LVMH’s first round of 2020 watchmaking novelties is being unveiled in the luxurious Dubai Bvlgari Hotel today. So what could be more fitting that a quick peek at the highlight of Bvlgari’s watchmaking releases: the Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon. In keeping with Bvlgari’s recent tradition of setting world records in the watchmaking arena, this new Serpenti Seduttori collection features the smallest tourbillon on the market today.
GENESIS OF THE SERPENTI
It’s worthwhile remembering that Bvlgari’s watchmaking adventure began in the late 1940s when designers had the idea of transforming an existing – and very popular – high jewellery snake bracelet into a secret watch. Brought out of hibernation after almost 60 years, the Serpenti slithered back into the limelight to regain its iconic status and has appeared in countless iterations. 2020 marks the introduction of a fascinating tourbillon complication placed inside the diminutive head of the snake.
SNAKES AND STONES
Presented in 18k rose gold or white gold, the tourbillon is placed at 6 o’clock, in the widest area of the stylized snake’s head and the dials and cases are embellished with diamonds (299 total). Measuring 34mm in diameter with a height of 8.90mm, the unmistakable shape of the case is set with brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel and along the sides of the case. The dial is full snow-set with brilliant-cut diamonds and features the classic Roman numerals while the cabochon in the crown is ruby for the rose gold and blue sapphire for the white gold.
MINIATURE MANUAL-WINDING MOVEMENT
The miniature manual-winding movement – Calibre BVL150 – was designed to fit the unusual drop-shaped contours of the Serpenti case. This is an uncommon practice in watchmaking where cases are usually designed to accommodate the movement. A small sapphire crystal opening on the caseback at the level of the tourbillon reveals the diminutive movement that is rhodium-plated and hand-decorated with straight Côtes de Genève stripes, perlage and bevelling. The tourbillon is held in place with a sapphire bridge.
Other adaptations include the winding stem inclined at 6 degrees and located between 2 and 3 o’clock and the special pavé setting of the diamonds to keep the case as thin as possible. The mechanical manual-winding movement beats at 21,600vph and offers 40 hours of autonomy for the hours, minutes and tourbillon functions and has a thickness of just 3.65mm.
Variations on the theme
The new Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon jewellery watches come in 18k rose or white gold with diamond pavé and are complemented with brown or blue alligator leather strap and a folding clasp set with brilliant-cut diamonds. There is also a full-set diamond high jewellery version (588 diamonds in total) with a white gold bracelet formed of snake-shaped scales.
It will be priced at USD 78,000 (103257 rose gold/strap), USD 82,000 (103260 white gold/strap) or USD 151,000 (103262 white gold/bracelet). More information at bulgari.com.