Snake Bite

With a dial concealed in a snake head, Bulgari's Serpenti Watch is a beguiling piece that seems to transcend time itself

“It is this perfect balance between heritage and [creative] evolution that has made the icon truly timeless and always in step with the times,” says Bulgari’s creative director of jewellery Lucia Silvestri. In the 1960s, the house rolled out the Serpenti secret jewellery watch with a hidden dial in the head of the snake. The watch is now recalibrated for today’s taste to chime with the 75th anniversary of the Serpenti collection. 

The time piece boasts a fully articulated strap developed using the Tubogas metalworking technique with its coiled springs coated in gold and the latest edition features the snake head and tail embedded with diamonds.  Silvestri interprets the skin like a livery creating patterns from precious gemstones.

The Serpenti collection of watches and jewellery has adorned many stars – Elizabeth Taylor, Marisa Berenson, Diana Vreeland, and ambassador Zendaya included – and to move the conversation forward Bulgari commissioned Turkish artist Refik Anadol to create an immersive work that captures the beauty, symbolism and craftsmanship of the Roman jeweller, now owned by LVMH.

Bulgari 75 Serpenti

@bulgari // Instagram

Tina Kunakey in Serpenti 75 Campaign

@bulgari // Instagram

“Over two years ago, I received the first call and the question was what does Metamorphosis mean to you? It is a powerful question and something which I have been studying and researching for 7 years. The idea of an AI machine dreaming about metamorphosis is the core to the work to create a beautiful dialogue between humans, tech, and nature,” says the Turkish born L. A. dwelling artist who is known for his poetic work that lies at the forefront of A.I. 

To create the Metamorphosis artwork which is now on tour, Anadol engineered 75 million images of flowers and fauna harvested from the internet and transformed into a fluid moving work that is scintillating and opulent. It is a feat of data engineering and artistry. One phase sees petals unfolding in microscopic detail, another the ripples and intricate colour changes on a serpent’s skin. Ophidiophobians (snake phobics) might be a little disturbed but the allure of danger is central to Bulgari’s Serpenti charm. It makes that timepiece even more compelling. 


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