Monochrome Watches
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The New Bvlgari Serpenti Spiga Models (Live Pics)

The coiling snake watch reimagined in three new 18k gold models.

| By Nina Scally | 4 min read |

The Bvlgari Serpenti design has enjoyed cult status since the 1940s, blurring the lines between a piece of jewellery and a watch. As one of the oldest collections in Bvlgari’s catalogue, it propelled the company into the spotlight with its unique design inspired by the body and head of a snake. The most recent iterations within the collection include the Serpenti Scaglie introduced in 2009, followed by the Tubogas collection in 2010. The Serpenti Spiga watch, however, unveiled for the first time in 2014, shows an even more refined level of craftsmanship with an intricate “matelassé” pattern inspired by a stalk of wheat. The complexity behind the design of the snake watch has not gone unnoticed with this new interpretation inspired by an earlier watch designed from 1957 that featured a square-shaped face and modular bracelet construction.

The three new women’s Bvlgari Serpenti Spiga watches are comprised by a single coil 18kt rose gold model and two double coil models in 18kt white gold and 18kt rose gold. All three timepieces are set with diamonds, measure a 35mm diameter and are powered by a high-precision quartz movement.

An extension of the sensual, slithering 1940s bangle watch

With the release of the elegant Serpenti watch, Bvlgari intended to move away from merely creating a female version of a men’s timepiece. Instead, the watch had an instantly recognisable design synonymous with finesse and femininity. The Roman watchmaker took the idea of the coiling Tubogas bracelet from the flexible gas pipe, capturing the mythical symbol of the serpent with a bracelet that wraps around the wrist and a case shape echoing the profile of a snake’s head.

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A vintage example of the Serpenti with JLC branding

Differing from the smooth links of the Tubogas design, the Serpenti Spiga watch mirrors a wheat-inspired pattern symbolic of fertility and prosperity. The modules of the bracelet are each crafted piece by piece to preserve the integrity of the design, enabling each link to be repeated to form its distinct pattern.

The white gold and rose gold interpretations of the new Bvlgari Serpenti Spiga collection combine the company’s traditional art forms in jewellery making with timekeeping, producing a design that balances form with function. The single-coil models comprise 40 individual links cast from 40 different moulds. The double coil Serpenti Spiga watches comprise 70 individual elements, each one finished and assembled by hand. The elements are arranged around an internal flexible spring without any need for soldering to create the desired supple finish.

The Bvlgari Serpenti Spiga 103250

Crafted from 18kt rose gold, this single coil Serpenti Spiga watch comprises 281 diamonds (1.86cts). It features a white mother-of-pearl dial with traditional Roman numeral hour markers depicting 12 and 6 o’clock, combined with stick markers and a set of central hands crafted from matching rose gold. Each side of the bezel is set with vertical rows of round brilliant-cut diamonds. The right side of the case features a cabochon-cut rubellite in the crown. The “matelassé”-patterned bracelet is partially set with round brilliant-cut diamonds, whilst inside the 35mm case is a high-precision quartz movement, personalised by Bvlgari. The watch retails for EUR 48,500.

The Bvlgari Serpenti Spiga 103252

Priced at EUR 70,000 and set with a total of 461 brilliant-cut diamonds amounting to 2.83 carats – this double row Serpenti Spiga watch is powered by a quartz movement and crafted from 18kt rose gold. It features a black lacquered dial framed by vertical lines of brilliant-cut diamonds that run up each side of the serpent’s head, and the hour markers and hands are again crafted from matching 18ct rose gold. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective properties. A cabochon-cut rubellite is set into the top of the crown and the distinct partially diamond-set “matelassé” bracelet wraps around the wrist twice to form a coiling snake’s tail.

The Bvlgari Serpenti Spiga High Jewellery 103251

This High Jewellery iteration is the most opulent and lavish of the three. Its 18kt white gold case boasts a bezel set with 205 brilliant-cut diamonds (2.99cts) and a further 257 snow-set diamonds showering the dial (0.72cts). The two-row white gold “matelassé”-patterned bracelet is set with 425 brilliant-cut diamonds that amount to a total weight of 17.04 carats. Powered by a quartz movement and finished with a cabochon-cut sapphire-set crown, this Serpenti Spiga watch is priced at EUR 120,000.

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1 response

  1. How can a quartz movement be priced so exorbitantly ? Are these movements any special ?

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