I Open at the Close: With A New Micromovement and Secret Style, Bulgari Continues the Serpenti Heritage - Lookbook

The luxury house debuted the Serpenti Misteriosi along with other timepieces during LVMH watchweek.

For Bulgari, time is a jewel. They don’t want to merely create pieces that indicate time, but craft it, propelling it into a resolutely artisanal craftmanship.

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The new models marking the beginning of 2022 are all part of this process. Serpenti, a powerful icon, is revisiting its multiple faces and welcoming Piccolissimo, the Italian for “very small.” This features one of the smallest existing mechanical movements as a way to celebrate alla grande, the 80th year of the first Bulgari’s secret watch.

From left: Lvcea; Octo Roma Grande Sonnerie

The emblematic Lvcea plays with the light rippling across its new pink mother-of-pearl and aventurine dials, which are meticulously sculpted in relief. On the other hand, the arrival of a new Octo Roma Grande Sonnerie is a powerful reminder of the value of each passing moment.

Light and transparency are also the themes of the Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon, a double openworked complication treated in a graphic and very contemporary way.

Small wonder

The new micromovement merits further elaboration. The new Serpenti Misteriosi masterpiecesby Bulgari embody new feats of miniaturisation associated with the jewellery and decorative excellence of the Rome-based Maison

On the occasion of the LVMH Watch Week, Bulgari is introducing four new Serpenti secret-watches revisiting the iconic design from the 1950s and paying tribute to the 80th anniversary of the first Bulgari secret watch featuring a rectangular dial concealed by a hinged cover set with brilliant-cut diamonds and decorated with baguette diamonds.

The new creations are all equipped with the new Piccolissimo mechanical movement, one of the smallest in the world. It was entirely conceived and produced within the Bulgari Manufacture in Le Sentier. The BVL100 calibre revives the very small mechanical ‘motors’ that equipped all women’s watches until the early 1970s.

New feats

Measuring 12.30 mm in diameter and 2.50 mm thick, the BVL100 calibre indicating the hours and minutes is housed in the head of the reptile within a dedicated container.

The Manufacture leveraged its rich experience in the domain of Finissimo watches to create a very compact movement weighing only 1.30 grams. The extreme miniaturisation of its 102 components is vividly illustrated in the barrel featuring a total diameter of just 5.00 mm for a thickness of 1.47 mm and a spring that is 170 mm long before being wound.

Moreover, to ensure the greatest inertia according to the very small size of the movement, the Manufacture opted for a white gold balance wheel.

Pressing the snake’s tongue on the Serpenti Misteriosi opens the head to reveal the watch. A bidirectional crown located on the caseback enables manual winding and time-setting. This dual function operates by means of a system of reversers.

The launch of the Octo Finissimo in 2014 was a defining moment in the history of Bulgari watches. Topping one record after the other for seven consecutive years, the brand has become the master of ultra-thin movements and redefined the aesthetic of the luxury sport watch in a distinctive and contemporary design language.

After exploring the limits of ultra-thin mechanical watchmaking, Bulgari now lays a new milestone in the field of ultra-small with Piccolissimo. With it, the brand opens new territories of expression for its ladies’ watches and celebrates the brand’s first Serpenti secret timepieces,which are embellished with gold, diamonds, lacquer and hard stones.

Bulgari, perpetuating the legacy bequeathed by the first Serpenti watches has reinvented the emblematic reptile for decades. Rooted in numerous ancient cultures, the snake embodies multiple symbolic values including womanhood, rebirth, luck, seduction, and temptation—all condensed within the new Serpenti Misteriosi.

Serpenti odyssey 

The first Serpenti secret watches were introduced in the late 1950s. Several iterations, in two- or three-color gold or combined with steel, followed confirming Bulgari’s expertise with daring color combinations, intricate craftsmanship and unconventional materials.

Square, circular, rectangular and octagonal shapes were adopted for the dial, sometimes evoking the snake head. The pieces illustrate the rich vein of creativity that Bulgari has mined with Serpenti: the scales could be reproduced with diamonds, polychrome enamel or gemstones.

In other models, the scales were transformed into playful “boules” that were soldered one by one to form an intricate gold mesh. The head of the animal was completely different on each model, and adorned with pave, baguette-, navette-, brilliant- or marquise-cut diamonds to give each style its own distinctive expression.

True to the spirit of the Maison, the new Serpenti Misteriosi timepieces are opulent and colorful, with a strong emphasis on the mastery of decorative arts and jewellery virtuosity.

Masterpieces of goldsmithing, their many constituent parts are individually shaped before being decorated, gem-set and assembled. Particular attention has been paid to the overall design of the precious metal structure forming the bracelet and the head to ensure that it is comfortable and light to wear. 

In the extremely elegant lacquered versions, the semi-transparent lacquer is hand-applied and dried, multiple times, crystallising as it dries. The metal of the scales features a hand-made striped pattern, which gleamingly enhances the brilliance of the special décor.

The perfect union of Haute Horlogerie and High Jewellery is magnificently celebrated through a bewitching interpretation in yellow and white gold: the snake wraps itself around the wrist with a double-tour yellow gold bracelet entirely adorned with brilliant-cut diamonds on the white gold head and tail. The animal’s head is graced with a flower set with round-cut diamonds, becoming the incredible focal point of the hypnotic timepiece.

Staring at the world with rubellite, emerald and diamond eyes, Serpenti Misteriosi timepieces give a new highly contemporary meaning to the precious nature of time.

In the pure tradition of the Serpenti first introduced during the 1950s, each new creation captures the quintessence of The Roman Jeweller of Time in their impeccable craftsmanship and Swiss watchmaking expertise.

Echoing the inspiring models, each timepiece is designed to be worn on either wrist: the container hidden within the snake’s head—housing the diamond-encrusted dial and the underlying movement—can be easily removed and turned in the other direction so as to be easily visible on the left or right arm.

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