We celebrate the Year of the Rat with luxury brands the world over as they launch limited-edition collections to coincide with Chinese New Year on 20 January 2020. While some may view the rat as a furry pest, others see this creature as the dawn of a new beginning – the Chinese lunar calendar believes this four-legged rodent to be a sign of intelligence, success and a peaceful life.
Chinese New Year Collaborative Timepieces
Panerai, Luminor Sealand – 44 mm, £POA
The expert Italian watchmakers at Panerai have released 88 limited-edition watches, each one decorated with the ancient craft of sparsello. The technique is named after the tool used to make the ornate design of the watch cover, which is then painstakingly filled in with gold by hand, taking up to 50 hours per watch.
Vacheron Constantin, Métiers d’Art: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac, Year of the Rat, £118,000 (platinum) and £96,500 (pink gold)
The most knowledgeable master engravers and enamellers have helped craft this unique piece that sees the rat styled in platinum or pink gold. The hands-free Calibre 2460 G4 movement ensures the focus is on the art, with foliage intricately etched onto the time display through the ancient art of enameling at temperatures over 800 degrees Celsius.
Blancpain, Métiers d'Art Porcelaine, £POA
For Blancplain, 2020 is a year of firsts as it launches a timepiece with a porcelain dial. Sieved, filtered, dried and fired, the hand-crafted process takes a lot of patience resulting in an enamel finish, which is painted on with a fine brush. Each of these eight watches features a white-gold case, bezel-set with 48 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Chinese New Year Ready-to-Wear
Gucci, Luna Year of the Mouse, POA
Every year Gucci makes some wondrous creations in reaction to the latest Chinese zodiac sign and 2020 is no exception. The brand’s icon this time is Mickey Mouse and his face covers sneakers, jackets, knit jumpers and even necklaces and watches, encapsulating the childlike feeling of a trip to Disneyland.
Vilebrequin, All Rats Reserved, from £65
Focusing on the rat’s most mischievous and playful qualities, Vilebrequin has brought to life a cartoon rodent in a rubber ring. Finely embroidered on adult and kids swimming shorts and t-shirts, this collection will make even the sternest of souls ready for some holiday fun.
Fendi, Chinese New Year Capsule Collection, from £300
Fendi sees this coming year as a time for a little glitz and glamour. The Italian fashion stalwart has launched a capsule collection of its Peekaboo and Baguette bags in three different sizes, some in sparkling hand-crafted sequins the others in rose-gold nappa leather.
Tods, Exclusive Year of the Rat Key Ring, £250
A cute little critter has been crafted from Tod’s renowned leather in both grey and lucky red. Complete with tiny whiskers, the key chain also holds a golden piece of cheese at the end, so that the Year of the Rat is never left wanting.
BOSS, Chinese New Year Capsule Collection
To celebrate Chinese New Year Boss have created a Chinese New Year capsule collection, a collection that embodies classic styles and signature color ways. The rat ranks first on the Chinese zodiac signs with the characteristics of an animal with spirit, wit, alertness, delicacy, flexibility and vitality. The collection can be found in Hugo Boss Regent Street, Knightsbridge and Sloane Square
Chinese New Year Jewellery
Annoushka x Austy Lee Rings, £POA
To celebrate Chinese New Year as well as Annoushka’s 10th anniversary, the fine jewellery house has partnered with Chinese jeweller Austy Lee to design four colourful cocktail rings named after Russia’s most well-known destinations: St Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Sochi. Inspired by these stately cities, the pieces are crafted out of diamonds, amethysts, pearls and lapis to create miniature domed cathedrals.
Available from Annoushka at Harrods
Fabergé, Palais Tsarskoye Selo Red Locket with Rat Surprise, £8,640
If you’ve been following Fabergé, you’ll have seen its previous incarnation of the Palais Tsarskoye Selo Red Lockets with a monkey, rooster, dog and pig hidden inside the recognisable Fabergé egg pendant. So it’s no surprise that the rat follows this month, set in 18k yellow gold with diamonds. For those feeling left out, the remainder of the Chinese zodiac signs will be released later this year.
Chinese New Year Beauty and Cosmetics
Estée Lauder, Fresh New Beginnings, £28; Year of the Rat Powder Compact, £250;
Estee Lauder is getting glammed up to celebrate this month, with a bedazzling rat-shaped case for its Set. Blur. Finish powder, available exclusively at Harrods – perfect if you’re looking for a light matte effect. As well as this, the beauty behemoth has handpicked its favourite brands for a ‘Fresh New Beginnings’ beauty box for Chinese New Year, which includes a Bobbi Brown lipstick, Smashbox primer and Aerin Amber Musk Eau de Parfum.
Jo Malone London, English Pear & Freesia Decorated 100ml Cologne, £104 and Home Candle, £50
As is the Chinese tradition, children are given red envelopes filled with money to bring them luck. Jo Malone, wishing luck on everyone too, has produced a set of red envelopes along with limited-edition English Pear & Freesia candles, diffusers and colognes for enhanced hope and prosperity, each redesigned in red and gold. Fresh, ripe fruit and bouquets of white flowers make this the most uplifting scent for 2020.
Caran d’Ache, Year of the Rat 2020 Fountain Pen, £3,000
For those looking to sign off their lucky red envelopes in style, Caran d’Ache has launched a pen hand-finished by artisans using a Chinese lacquering technique that takes up to 12 days. Each of the 888 pens (a lucky number in China) has the symbol of the rat imprinted in blue with the finer details coated in hand-polished, 18-carat yellow gold.
Chinese New Year Edibles
Rémy Martin XO, Limited Edition, £175
The signature blend of the famous cognac house Rémy Martin has been given a makeover with gold foiling on the bottle and red and gold designs on the case. Jasmine, plums and candied oranges mix together for a refined drink that is best enjoyed with chocolate truffles or aged ham.
Berry Bros. & Rudd, Single Malt Scotch Whisky 2008 Benriach (Special Celebration Bottling; Year of the Rat), £88
Speyside is one of Scotland’s most famous whisky regions, so what a better way to toast a new chapter than with Berry Bros. & Rudd limited-edition 2008 Benriach single malt. The fresh taste will leave citrus and peach notes on your tongue alongside delicate hints of honey and oak spice.
Harrods, Lucky Set Afternoon Tea, £69
East meets West for Harrods afternoon tea inspired by the Chinese game mahjong. For five weeks, the tea, which includes an aperitif from Fenjiu, a premium Chinese Baijiu spirit, will see unique Asian flavours come together, such as black sesame, yuzu and bespoke chocolates in the design of mahjong tokens.
11 January – 16 February, harrods.com