Bulgari created one thing unquestionably excellent with the primary Serpenti again within the Forties. Impressed by the symbolism of the seductive serpent in historic Greek and Roman mythology, the Serpenti took on the type of one of the vital female and charming ladies’s watches. Worn by actresses and essentially the most privileged jet-set, what renders right this moment’s Bulgari, and right this moment’s Bulgari Serpenti creations, so particular, in my eyes at the least, is that the corporate and its craftspeople are nonetheless capable of push the serpent theme, its hand-assembled tubogas building, haute joaillerie execution, and the inimitably over-the-top nature of the gathering proper to the sting. Browse the pictures beneath and hopefully, you’ll get to know why I may wax poetic over the Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi luxurious ladies’s watch all day and night time.
First, let’s speak watchmaking. Bulgari is proud and, frankly, excited to have developed its personal hand-wound, extra-small mechanical motion to be fitted to a number of the Serpenti and in a while, maybe different ladies’s watch references rather than quartz actions. It’s formally referred to as piccolissimo, which means smallest in Italian.
Known as the BVL 100, this tiny motion contains 102 elements, weighs 1.30 grams (0.045 ounce) altogether, measures 12.30mm in diameter and simply 2.50mm in thickness.
It’s no shock that Bulgari utilized a few of what it’s discovered when growing its record-thin Finissimo actions. With the BVL 100’s common part weight of 0.012 grams, manufacturing, assembling, and reliably working a caliber of such proportions is not any small technical feat.
The tiny motion needed to match into the decrease half of the pinnacle of the Serpenti Misteriosi – as a real mysterious watch the place the timekeeping gadget is hidden more often than not, it needed to be absolutely enveloped, encapsulated by the decrease half of the pinnacle and disguised by the hinged higher half that closes and latches down over it.
This leads us to the Serpenti Misteriosi itself, arguably essentially the most spectacular, most complex, and most costly amongst Serpenti ladies’s watches. A number of weeks in the past, on the model’s Swiss watchmaking headquarters in Neuchâtel, we have been in the proper place on the proper time to see two of the brand new items recent out of the oven – they arrived simply minutes after us, having freshly departed the fingers of their fabricators.
So recent, in actual fact, that Fabrizio Buonamassa, artistic director of the model, needed to drop by to see them within the metallic for the very first time, snapping photographs proper alongside us. Come to consider it, in my 9 years with aBlogtoWatch, there might need been only a handful of occasions after I may witness a creator see their creation for the primary time, materializing proper in entrance of their eyes. Past the ridiculously complicated, vault-like entry process of the Bulgari HQ, such particular moments await.
On paper, all 4 of the new-for-2022 Serpenti Misteriosi items are apparently distinguished solely by their reference numbers – the 2 items featured on this article are reference 103558 and reference 103561. Maybe it wouldn’t be a stretch to say every is worthy of its personal serpentine nickname.
Rooted in quite a few historic cultures, the snake embodies a number of symbolic values, together with womanhood, rebirth, luck, seduction, and temptation. It’s only proper, then, that the Serpenti watch winds and wraps across the wrist like a real snake. To take action, these ultra-high-end Serpenti watches use an elaborate model of the Tubogas bracelet building that made the gathering well-known within the mid-1900s. The so-called “double-tour” tubogas bracelets right here characteristic a treasured metallic construction of hyperlinks wrapped round a versatile blade.
This picture simply above exhibits the hollowed-out construction of the person hyperlinks – the 18k gold latticework ensures that the hyperlinks are gentle to the touch and weight (which continues to be substantial for the absolutely assembled watch) is saved at bay. It’s outstanding that even the within, or flipside, of those particular person hyperlinks is delivered to such refinement and polish by hand – this makes one marvel which males’s watch, even at this $200,000 vary, supplied a bracelet that got here even remotely shut.
The loopy factor is that what seems to be like an impossibly delicate object truly is a surprisingly strong one. If you choose one among these Serpenti watches up, the very first thing that strikes you – past some 700 diamonds and tens of hundreds of aspects reflecting mild into your retinas – is the burden: there may be a whole lot of it. Extra to the purpose, it’s distributed inside a big object: The place a extremely heavy males’s watch, say, a platinum Day-Date 40, seems like a comparatively small, heavy orb, the Serpenti Misteriosi is about 3/4 the dimensions of a fist. It might work completely effectively as a espresso desk decoration inside a villa someplace in Tuscany – which is the place at the least a few of these will most likely find yourself.
The second factor is the way in which this watch desires to come back alive and transfer by itself: selecting it up and dealing with is unattainable with out inducing some type of motion from it. Then curiosity may simply take the perfect of the observer, as one begins to tug the factor aside: And aside the Serpenti and its tubogas bracelet stretches. You couldn’t pull it out right into a straight line, nevertheless it stretches approach past the purpose that will be vital for placing it on with consolation. Briefly, Bulgari has perfected the tubogas method and crafted the Serpenti right into a watch that’s really and deeply spectacular in its engineering and robustness. And that’s not one thing many would count on when judging from photographs or picturing the fragile situations during which such a chunk might be worn.
A delicate press down the tongue and the pinnacle of the serpent opens – however first, one may need to admire the sinister enamel that run alongside the mouth, in keeping with some historic and not-so-ancient depictions of the serpent. In reality, the whole head and its enamel bear outstanding similarity to these on Lorenzo Maitani’s early 1300s aid on the facade of Orvieto Cathedral. The highest gently hinges away and divulges pave-set dials and, on one of many fashions, a faceted sapphire crystal that could be a beautiful match to the myriads of diamonds round it.
The flip-side of the pinnacle reveals all of the settings and stones that we may solely see from above till now, together with the 2 pear-cut rubellites that operate because the eyes on the reference above. All these may have simply been hidden, hiding any corrections or errors; however no, the whole lot is on full show.
The heads and their options are menacing and filled with character from the surface, as they very effectively must be on a Serpenti. Neither from afar nor from up shut are these cutesy watches – if this intensive ribbon of gold and the 700-800 diamonds weren’t sufficient, the proportions, the finer particulars, and the general message ship the ultimate blow to most all different ladies’s watches.
Bulgari was proper to extensively analysis historic cultures for inspiration, even when that intelligent transfer in itself wouldn’t have led to long-term success. Over earlier a long time, reaching again to the Nineteen Fifties, and to this point, Bulgari has been dealing with the Serpenti with evident care and bravado – and has not outsourced, however slightly nurtured, the expertise it takes to maintain this assortment in its personal, up to now impenetrable, universe.
Value for the Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi reference 103558 is $251,000 and for the Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi reference 103561 is $274,000. It’s possible you’ll study extra on the model’s web site.