An open letter to Bulgari: Please consider making this version of the Serpenti, and I’ll buy one An open letter to Bulgari: Please consider making this version of the Serpenti, and I’ll buy one

An open letter to Bulgari: Please consider making this version of the Serpenti, and I’ll buy one

Zach Blass

Editor’s note: When I was in Dubai recently for Dubai Watch Week, I had the chance to try on a Bulgari Serpenti in rose gold and white ceramic. The owner of the watch, Eleonor of @theiofj was more than happy to oblige, and I swapped her for my 15500 Royal Oak. It wasn’t just for a laugh. I had never seen the watch executed in white ceramic, and for me, it changed everything. Made it somehow less of a straight-up jewellery piece, and more of a sleek, matt white statement that deeply appealed. When Zach leaned across the table to take a closer look as I filmed it on my wrist, he said words to the effect of “I would”. When this piece was filed, I had a flashback. He wasn’t kidding. He really would. But only on these conditions. – Andrew 

In a watch-collecting world where purchases, and as result designs, have become increasingly homogenised, I have a growing urge to own and wear something totally out of the box. Some may chalk it up to being some sort of NYC hipster who needs to feel different, but I personally feel its something more meaningful than being different for the sake of it. Over the last year or so, I have genuinely pondered how a Bulgari Serpenti timepiece could fit in my collection and on my wrist, but I haven’t found the courage or exact design that brings me to the precipice of pulling the trigger just yet. Previously, I found myself trying to fit the piece to my wrist rather than it being a genuine match. The elements, while there, didn’t tick every box. But, with the latest iterations of the Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi introduced this past LVMH Watch Week, I feel like I am getting much closer to something that would be a much more organic match – less forced, and more of a genuine possibility.

Image: WearPumps

So, where does my intrigue for a watch with a strap that wraps around the wrist come from? Well, back when I had purchased my Apple Watch Hermes Edition, I knew I wanted a barenia brown strap configuration. The remaining choice, after dialling in on the color I wanted, was to decide between a single tour strap or less conventional for men double tour strap. I admit, I just didn’t have the confidence to pull off the double tour. So I ultimately went with the single tour configuration, but as a result I never really got closure as to whether or not it would work for me. After all, you never know unless you try.

Image: Just Jared

While less common, men rocking a double tour strap from Hermes is not unprecedented. It just requires a certain swagger and confidence. As pictured above on the wrist of Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller, it can definitely be done and in a manner that really works. Looking at this pap shot of Wentworth, it definitely has a sort of European vibe. But by European I guess I mean fashion-forward, not out of place – instead a bit classy rock n’ roll if anything. Men have definitely sported leather cuffs in the past, heck we are all too familiar with the bund strap at the end of the day. So there is a definite precedent for  having some extra leather on the wrist.

Fast forward to Dubai Watch Week, years later, I actually had the pleasure of trying on Eleonor Picciotto’s (ambassador of Ms. Rake, and the founder of the Eye of Jewelry and Maison Romae) white ceramic and gold Serpenti during a close of ceremonies press dinner. While I enjoyed it on the wrist, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was wearing someone else’s watch – it just couldn’t feel like my own. This sense of disconnect was only further heightened by the fact that only the day prior or so, during an horology forum panel, where the subject of watches and gender were discussed, Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Bulgari’s Creative Director, did unequivocally state that the collection is designed for women – with no plans to design a Serpenti line with men in mind. But, for me it is not an issue of labelling. Ultimately, it is just a matter of personal taste. I don’t particularly love the idea of diamonds, and with a quartz movement there was not as much internal intrigue as I had with the externals.

Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi

And this is where the latest Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi collection comes into play. The stronger, more scaly, design piques my intrigue that much more. But, externally my sense of appreciation was always there to be fair. Internally, however, we now have a new mechanical caliber, micro-mechanical to be precise, that is one of the smallest in the world – 12.3mm in diameter and 2.5mm thick. While very small, the new in-house Piccolissimo BVL100 calibre is very nicely decorated with curvaceous and angular chamfers to the frosted bridges and even has a white-gold balance wheel.

Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi

The configuration that really invigorated this desire to find a Serpenti for me is the new Misteriosi in rose gold with black lacquered scales. While not 100% to my ideal design, it is really dang close. To mitigate cost, I would want to replace the rose gold with stainless steel – as I am not Mr Moneybags at the end of the day. I would replace the mother of pearl dial with a black dial, perhaps onyx, with white toned hands instead of rose gold. I would also prefer there to be no diamonds throughout – not on the dial, surrounding bezel, nor the eyes. I don’t know if this would be too tacky, but hey this is my dream hypothetical, I would love to see the diamond snake eyes replaced with SuperLuminova® eyes that would glow brightly in darkness. I think it would be pretty fierce, and would make a visual statement in the darkness when the black scales are less in view.

Now my tweaks could be construed as making a more traditionally feminine design more masculine. But I think, if anything, it makes it have more unisex potential – visually more approachable to all gender identities. At the end of the day where I am left at is: it’s a vibe, it’s different, it’s doable. So game on Bulgari, I am certainly curious to spend some time with one for a week on the wrist.

Serpenti Misteriosi High Jewellery Collection specifications:

Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi

Case Materials
Black-lacquered rose gold, green-lacquered white gold set with diamonds, rose gold set with brilliant-cut diamonds and turquoise inserts, white gold case and head set with 626 round brilliant-cut diamonds. 2 pear-cut rubellites, emeralds, or diamonds for the eyes.
Case Diameter
Secret Dial
BVL 100 Piccolissimo manual-wind calibre
Power Reserve 30 hours
Complications Hours and minutes
Double Tour Bracelet with varying precious metals, lacquers, and diamond-settings