There’s something quite enchanting about Shanghai. The modern cosmopolitan city that at first glance, is a perfect amalgamation of East meets West. The city draws you in with its own unique charm, much like the Serpenti Seduttori, whose launch had taken centre stage in the Paris of the East.
When translated, ‘Serpenti Seduttori’ is the “serpent seductress” of the ever-growing Bvlgari Serpenti family that has been in the making for more than 70 years. First seen in the high jewellery and Serpenti Tubogas bracelet-watch in gold in 1948, the iconic snake motif was inspired by the days of the legendary Cleopatra; a symbol of power, fertility, and the alluring sensuality of women. It is also seen to be an immortal figure, alluding to their ability to shed their old skin and be reborn in a new light. In the eyes of Bvlgari, this translates to #BornToBeGold.
The latest rebirth of its nine-piece collection debuts a completely new flexible bracelet composed of stylised chain links that interlock in the hexagonal shapes of a serpent’s scales. Seduttori features variations in all three shades of gold which are at the heart of the collection: rose, white, and yellow. In addition to the yellow gold and diamonds edition, there are ultra-precious diamond and diamond pavé models in white gold and rose gold.
But what sets Seduttori apart from the rest? “Designing an everyday watch is not an easy thing ... [Seduttori] is an important collection because, for the first time, you wear a Serpenti like a common watch,” says Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, director of Bvlgari Watches Design Center as I sat down with him in a decadent meeting room at the Bvlgari Hotel, Shanghai. How does one take something as timeless as the Serpenti collection and make it a “common watch”? I wondered.
For the Napoli native, “It’s exactly the same, except it’s about knowing the different technologies behind different objects, and the DNA of the brand. If you’re able to play with these two ingredients, you could draw and imagine everything you want.” Sounds easy coming from a man who has designed and led a host of technical breakthroughs of timepieces that has won numerous awards, including the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic which has bagged its fifth world record for the thinnest watch in the world.
It is here that Bvlgari celebrates the beauty of Italian craftsmanship and Swiss engineering, culminating in the glamorous, versatile, and everyday Serpenti watch. It is emblematic of the occasions and events that shape a woman’s journey—and all the golden moments that make up a well-lived life ... La dolce vita.
Five minutes with … Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Director of Bvlgari Watches Design Center
What does the name Serpenti Seduttori mean and what significance does it have?
Seduttori means seduction, so the watch is very smooth with a simple surface and rich detail, and the bracelet is very seductive when you wear it. You’ll see the copy perfectly and the shape of your wrist and even the case is very sleek.
What makes the Serpenti Seduttori truly special?
All our execution for the Serpenti collection before the Seduttori were made to wrap your wrist, which is very sensual and very Bvlgari, but we thought that now we would probably expand the collection with a new way to wear a Serpenti watch. If you compare it to the Serpenti Tubogas, that one’s a bit thicker with a covered case and a covered dial. So, this new design of the Serpenti watch is suitable for
Bracelets have always been at the foreground of the house. How does it differ from this collection?
This collection was very difficult to produce because the aim was to have a very smooth and economic bracelet. Five years ago when we first re-designed the Serpenti, the bracelet was a semi-rigid bracelet and it was more or less the same design, but the goal at that time was to produce a jewellery watch. After three years, we decided to re-think this watch with a different focus to become an everyday watch, and we re-designed completely the case and the bracelet.
Is there “The Jewel” of the new Serpenti Seduttori collection?
For sure, the full version is amazing, but the full rose gold version is my favourite. This time is the first that it’s a full pavé on a Serpenti. Again, it’s a formal watch. I’d say it’s formal because of the white gold and diamonds, and it’s easy to wear.
Bvlgari has received many awards in recent years, but is there one for you that has been your highlight?
Yes! The GPHG—The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève—is the most important award in the watchmaking industry. But even the Red Dot Award and the iF Gold Award are two very prestigious industrial design prizes. It means that the Octo Finissimo is not just an important execution in the watchmaking world, but it is also considered a design statement.
Given Bvlgari’s innovation in creating ultra-thin movements, will we be seeing anything similar in the women’s timepieces soon?
Why not? But unfortunately, the Octo Finissimo movement—the self-winding movement—is very wide, so the case would be more or less 40mm and that doesn’t really work very well for the ladies. We don’t want to make a mistake and mix-and-match movements and aesthetics from genders. So today, our assortment for the ladies is very important and we will continue to stay focused on our pillars in the future. For sure, Serpenti continues to give us amazing opportunities, so stay tuned!