Bulgari: Bejewelled Time

by Carol Lee

Bulgari’s latest watches are precious moments you’ll want to keep.

Dazzling are Bulgari’s watch novelties revealed at LVMH Watch Week 2023 ­– adding yet more sparkle and colour to the Maison’s well-loved Divas’ Dream and Allegra collections, and breathing new life to the emblematic Serpenti collection.

True to code, the new timepieces are elegant, precious, and exquisitely made. A nod to the Italian brand’s icons from the mid to late 20th century, the timepieces blend aesthetic signatures such as the cabochon cut and the Serpenti (snake) motif with daring, contemporary sensibilities. With this collection the Maison proclaims, “Time is a jewel.”

Divas’ Dream: Pure grace

Bulgari Divas’ Dream embodies the spirit of Dolce Vita – the sweet life in Italian – with striking colours and precious jewels. A celebration of luxury, pleasure and beauty, Divas’ Dream showcases vividly hued gems set in the fan shape of the gingko leaf, a motif found in the mosaics of the famous Baths of Caracalla in Rome.

The union of opposites, symbolised by the gingko leaf, is also expressed through the unique design of Divas’ Dream, where the hardness of its jewels is softened by the fluid movement of the fanned petals. As the wearer moves her wrist, the gem-studded petals flutter around the watch face, sparkling as the precious gems catch light.

A white mother of pearl dial sits elegantly in the 33mm rose gold case with 76 round brilliant-cut diamonds set in its bezel, surrounded by eight rose gold hand-curved fan-shaped petals set with precious gems. Divas’ Dream comes in three dreamy colour combinations: topaz and tanzanite with a matching blue alligator strap; amethyst and tourmaline with a purple alligator strap; as well as diamond and ruby with a red alligator strap. All straps come with rose gold folding buckles set with diamonds.

Divas’ Dream Mosaica: Glamour dialed up

In true opulent fashion, the two new models of Divas’ Dream Mosaica have mesmerising full-set dials with a fan-shaped pattern recalling again the mosaics of the Baths of Caracalla. On the rose gold version, the snow-set dial features a subtle sapphire gradient ranging from pale pink to magenta, and gem-set lugs that echo the dial motifs. On the white gold model, the sapphire gradient ranges from sky blue to deep azure. A polished gold decorative fillet rims this design, against a background of brilliant-cut diamonds. Marking the hours on the bezel are more coloured gems, and set on the crown are cabochon-cut diamonds.

The Divas’ Dream Mosaica in rose gold has a purple alligator leather strap with a gold and diamond folding clasp. The Divas’ Dream Mosaica with blue sapphires proves more is more with its stunning diamond-studded fan-shaped link bracelet, which brings the timepiece’s diamond count to over 7 carats. Both watches are powered by the mechanical self-winding movement, Calibre BVL 191, from the Bulgari watch Manufacture in Switzerland.

Allegra: Sheer Joy

First launched in Summer 2022, Allegra now welcomes two new editions – a selection of precious gems with pink sapphires on a rose gold case and light pink alligator strap; and with yellow sapphires on a yellow gold case and white alligator strap. Like a garland of vibrant blooms, gems of various shapes and sizes encircle the diamond-set watch case. Forming the outer ring of gems are pink tourmalines, citrines, pink rhodolites, emeralds and peridots in cabochon, emerald, oval, and heart cuts, combined with pink or yellow sapphires. The colours offer a stunning contrast against the softly iridescent mother of pearl dial, artfully drawing attention to the diamond set indexes.

Serpenti Seduttori and Serpenti Tubogas Infinity: Sensuality redefined

A creative emblem of Bulgari, the engimatic snake has inspired the Rome-based jeweller’s designs since the 1940s. In 1948, the iconic Tubogas wrapping bracelet was conceived. Crafted through a complex technique that involves coiling several metres of gold or steel wire, the Tubogas bracelet wrapped around the wearer’s wrist snugly, like a coiled serpent.

Just as snakes regularly shed their skin to emerge anew, Bulgari’s Serpenti watches have seen much evolution. In the 1950s, the snake head became a cover concealing the case of “secret watches”. Around 1960, the snake motif took a highly stylised form. In 2009, the Serpenti Scaglie was born, bearing the snake’s sinuous form and geometric abstractions of reptilian scaglia, or scales in Italian. 2010 then saw the launch of the Serpenti Tubogas which combines the snake head and the Tubogas coil.

Inspired by the iconic Tubogas and secret watches, 2019’s Serpenti Seduttori combines the curvaceous case in the shape of a snake’s head and the hexagonal scale bracelet. This year, two new Serpenti Seduttori models join the family: one crafted in steel and the other in rose gold. Both come with deep black lacquered faces and a pink rubellite atop the crown – a Bulgari classic.

Last but not least, 2023 also heralds the metamorphosis of the Bulgari snake into the Serpenti Tubogas Infinity, where, for the first time, the serpentine silhouette is seamlessly expressed from case to bracelet. The modular construction of the bracelet makes this possible – individual rings of unique dimensions are polished, set with diamonds, and then assembled, piece by piece, on a titanium blade. The sparkly trail of diamonds along the strap leads the eye to the gem-set bezel and eight diamonds on the curve of the case, and finally a dazzling snow-set dial. Designed to fit like a second skin, the Serpenti Tubogas Infinity is available with single tour and double tour bracelets.

Images courtesy of Bulgari, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.

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