Monochrome Watches
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The Staggering Beauty of the Bulgari Aeterna High-Jewellery Watch Collection 2024

Bulgari kicks off its 140th anniversary with colourful fireworks and mythological creatures set in stone for eternity.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 4 min read |

Bulgari celebrates Rome, la città eterna, with a spellbinding collection of high jewellery watches congregated in the 2024 “Aeterna” collection. This year also marks Bulgari’s grand 140th anniversary. To celebrate, creative director Fabrizio Buonamassa brings out the big guns with some of the most extraordinary timepieces dripping with the brand’s signature coloured gemstones and his unique design bravado. Comprised of six magnificent high jewellery creations, Bulgari’s anniversary celebrations kick off with a fireworks display set for eternity in stone on the two Fuochi D’Artificio cuff models.

While Bulgari has long been associated with its in-house mascot, the Serpenti, 2024 welcomes a new menagerie of creatures. Referencing Bulgari’s Greek roots and Roman heritage, the mythological Fenice (phoenix) Secret Watch dazzles with its 160 carats of gemstone feathers and an enormous Paraiba tourmaline hiding the dial. Slightly easier on the wrist, the Fenice also graces an Octo Roma Secret watch with a flying tourbillon hidden beneath its wings.

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Ultra-Small Bvlgari Piccolissimo Calibre BVL 100
The Bulgari Piccolissimo Calibre BVL 100, an ultra-compact mechanical movement at the heart of 5 of the 6 watches in the Aeterna High-Jewellery Watch Collection 2024

Another fantastic animal in the form of a Chimera, combining the heads of a lion and a snake, slithers into the limelight with its diamond and emerald-set scales. In a nod to the watch created for Elizabeth Taylor while filming Cleopatra in 1962, the iconic Serpenti is transformed into a dragon with a tubogas gold bracelet and a diamond-set head bearing the miniature dial. Except for the tourbillon model, the five high jewellery secret watches are powered by the smallest manual-winding movement on the market today, Bulgari’s miniature Piccolissimo.

Fuochi d’Artificio High Jewellery Manchette

Portraying an explosion of fireworks recreated with a rich palette of brightly coloured gemstones, the rose gold and blue titanium base of this high jewellery cuff watch features polished onyx inserts to recreate the night sky. A flurry of gemstones – sapphires, rubellites, mandarin garnets, tanzanites, tsavorites, tourmalines, topazes, amethysts, rubies, emeralds and diamonds – produce the unforgettable display. The epicentre of the explosion is the sun-shaped diamond secret watch protected by a large 2.93-carat ruby and powered by Bulgari’s Piccolissimo manual-winding movement.

Fuochi d’Artificio High Jewellery Petite Watch

Slightly smaller but no less pyrotechnical, this semi-flexible rose gold cuff watch plays with a medley of pear-shaped and cabochon-cut coloured gemstones, diamonds, and aventurine inserts, the magical, sparkling blue glass invented in Venice in the 15th century. Like its larger sister, the dynamic arrangement emanates from the sun-shaped diamond dial powered by the Piccolissimo movement, also protected by a succulent ruby that opens to reveal the diamond-set dial.

Fenice High Jewellery Watch

A symbol of renewal and immortality, the mythological Fenice (phoenix) was depicted on coins during the Roman Empire, crowning the heads of emperors. Buonamassa’s extraordinary design for the Fenice comes to life with 160 carats of beautiful, coloured gemstones – blue, pink and purple sapphires, amethysts, rubies, pink garnets, tanzanites, iolites, aquamarines,  diamonds – that are arranged to create a gradient effect. However, the jewel in the crown of the Fenice is the rare 9.78-carat pear-cut Paraiba tourmaline guarding the dial of this secret watch.

Fenice Octo Roma Secret Watch

The most sophisticated mechanical model in the collection, the Fenice Octo Roma features a flying tourbillon powered by Bulgari’s manufacture ultra-thin skeletonised movement (268 SK). Keeping to the secret watch theme of the 2024 collection, the mechanical treats are hidden by a graceful phoenix picked out with pink, purple, blue and red gemstones on the hinged cover of this 44m platinum diamond-set case.

Serpenti Misteriosi Chimera

A divine, fantastical creature described by Homer in the Iliad, the chimaera combined the body parts of a snake and a lion. The secret watch’s beautifully sinuous and articulated white gold body is studded with diamonds, while the heads of the snake and lion are enlivened with vivid green emeralds. The lion’s head with its flowing mane is inspired by a Bulgari archival piece from the 1950s.

Serpenti Misteriosi Dragone

Metamorphosis is an underlying theme in this splendid 2024 Aeterna collection, and the iconic Serpenti adopts attributes of the mythological dragon. A nod to the watch worn by Elizabeth Taylor while filming Cleopatra in Rome’s Cinecittà studios in 1962, the flexible three-tour gold tubogas bracelet imitating the scales of a snake is set with a stream of baguette-cut diamonds, emphasising its slinky sensual coils. The magnificent head guarding the dial sparkles with the light of diamonds set using different techniques and two glowing pear-cut emerald eyes. Like Elizabeth Taylor’s Serpenti, the dial is reversible and can be rotated by 180 degrees so that the watch can be worn on both wrists.

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1 response

  1. Magnificent. It’s not about the money or value. It’s about the color, a profound appreciation of beauty and elevating the craft.

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