Karina’s Korner — Bvlgari And The World’s Smallest Women’s Tourbillon
Bvlgari brought the mythological motifs and iconic Italian style with the highest precision that created a seductive dream on a big scale — the smallest tourbillon for women.
And, of course, welcome to this first installment of Karina’s Korner, where I will put the spotlight on women’s watches here on Fratello Magazine. I would like to kick off with the new collection of Bvlgari’s Serpenti Seduttori watches.
A Serpenti Seduttori is born
First conceived in the late 1940s, the Serpenti collection has long been known for its strong design. Uncompromisingly elegant, the artisanal aesthetic stands out thanks to a unique combination of vibrant colors and precious stones. But the most memorable of characteristics has to be the Tubogas bands. The wraparound Serpenti design is Bvlgari’s signature. Its timeless style is unapologetically feminine. It has, for quite some time, pigeon-holed this line as a jewelry-first family. But now, in the midst of market upheaval, Bvlgari has decided to revamp the Serpenti.
This luxurious collection brought a more contemporary air to proceedings.
Last year at Baselworld, the Italian house reenergized the collection by releasing a new version of Serpenti — the Serpenti Seduttori. This luxurious collection brought a more contemporary air to proceedings. The classic Tubogas band was replaced by a flexible bracelet featuring an elongated hexagonal pattern inspired by snakeskin. The new style blends tropes, old and new, adapting it for a modern woman.
World’s smallest women’s tourbillon
Choosing the Serpenti range as the carrier for the world’s smallest tourbillon is a bold move. This is a collection historically driven by aesthetics. Whether Bvlgari felt there was a demand for a highly-complicated, mechanically-groundbreaking Serpenti, or whether the brand’s top strategizers decided to leap ahead of the curve is hard to see. However, given Bvlgari’s recent spate of innovation, the latter seems more likely. And while it may prove a little ahead of its time (still), it is welcome entrant to the world of Haute Horlogerie for women.
A manual-winding tourbillon movement in a sexy and elegant style that emphasizes the female form.
The LVMH Watch Week in Dubai last week was the perfect stage for Bvlgari to debut their vision of the future. Here, inspired perhaps by the wealth of female influencers promoting mechanical timepieces, is a fully-realized proposal of what ladies’ watches might look like in the next decade. A manual-winding tourbillon movement in a sexy and elegant style that emphasizes the female form. The BVL150 Calibre is produced in-house by Bvlgari at its manufacture. Housed in a case that measures 34 mm in diameter, the 3.65mm-thick BVL150 operates at 21,600vph and is able to generate a 40-hour power reserve.
The spinning tourbillon cage doubling as the seconds indicator. What surprised me is the visual design of the movement. When I saw this watch on Instagram for the first time, the BVL150 looked like flying tourbillon to me, but it’s not. It’s secured by a bridge made of clear sapphire making the bridge totally invisible.
At 6 o’clock, a sapphire display window offers a glimpse of the tourbillon cage. It is a stark and austere view in comparison to the refined, glittering facade. The dial and the surrounding bezel are set with diamonds. Looking at the 18-karat white gold Seduttori on a blue alligator strap, the first thing we see is the diamond-paved watch dial in a special snow-like pattern that envelops BVL150 and highlights the beauty of the serpent-head case. The metallic blue color and sharp angles of roman numerals and hands are in contrast to the diamond face.
An excellent example of modern Haute Joaillerie in watchmaking…
The diamond pavé case and the crown with a cabochon-cut blue sapphire create what is, in my opinion, an excellent example of modern Haute Joaillerie in watchmaking. Worth noting is also the gemstone-paved folding clasp. The Serpenti Seduttori with this movement comes in three variations. There is an 18-karat white gold and diamond version on a blue alligator strap, an 18-karat white gold on bracelet fully set with diamonds, and an 18k-karat rose gold with diamonds and a brown alligator strap. The models with leather strap have 299 diamonds, while the one with the bracelet, a staggering 558 diamonds.
A feminine statement
But you didn’t think that Bvlgari was about to turn its back on the Serpenti’s esteemed quartz heritage, did you? Of course not! For those who prefer the reliability of quartz, the new models presented last week are also available with battery-powered movements. Given the new styles and movement options there are certainly a lot of models to choose from, but let’s have a look at two models from the collection that really express all that is good about these watches: The 18-karat white gold case fully set with diamonds and the 18-karat rose gold option with the silvery opaline dial.
The first choice is nothing more than a quartz version of Seduttori tourbillon. The diamonds are naturally the standout feature of this timepiece. The glamorous design of the links steals my heart. I’m obsessed with bracelets and this one is very impressive and unique. On the tourbillon version, the hands and numerals are metallic blue and perfectly distinguish themselves against an otherwise monochromatic backdrop. The case is a bit smaller, measuring 33mm in diameter and 6.85mm in thickness. Bvlgari’s quartz movement and 30m water resistance ensure everyday durability, but I’d advise you to keep this watch (and its many precious stones) away from saltwater or any kind of prolonged submersion.
The silver opaline dial gives the lightness to the design…
The Seduttori made of 18-karat rose gold is so elegant and refined. Its sophisticated but modern style features a splendid 33mm serpent-head case with diamond pavé bezel. The silver opaline dial gives the lightness to the design, while 18-karat rose gold Roman numerals and hands coordinate nicely with the cabochon-cut pink rubellite crown. The “snakeskin” bracelet pattern is also made of 18k rose gold and completes this exquisite design.
The addition of the new tourbillon model to an already diverse range gives the Serpenti family a new ruler of the roost. The BVL150 caliber is a real boon to the collection and its addition will hopefully provide Bvlgari with some feedback from their female customers. Is this the direction the industry should go in, or is this assumption another male-driven misconception?
Whether or not the high-complication makes the top-end models a success, the new quartz models should find favor among the Bvlgari faithful. A bracelet option and a wide selection of leather straps is a good thing. I must admit I love the design. It’s fun, sexy, and discreet. And I can’t wait to see how it fares out in the wild. More information via Bvlgari online.