Guido Terreni, Managing Director of the Bvlgari watch division, presents MONOCHROME some of the most striking and exclusive creations of the brand, including Bvlgari’s most expensive watch to date or a collection of Monete Octo watches, featuring ancient Rome coins.
Xavier Markl, MONOCHROME – Thanks for having us at this Bvlgari ‘Brand Event’ in Capri. Can you tell our readers what Cinemagia is all about?
Guido Terreni – The ‘Brand Event’ is our most important event we do every year. It is a showcase of the highest savoir-faire that we achieve in our high jewellery collection. We invite the most important customers of the brand to a very exclusive location, like this one in Capri. It is a private event, very exclusive and selective. We develop a high jewellery collection with a theme. This year, Cinemagia, in Italian the ‘magic of cinema’, is the theme. Bvlgari became internationally famous thanks to the Dolce Vita era. In the 1950s and 1960s, Hollywood stars came to Rome, discovered Italy and its lifestyle. They fell in love with our jewellery and its exuberant, larger-than-life style. This year’s creations reinterpret the theme in today’s context.
Besides jewellery, you are also showcasing quite an impressive collection of watches. In particular, a creation that is Bvlgari’s most expensive watch to date.
Of course, we also bring our highest pieces for watchmaking, high jewellery timepieces or high complications.
The Serpenti is deeply rooted in Rome’s history. It has adorned the wrists or necks of women since the era of Cleopatra. Inside the brand, we have interpreted this symbol in a way to enhance the beauty of women in every form. We do it in a way that is very bold, daring in its creativity. It is a powerful symbol meaning rebirth and sensuality. The femininity of the symbol is also very powerful. We always find new ways of playing with this beautiful sign. The Serpenti Romani is probably the most stunning piece we have in the presentation today. It is a unique piece with a rigid bracelet, crafted in the highest tradition of high jewellery.
What is the creative process behind such a spectacular piece?
When you have something that is not conventional like this, you are free to express yourself. The idea was to create a new way to wear the snake without having the snake going around your wrist like we often do. This interpretation of a rigid bracelet comes from the Roman Imperial Era, this beautiful jewellery is evocative of the opulence of the era. This is the root that is then translated into a modern creation with diamonds and colourful stones that are so much a part of Bvlgari’s identity. You have a 10.8-carat, cushion-cut sapphire on the head of the secret watch. You have 81 carats of baguette-cut diamonds and 31 carats of sapphires covering the bracelet. It is a piece of art and it is unique. The woman who wears it deserves to be the only woman in the world to wear it.
Can you tell us about the Serpenti Misteriosi Intrecciati?
Intrecciati in Italian means braided, interwoven. The body of the snakes is made from a beaded, interwoven bracelet with emeralds, sapphires or rubies that wrap around the wrist. This way the bracelet is very fluid and easy to adjust. This is something we never did and it is a new way to wear the snake symbol. This is a secret watch so one of the two heads opens to reveal the time. We play with colour-rich stones and different cuts, so you have a lot of creativity. The Intrecciati watches have been a real hit with our customers in these three days in Capri. It took one and a half years to create it. You see the results only when the first piece is finished, so it needs to be designed very cleverly. Sometimes a drawing is not enough to understand an object physically, so we use stereolithography to understand the volume, 3D printing allows you to adjust the object if necessary. We are very pleased with the result.
Moving to men’s watches, you are reinterpreting another popular Bvlgari theme – ‘Monete’ – in watches? How/when was it integrated into Octo? What are the specificities and main features of these new ‘Monete’?
‘Monete’ are made with ancient coins of the Roman era. It is very difficult to find coins that are big enough to fill the face of a men’s watch. We are talking about a 44mm watch so the coin has to be roughly 36/37mm in size. The coins have to be regular, flat and well conserved and come from an emperor who exerted a positive influence in history. In this case, we have two pieces from Emperor Constantine’s era (editor’s note: the coins of the two new Monete depict Constans 1, one of Constantine the Great’s three sons). Constantine gave his name to Constantinople, known as Istanbul today.
These coins are very rare and very difficult to find. We can only do three or four pieces a year. These are incorporated into a secret watch where you push the crown to open the watch and discover the ultra-thin Finissimo skeleton tourbillon. It is the thinnest tourbillon in the world. All in all, even coupling the watch with the coin, it remains thin considering how it is made. We have been working with coins for decades. Nicola Bvlgari is a collector of Roman coins. Throughout the history of Bvlgari, we have been pairing coins with necklaces, sautoirs, bracelets… Only Bvlgari can create something like that.
Serpenti Misteriosi Romani – high jewellery secret watch – 18k white gold set with a cushion-shaped sapphire 10.08 carats – 674 sapphires (32.49 ct.) – baguette and pave-set diamonds (63.33 ct.) – quartz movement – unique piece
Serpenti Intrecciati – high jewellery secret watch – 18k white gold with intertwined bracelet – one version comprising 80 ct. of rubies – one version comprising 35 ct. of emeralds and over 40 ct. of sapphires – each set with more than 10 carats of diamonds – quartz movement – unique pieces
Octo Roma Monete – two editions, platinum or pink gold – 44mm x 9.75mm case fit with an ancient silver coin – hand-wound calibre BLV268 Skeleton Flying Tourbillon (1.95mm) – water-resistant to 30m – alligator strap with folding buckle