Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be a new way to coil the serpent—Bulgari’s, that is—the luxury jeweler unfurls the Incantati, the latest incarnation of its iconic Serpenti watch.
Unlike the classic Serpenti designs that had the reptile circling the wearer’s wrist, the Incantati—Italian for “enchanting”—instead has it coiling around the round watch’s dial, its head playfully resting on its tail.
For its 2016 women’s timepieces, Bulgari once more returns to its rich archive to create updates on its classics.
Inspired by a Bulgari high-jewelry brooch from the 1930s, the Serpenti Incantati has four different versions, all with 30-millimeter cases. Two come with satin straps, in 18-karat rose or white gold, the dials studded with all-diamonds, or diamonds and rubellites.
The two other high-jewelry pieces have either 18k white-gold or rose-gold bracelet, and studded with all-diamonds, or diamonds and rubellites. The serpent’s head in the rose-gold version is rendered in rubellite.
“It’s one of the most iconic designs from Bulgari,” said designer Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, senior director of the Bulgari Watches Design Center. “It’s not rigid but is actually smooth on the wrist. Even the tail [in the Incantati] is playful and unique. For the first time, it also comes in a tourbillon movement.”
The classic coiled Serpenti with its secret dial hidden on the head has two limited editions, in 40-mm cases of 18k pink gold. The reptile scales in one version is coated with green lacquer and decorated with ruby eyes and diamonds, while the other is lacquered black with emerald eyes and diamonds.
Another classic, the Serpenti Tubogas, was presented at Baselworld 2016 in black-and-white full-ceramic versions, called Spiga.
“It was done more for PR, but we received a lot of requests and orders,” said Buonamassa Stigliani.
There are also two new bracelets for the Tubogas—polished steel, and chrome-and-gold, in 35-mm cases with brilliant-cut diamonds and pink rubellite crowns.
Diva, whose fan-like motif was inspired by the mosaics in Rome’s Caracalla thermal baths, also has two new versions with 30-mm cases, one with an acetate dial and diamond indexes, another with diamond-pave dial with 233 brilliant-cut diamonds. Both sport satin straps.
Lucea, the round-shaped, daily-wear watch that was launched in 2014, has spawned a smaller, even daintier version, with a case that’s only 23 mm.
Called Piccola Lucea, it’s Bulgari’s response to the demand for smaller women’s watches, appropriate for both day and evening wear.
“It’s our ambassador for women’s watches, our no-logo watch for women, just as the Octo is the no-logo version for men,” said Buonamassa Stigliani.
The Piccola Lucea has five versions, in pink or white gold, and still bears the original’s signature cabochon-cut rubellite crown.
It’s not, however, just a resized version of the Lucea, said Buonamassa Stigliani. “We had to start from scratch. You have to reinvent the shape because you have to change the proportion between the bracelet and the case. If I just change the size, it becomes Frankenstein.”
Asked of his favorite piece from the 2016 Bulgari watches, he replied: “The next one. It’s a challenge to reinvent the brand each time with a different material and execution.” Cheche V. Moral
Bulgari watches are available at Greenbelt 4, Resorts World Manila, Rustan’s Tower, Rustan’s Makati and City of Dreams.