the 276-year-old, Swatch Group-owned Swiss watchmaker Blancpain unveiled a special edition “Chinese Dragon” Caruso timepiece for the China market. Originally launched in 2008, the Caruso watch is the only contemporary timepiece on show at China’s Palace Museum, and apparently Blancpain is eager to tap into the cultural side of Chinese watch buyers.
The Blancpain Caruso “Chinese Dragon” Limited Edition stands apart from other dragon-themed timepieces that we’ve seen in recent months, most notably Piaget’s “Dragon and Phoenix” watch. Rather than festooning the watch face with golden dragons, as Piaget and Glashütte Original did with their special edition timepieces, Blancpain instead takes a distinctly more sophisticated route, with the watch featuring an engraved dragon on the 18k rose gold rear case.
Limited to a run of only 50 units worldwide, the Blancpain “Chinese Dragon” Caruso is priced at 1.4 million yuan (US$219,682).
Versace 2012 Year of the Dragon Jewel Handbag
Putting its own spin on the Year of the Dragon, the Italian fashion house Versace recently debuted its Year of the Dragon Jewel Limited Edition line of handbags. Developed exclusively for Asia, the collection hints at the growing importance of that region for Versace.
Featuring golden dragons set against a black background, Versace’s Year of the Dragon handbags are studded with precious stones as well as matte gold accents throughout. Each handbag is engraved with “Year of the Dragon 2012” tags and includes a limited edition number.
Priced at 31,800 yuan (US$5,017), each of the 210 handbags will only be available in the Asia-Pacific region, though it’s a safe bet that many, if not most, will end up finding new homes in China.
Glashütte Original’s China-Only “Year of the Dragon” Edition
The Swatch Group-owned German watchmaker Glashütte Original recently unveiled its own “Year of the Dragon” timepiece, created exclusively for the China market.
Limited to only eight units, the special-edition watches feature a Meissen porcelain dial with golden hand-painted Chinese dragons. Each of the ornamental dragons is rendered in ceramic paint made of pure gold dust, and surround Glashütte Original’s trademark Flying Tourbillon, positioned at six o’clock on the porcelain dial.
While it doesn’t have the brand visibility that the most high-profile Swiss watchmakers enjoy in the China market, Glashütte Original, which has produced timepieces since 1845, may just catch the attention of some of China’s watch-buying and -collecting elite.
Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.
New Balance ML574 “Year of the Dragon” Edition
As we saw at the beginning of 2011 with Nike’s “Year of the Rabbit” Air Jordans and a similar line by Adidas, the Chinese Zodiac is a popular theme for limited-edition sneaker collections. Coming early next year, the American footwear brand New Balance will be the latest to take on the Zodiac with its ML574 “Year of the Dragon” pack.
Featuring five different colorways, each set of ML574s features contrast-toned lizard skin throughout the entire upper.
The Year of the Dragon New Balance pack will only be available in limited quantities at Whiz and Mita Sneakers in Japan, Invincible in Taiwan, Limited Edt in Singapore, and NPC in China.
Pricing and availability as yet unreleased.
HP “Year of the Dragon” USB Thumb Drive
Every gift guide needs a budget-priced item, so along with high-priced dragon-themed offerings from the likes of Rolls-Royce, Blancpain, Piaget and Shanghai Tang, we’ve got HP’s “Year of the Dragon” v228g USB dongle.
Featuring 24k gold accents, engraved black dragons and four gigabytes of storage, it is what it is: a localized, shiny USB thumb drive. Pricing as yet unreleased.