WristReview’s Top 5 ‘Year of the Dragon’ Watches

Here's a list that's sure to bring good luck and fortune to you this new year.


Now that the Lunar New Year (or, let’s be honest, Chinese New Year) has passed and all the firework smoke has settled, we thought it would be a great time to look back at some of the watches we got this year. The Year of the Dragon has gotten off to a flying start in the watch world, we don’t usually see brands giving it this much effort, but we’ve had all manner of watches coming through. And so, in celebration of this, we’ve done a Top 5 article, something we haven’t done for a while, it seems.

It might be a little pointless writing this as, judging from some of the comments, you guys don’t seem to read my writing (well, that’s not true, maybe 10% or 20% don’t, I guess), but the rules are a little different this time. We don’t generally like to give out the top spots in our Top 5 articles to extremely limited-production watches unless said watch is extremely special; we prefer to recommend something that you might actually have a chance at seeing and owning one day. However, this time of the year will naturally spawn watches that are limited, sometimes extremely limited, in their production, so we’ve ruled out that rule for the time being.

5 – Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon

In China and other Asian nations, dragons are seen as symbols of power, virtue, courage and good fortune. Their long and wavy bodies adorn all manner of lucky charms, but their colourful faces are arguably the most iconic. Hublot worked with renowned Chinese artist Chen Fenwan to bring this dragon to life. The dragon’s face is made out of Fenwan’s natural, coloured paper to make this dial work. The effect is very eye-catching, even if I think the dragon’s grin itself is a little creepy. The rubber strap with colourful scales is unique, though.

4 – IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon

On the face of it, IWC appeared to play it quite safe with their Year of the Dragon special edition. Nobody was going to argue that gold on burgundy isn’t a colour combination that works, and it does work here, but it seemed like IWC didn’t do much else. However, this is definitely a piece that’s wearing a sensible business suit at the front and a bright yellow thong around the back (Microsoft Teams meetings am I right?). The golden rotor comes with a dragon engraved on it which is just cool. That’s all we have to say, it’s cool.

3 – Bell & Ross BR-05 Artline Dragon

Bell & Ross’ distinctive BR-05 caused a few waves in the watch scene when it landed, it seemed that most people didn’t know what to make of it. However, with a few years and a multitude of variations it’s become clear that the BR-05 has found its place in the collection. It’s also become a surprisingly good canvas for the brand to go a little crazy on, as with this laser-etched number featuring a dragon weaving its way down the bracelet and onto the dial. Really, the only thing we weren’t sure about with this one is the legibility of those wavy hands, but we haven’t seen it in person to check.

2 – Breguet Classique Dragon 7145

This one was really close, I really wanted to choose the Classique Complications Double Tourbillon Dragon 5345. It’s based on the Double Tourbillon, which is my favourite watch of all time. However, the Classique Dragon 7145 is a bit more restrained in its design, well, just barely. The red enamel grand feu dial, the hand-crafted dragon made of rose gold matching the case, it all just screams class. Not to mention it has a pretty high-tech movement in it for a high-end dress watch. Also, silicone components ensure at least some magnetic resistance and a 45-hour power reserve. For a watch only 6.9mm thick, that’s impressive.

1 – Jaquet Droz Imperial Dragon Automaton Red Gold Cuprite

It was pretty clear as soon as I set my eyes on Jaquet Droz’s latest piece that it was going to take the cake as the top watch of the Year of the Dragon-themed pieces we’ve seen. Even though there were some we didn’t write about, such as a classy Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso and a rather delicious Bovet, a dragon automaton with animated eyes, scales, mouth and tail was bound to win out. Yes, it’s a unique piece, and I know we try to avoid those, but, by god, just look at it. I’m drooling on my keyboard already and I’m not sure Apple Care will cover it. Oh well. Look, I don’t really have anything else to say about this one. Just head on over to Jaquet Droz’s website and watch the video, it’ll explain everything.

That wraps up our favourite watches that follow the Year of the Dragon. We hope all of our readers in China (and those who aren’t there but celebrate it) had a great time, and we wish them all the best for the new year. I need a lie down after that Jaquet Droz; see you in the comments section.