The House of Bulgari may have started out as a jeweller but over the past several years it has cemented its reputation as an haute horologist. Today, a globally recognised timepiece and jewellery brand known for melding its jewel-setting prowess with highly technical pieces, its latest Serpenti watches unveiled during LVMH Watch Week 2022, are further proof of this expertise. The brand’s latest Serpenti Misteriosi High Jewelry watches not only flaunt fantastic craftsmanship, but also feature the BVL100 ‘Piccolissimo’ calibre, touted to be the smallest calibre in the world at just 12.30mm in diameter, 2.5 mm in thickness, and just 1.3gms in weight.
The Serpenti is a signature Bulgari product. In existence since the 1940s, it was most famously worn by Elizabeth Taylor on the sets of Cleopatra in 1962. Curving around the arm of the wearer, the years have seen several different iterations of the watch, and this year four new references in the Serpenti Misteriosi collection have been added. Ref 103559 has a black-lacquered rose gold case; Ref 103560 has a white gold case with green lacquer; Ref 103558 has a rose gold case with diamonds and turquoise inserts; and Ref No103561 has a white gold case and head, set with diamonds. Each watch has a dial, indicating the hours and minutes, hidden inside the snake's mouth; the dial is revealed by pressing the snake's tongue. The crown is set on the caseback, and all watches get a 30-hour power reserve.
To match the dial and case of the watch, Bulgari has unveiled the manual-winding BVL100, which is inspired by the small mechanical ‘motors’ that featured in all women's watches until the early 1970s. The movement features 102 components, its barrel just 5.00 mm wide and 1.47 mm thick; the spring is 170 mm long before being wound.
The brand has also crafted a unique piece, the Misteriosi Romani, a diamond-studded cuff with a snake coiled around it; the head of the snake houses the dial. Crafted in 18K white gold, the piece is set with 675 sapphires and diamonds on the case, bracelet, and dial; a 10-carat Sri Lankan sapphire sits atop the snake’s head. Featuring a quartz movement, the piece is inspired by classical Rome and is one of the most expensive high-end timepieces ever made by Bulgari. It won the GHPG Jewellery Priize in 2019.
The New Serpenti Seduttori
Launched in 2019, the Seduttori sought to expand the snake-like charm of the Serpentine line with a new bracelet design that mimicked the scales on a snake with a hexagonal pattern. The result was a bracelet that curved seamlessly around the wrist. This year, Bulgari is introducing its three most classic dials with a black lacquer dial, in steel, rose gold and steel, or full rose gold bracelet, while, the Serpenti Seduttori's case retains the iconic snake's head design.
The Seduttori now comes in three variations: Ref 103449 is a 33mm steel case watch with a steel bracelet featuring a hexagonal stylised pattern and folding clasp, bezel set with 38 brilliant-cut diamonds. The crown set is made with a cabochon-cut rubellite with a black-lacquered dial. Ref 103450 is similar to the above variant with the addition of a rose gold bezel and a rose gold and steel bracelet. Ref 103453 is similar to its siblings, the only difference being a rose gold case and bracelet.
The New Serpenti Tubogas
Bulgari has unveiled two new Serpenti Tubogas models; the line is originally inspired by the woven-metal gas pipe, which finds expression in the models' bracelets. The 2022 iterations are 35mm, and are available in a bimetallic combination of yellow gold and steel (Ref 103648), or exclusively in yellow gold set with diamonds on either side of the reptile's head, with a white opaline guilloché dial (Ref 101924).
The New Lvcea
The new 2022 models add new colours to the palette, with their three-dimensional architectural dials crafted in materials that capture and enhance the light. Pink mother-of-pearl and aventurine compose the two new Lvcea shades.
The four watch in the series comprises of Ref 103617, a 28mm watch with a polished steel case, steel crown set with a cabochon-cut rubellite and a diamond, aventurine dial with Intarsio marquetry set with 12 diamond hour-markers; blue alligator leather strap with diamond-set lugs, steel pin buckle. The Ref 103620 is a 33mm watch polished steel case, diamond-set steel bezel, with crown set with a cabochon-cut rubellite and a diamond, aventurine dial featuring Intarsio marquetry set with 11 diamond markers, powering this watch is a calibre B77, mechanical self-winding movement with a 42 hour power reserve.
The Ref 103619 comes in a 28mm polished steel case, steel crown set with a cabochon-cut rubellite and a diamond, pink mother-of-pearl dial featuring Intarsio marquetry set with 12 diamond hour-markers; a quartz movement and pink alligator leather strap with diamond-set lugs, steel pin buckle while Ref 103618 is similar in a few aspects the key difference lies that this is gets a 33mm polished steel case, diamond-set bezel, crown set with a cabochon-cut rubellite and a diamond, pink mother-of-pearl dial with Intarsio inlay set with 11 diamond hour-markers; a self winding movement.