Among the six novelties presented by Bulgari at Geneva Watch Days 2023, two pieces stole the show: the Serpenti Misteriosi in white gold set with over 33 carats of diamonds; and the Serpenti Misteriosi in rose gold, which combines the chromatic depth of black lacquer with the spatial volume of navette-cut diamonds.

Already an absolute icon, Serpenti Misteriosi unfurls its irresistible twists in new incarnations. The sparkle of white gold paved with diamonds for the first, the temptation of rose gold, with scales of black lacquer and set with sumptuous diamonds, for the second. Hypnotically poised, a precious serpent’s head with emerald eyes conceals a pavé-set dial. Its heart beats to the mesmerising rhythms of the Piccolissimo miniature movement. The quintessence of Italian glamour and Bulgari’s mastery of jewelry and watchmaking, the Serpenti Misteriosi secret watches are inspired by the rich creative heritage of the “Roman Jeweller of Time”.

Bulgari signals the return of mechanical time to High Jewelry, as did in the past high jewelry secret watches. Two fortes of the Maison, stunning jewelry and ultra-thin watches, are brought together once again thanks to the engineering prowess of the Calibre BVL 100. Aptly named Piccolissimo, meaning ‘very, very small’ in Italian, it is also the thinnest available on the market, designed and manufactured by Bulgari. The extreme miniaturisation follows through on Bulgari’s relentless pursuit of finesse – a quest so far crowned by no fewer than 8 records – and combines it with dimensions ideal for powering high jewelry watches, such as the Serpenti Misteriosi. This extraordinary movement is wound by a crown located under the serpent’s head

A powerful talisman revered since Mesopotamian cultures, the snake – serpente in Italian – has inspired Bulgari since the 1940s. Elizabeth Taylor was the first to wear a Serpenti secret watch with a dragon’s head pointing its mischievous gold tongue. The opulence of this jewel, overflowing with gems and gold, evoked the splendour of ancient Egypt and the sublime costumes of Cleopatra, the role the Hollywood star was portraying at the time at the fabled Cinecittà studios in Rome. Today, Bulgari has revisited the lines of the Serpenti Misteriosi, for lightness and a perfect fit. Seductive, symbols of strength and renewal, the serpents encircle the wrist in two turns – as if to never leave or let go. Eyes of emerald, Liz Taylor’s favourite gem, bewitch with a single glance. A flick of the tongue playfully reveals the diamond-paved dial. Ingeniously, the watch can be unclipped at will, so that the Serpenti Misteriosi can be worn on either arm, and the dial adjusted accordingly.

Each of the Serpenti’s hexagonal scales is cast using the delicate lost-wax technique, a skill dating back more than 6,000 years. 116 brilliant-cut diamonds (32.91 carats) enhance the Serpenti Misteriosi in white gold. The Serpenti Misteriosi in rose gold, by contrast, combines the chromatic depth of black lacquer with the ethereal glow of navette-cut diamonds, creating fascinating patterns. Here, the art of lacquering is inspired by the enamelling technique used by the Egyptians as far back as 2000 BCE, and by Bulgari since the 1960s for the Serpenti. It takes more than 80 hours of painstaking attention detail to polish and assemble the two turns of the Serpenti Misteriosi, before letting them slip through time with their eternal beauty.

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