Jewellery

The best Year of the Dragon jewellery to celebrate Chinese New Year 2024

Whether you know it as Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, 2024 sees the zodiac enter the sign of the dragon on 10 February. Embodying good fortune, health and strength in many Asian cultures, the dragon is also a powerful and age-old motif in the world of fine jewellery

4 January 2024

By Kim Parker

Celebrated for three and a half thousand years, the Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year, is the most important festival across much of Eastern Asia – a time for celebration, feasting and spending time with loved ones. According to the lunar calendar, 2024 marks the start of the year of the dragon and, unlike their terrifying counterparts from Western-based mythologies such as those portrayed in House of the Dragon, these magical creatures are benevolent – associated with nobility, power, good health, vitality, luck and leadership.

The dragon’s place in the Chinese zodiac cycle of 12 different animals is determined by an ancient legend in which the Jade Emperor, an important deity in traditional Chinese religions, organised a race and invited all of the world’s animals to take part. Only 12 creatures showed up at the starting line (a dog, pig, rooster, monkey, sheep, snake, dragon, horse, rabbit, tiger, rat and an ox) so the Emperor named a year in the zodiac for each of them. The race would determine the order in which their years would occur.

Part of the celestial race including the forging of an enormous river. The cunning rat, after hitching a ride on the amiable ox as it crossed the water, was able to dash across the finish line first, which is why it is the first creature in the Chinese zodiac cycle, followed by the ox. Next up came the tiger, rabbit, dragon (the only mythical creature in the line-up), snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and, finally, the pig (which, according to lore, fell asleep after a snack and crossed the finish line in last place).

Those born under the sign of the dragon are said to be intelligent, charismatic, powerful, confident and fortunate – made even more so by the presence of gold, one of their lucky colours. So if you know any dragons, this is their year and we’ve rounded up the loveliest dragon-themed jewellery and watches to celebrate them.

Piaget

High jewellery year of the dragon brooch by Piaget, price on request.
High jewellery dragon brooch by Piaget, price on request.

Piaget has created a capsule collection of high jewellery to celebrate Lunar New Year 2024, including a one-of-a-kind dragon brooch featuring a cushion-cut yellow sapphire, spessartine garnet and spinel, which took the house over eight months to source and colour match.

Anna Hu

Anna Hu dragon ring
Sapphire dragon ring by Anna Hu, price on request

Tawainese-American designer Anna Hu has created a show-stopping cocktail ring in the form of a dragon’s tail with coloured sapphires, diamonds and Paraiba tourmalines coiled around a central royal blue Burmese sapphire weighing 24.57 carats.

Cece Jewellery

Cece Jewellery dragon pendant
Cece Jewellery yellow gold, enamel and diamond dragon pendant, £1950.

British jeweller Cece Fein Hughes’ pendant features a diminutive, hand-enamelled dragon framed with twinkling white diamond stars.

Loquet London

Loquet London dragon charm for Lunar New Year 2024
Loquet London dragon charm

This tiny yellow gold charm would make the perfect addition to any lucky locket for Lunar New Year 2024.

Jessica de Lotz

Dragon ring
Jessica de Lotz House of the Dragon ring, £1,495

Inspired by House of the Dragon, which will return to our television screens later this summer, Jessica de Lotz’s 9k gold ring is actually modelled on a piece crafted for King Viserys I to wear throughout the HBO series and features the Targaryen family crest – a many-headed dragon.

Anita Ko

Anita Ko dragon pendant for Lunar New Year 2024
Anita Ko Lucky Dragon Talisman, from £5,627.

Award-winning Los Angeles designer Anita Ko has fashioned a ‘Lucky Dragon Talisman’, which is hand-engraved and available with and without a ring of white diamonds. Like many Chinese dragons, it is depicted chasing a flaming ‘pearl’ (here represented by a diamond), a symbol of wisdom, spiritual energy, prosperity and immortality.

Patcharavipa

Patcharavipa dragon pendant for Lunar New Year 2024
Patcharavipa dragon pendant, £820

Crafted in warm yellow gold from Thailand, Patcharavipa’s tiny dragon necklace features the maker’s signature organic texture.

Pragnell

Year of the Dragon jewellery
Pragnell Scythian style dragon’s head hinged bangle, £8,150

Inspired by the Scythians – who crafted animalistic works of art in gold in Central Asia between the 7th and 3rd centuries BC – this ornate, 22k gold bangle features a dragon’s head at each of its ends.

Mikimoto

Mikimoto year of the Dragon pearl ring
Mikimoto year of the Dragon pearl ring, price on request

Japanese jeweller Mikimoto has crafted an 18k yellow gold ring into a ruby-eyed, writhing dragon curled possessively around a luminous golden South Sea pearl.

Breguet

Breguet watch
Breguet Classique Dragon 7145 limited-edition timepiece, price on request

Though many still consider it bad luck to give clocks as presents during Chinese New Year (apparently, it feels like you’re reminding the recipient of their limited time left on earth), some traditionalists are softening their stance on the giving of wrist watches, which remain popular luxury gifts in Asia. A limited run of eight Breguet Classique models have been giving a fabulous new year makeover for the year of the dragon, with lucky red grand feu enamel dials featuring hand-engraved rose appliqué dragons coiled protectively around their pearls of immortality.

Hublot

HUBLOT SPIRIT OF BIG BANG TITANIUM DRAGON for lunar new year 2024
HUBLOT SPIRIT OF BIG BANG TITANIUM DRAGON

With inspiration taking from the ancient Chinese art of paper cutting, Hublot’s Spirit of Big Bang watch was created in collaboration with the Guangzhou and Foshan-based paper artist, Chen Fenwan. A limited-edition titanium model (just 88 will be made), it features a three-dimensional dragon’s face on its dial, cleverly formed by layering up its colourful hands, wheels, cogs and screws. Additionally, the piece has a rubber strap with a marquetry design to emulate the dragon’s scaly body.

Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin watch
Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon Dragon, price on request

Ulysse Nardin’s latest Blast Tourbillon features another take on the myth of a fearsome dragon guarding its beloved pearl of wisdom. The timepiece features a hand-sculpted and painted rose gold beast (its hue matching the rose gold upper watch case), snaking its way over a skeletonised dial towards a gleaming mother-of-pearl orb set at the 6 o’clock position, right above the cage of a flying tourbillon.

Bamford London

Bamford year of the dragon watch
Bamford London B80 Year of the Dragon watch, £1,800

Created in collaboration with The Dial Artist (AKA the UK-based designer Chris Alexander, who specialises in bespoke watch dials), 24 of these limited-edition Bamford B80 titanium watches have been launched to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. The roaring beasts that adorn each timepiece take over 20 hours to hand paint and feature luminous eyes and horns that glow in the dark.

Like this? Check out the dazzling timepieces launched to celebrate the Lunar New Year in 2023