Just days after launching three new Serpenti Seduttori watches in London, Bulgari this week expands its snake-themed collection with a series of Serpenti Misteriosi Seduttori high jewelry ‘secret’ watches.
In addition, and to again remind collectors that its gem-setting and jewelry making expertise is second to none, Bulgari also debuts a series of diamond-encrusted high-watchmaking pieces, including newly set examples of its Octo Roma Grande Sonnerie with Perpetual Calendar, its Octo Roma Tourbillon Sapphire Skeleton and its platinum-cased ultra-thin Octo Finissimo Tourbillon with blue skeleton movement, now resplendent with baguette diamonds.
The latter watch, one of many highlight pieces at Bulgari’s ‘Born to be Gold’ debut event in Shanghai, takes on a new glow with its 40mm platinum case now framed with 3.75 carats of impressively sized baguette-cut diamonds.
The icy bezel surrounds the blued skeleton manual-wind movement that, despite the new carat weight around it, remains the world's thinnest tourbillon caliber, measuring a wispy 1.95mm thin. Bulgari tops it all off by setting the platinum crown with a matching blue ceramic insert. Bulgari plans to make fifty pieces, each priced at $222,000.
Also newly framed in baguette diamonds, the newest version of the Octo Roma Grande Sonnerie with Perpetual Calendar is very similar to the unique rose-gold piece we showed you late last year, but is here made with a white gold 44mm case. New Bulgari caliber 980 features a Grande and Petite Sonnerie, a minute repeater, tourbillon, perpetual calendar and moon phases. Two separate power reserve displays, one for the chimes and one for timekeeping, are displayed prominently on the mostly clear dial. The watch is available in a limited edition of eight, very likely to appeal to collectors in Asia where eight is an especially lucky number.
Bulgari has also re-introduced its ancient-coin-covered Octo Roma Monete, another piece Bulgari debuted last year as a one-off watch that was sold with a chain to convert the piece into a pocket watch if desired.
Where the earlier model was gold set with diamonds on the bezel, the three new Monete unique pieces each boast a different metal (platinum, titanium and pink gold) used to make up its 44mm octagonal Octo Roma case. The Octo Roma Monete’s ancient Roman coin case top flips open at the touch of the crown to reveal the world's thinnest tourbillon (caliber BVL 268 SK equipped with flying tourbillon).
Several new Octo Roma Tourbillon Sapphire Skeleton model continue to emphasize the depth and clarity of the watch’s dramatic design. These new models, one with jade and one with lapis lazuli around the case and inside with bezel and along several bridges, represents the first time these types of stones have been used in watch’s aimed at men.
Rounding out the timepieces seen at the Shanghai presentation are several Divas' Dream models. The Divas’ Dream Finissima Minute Repeater ($187,000), yet another record-breaking debut (the watch is currently the thinnest minute repeater set into a watch for women), is set with diamonds around the blue aventurine dial that features the fan-shaped Divas’ Dream charm/minute repeater lever.
Two other Divas’ dream models, one for the Chinese market (with a ‘paper-cut’ design) and one with a skeletonized dial, are also new.
The addition of jewels to many of Bulgari’s complicated watches is another step in understanding Bulgari as a brand, according to Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin.
“It is important for Bulgari to emphasize its expertise as a jeweler,” Babin says. “This goes a long way to let the consumer understand our brand, which helps them better understand all our products.”