12. time-keeper


A summer read: Bulgari Cinemagia

HIGH-END JEWELLERY & TIMEPIECES

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August 2019


A summer read: Bulgari Cinemagia

Every year, Bulgari selects a theme with which to showcase its creativity and craftsmanship in extraordinary jewellery and timepieces. This year’s event is devoted to the magic of cinema. Among the products in the spotlight is the most expensive Bulgari timepiece ever.

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ummer in Capri: an obligatory destination for cinema stars. It’s also the place chosen by Bulgari for this year’s annual brand presentation, under the theme “Cinemagia” or the “magic of cinema”.

Europa Star attended the event, where we took the opportunity to interview Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, the director of watch design at the Italian brand. “The concept of Cinemagia is based on La Dolce Vita,” he explained. The 1950s was a time when Rome became “Hollywood on the Tiber”, decked out in a riot of colour. It also during this period that Bulgari became a whole new and different brand, as the jeweller to movie stars such as Sofia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor. Cinemagia pays tribute to La Dolce Vita.”

Beyond the ties between jewellery and the seventh art, it is also – as always with Bulgari – a tribute to the city of Rome, where every hole in the ground reveals new secrets of civilisation. Similarly, the Italian brand aims at crafting multi-layered creations, with the use of various colours, mother-of-pearl and mosaic.

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, director of watch design at Bulgari
Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, director of watch design at Bulgari
© Xavier Markl

The highlight of the creations introduced during the Cinemagia brand event was without a doubt the Serpenti Misteriosi Romani, Bulgari’s most expensive high-end timepiece ever made, with a price tag of almost two million euros. Indeed, the Serpenti secret watches represent the pinnacle of Bulgari’s stylistic expression. This one-of-a-kind creation comprises a massive number of precious stones — the snakehead is crowned with a 10-carat Sri Lankan sapphire, and a total of more than 60 carats of diamonds and 35 carats of sapphires form the snake’s body and scales.

Serpenti Misteriosi Romani, the most expensive high-end watch ever made by Bulgari, costing almost €2 million
Serpenti Misteriosi Romani, the most expensive high-end watch ever made by Bulgari, costing almost €2 million
Technical specifications: Serpenti Misteriosi Romani High-Jewellery secret watch in 18 karat white gold set with 1 cushion-cut sapphire (10.83 ct), 674 buff-top cut sapphires (32.49 ct), baguette and pavé-set diamonds (63.33 ct) on the case, bracelet and dial. Pear-shaped sapphire eyes (0.70 ct). Pavé-set diamond dial. Quartz movement, Bvlgari customised and embellished with Bvlgari logo. Unique piece.

The piece also echoes Bulgari’s Roman roots, emblematic of ancient gladiators and antique jewels. The cuff, as sensuous as its inspiration, features a snake sinuously coiled around it. To reinforce the theme, the cuff is embellished with baguette-cut diamond scales, so that the wrist inhabits the design and becomes part of the snake itself.

The snakehead is crowned with a 10-carat Sri Lankan sapphire, and a total of more than 60 carats of diamonds and 35 carats of sapphires form the snake’s body and scales.

“Every time we imagine a new collection of high jewellery watches, our goal is to introduce something unexpected,” states Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani. “We like to play around with the Serpenti, because we have so different possibilities of styles with this theme. When I create, my inspiration comes above all from emotions. I am Italian, I was born in Naples; this is my house, my home, and also my inspiration! When you visit Capri and you see all these yellow lemons, a lot of green colours, and the blue of the water, there is so much to do, intertwining emotions with the heritage of Bulgari.”

“When you visit Capri and you all these yellow lemons, a lot of green colours, the blue of the water, there is so much to do, intertwining emotions with the heritage of Bulgari.”

Other striking high jewellery timepieces were introduced under the auspices of Cinemagia. Among them is the Serpenti Misteriosi Intrecciati, directly inspired by Bulgari’s archives (check out our newly digitised archives, which include many pages on Bulgari’s creations from the 1950s).

This timepiece features a completely new design that combines Serpenti with beads to create an unexpected and striking effect. Bulgari has used beads in its jewellery creations for decades: easy to wear, their handcrafted feel exudes richness and femininity. The latest Serpenti Misteriosi features a beaded interwoven bracelet that wraps around the wrist.

The Serpenti Misteriosi Intrecciati, directly inspired by Bulgari's archives, features a completely new design that combines Serpenti with beads.
The Serpenti Misteriosi Intrecciati, directly inspired by Bulgari’s archives, features a completely new design that combines Serpenti with beads.
Technical specifications: Serpenti Misteriosi Intrecciati High-Jewellery secret watch in 18 karat white gold with interwoven bracelet set with 365 ruby beads (91.27 ct) and round brilliant-cut diamonds.18 karat white gold snakesheads set with round brilliant-cut diamonds, 17 marquise-cut diamonds, 3 marquise-cut rubies (2.65 ct), 1 round brilliant-cut ruby (0.76 ct), 4 pear-shaped ruby eyes (2.65 ct). Pavé-set diamond dial (0.28 ct). Quartz movement, Bvlgari customised and embellished with Bvlgari logo.

The watch is set in one of the two Serpenti snakeheads, which are linked on an axis for an organic sense of movement. Serpenti Misteriosi Intrecciati comes in two versions; the first comprises more than 80 carats of rubies, while the second contains over 35 carats of brilliant emerald beads and more than 40 carats of sapphires. Each is set with more than 10 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds.

A third Cinemagia release is a reinterpretation of the Monete watches, one of Bulgari’s most recognisable motifs, and a nod to its classical Greek and Roman roots. The idea came from Nicola Bulgari himself in 1966, when he asked the question: “Why not do something contemporary with what is immortal?” The Monete secret watches debuted in 2017, with the introduction of an Octo style and a jewellery-style pendant. Two new designs have been reimagined for 2019.

The first, the Octo Roma Monete with an extra-thin skeleton movement, comes in rose gold and is fitted with an ultra-rare 4th century Roman coin on its face. It opens with a touch of a button to reveal the calibre BVL 268 SK, a manually wound mechanical manufacture movement with a flying tourbillon.

“Why not do something contemporary with what is immortal?”

This Octo Roma Monete with an extra-thin skeleton movement comes in rose gold and is fitted with an ultra-rare 4th century Roman coin on its face.
This Octo Roma Monete with an extra-thin skeleton movement comes in rose gold and is fitted with an ultra-rare 4th century Roman coin on its face.
The timepiece opens with a touch of a button to reveal the calibre BVL 268 SK, a manually wound manufacture movement with flying tourbillon.
The timepiece opens with a touch of a button to reveal the calibre BVL 268 SK, a manually wound manufacture movement with flying tourbillon.
Technical specifications: Manufacture mechanical movement with Finissimo Skeleton Flying Tourbillon, sapphire baseplate, Calibre BVL 268, tourbillon carriage mounted on ball bearings, 253 components, hours and minutes indication, 21,600 vph, 52-hour power reserve; 1.95 mm thick. Case and dial 44 mm-diameter octagonal case in 18 karat pink gold, fitted with an ancient silver Roman coin (AD 340-350), depicting the emperor Constans I, one of the three sons of Constantine the Great. The reverse shows the harmony (Concordia) between the three brothers after having surmounted some difficulties at the beginning of their joint reign; water-resistant to 30 m, 18 karat pink gold crown with black ceramic insert. Case thickness: 9.75 mm. Black alligator leather strap fitted with 18 karat pink gold folding buckle.

The 2000-year-old coin features a relief of the Emperor Constans, one of the three sons of Constantine the Great, who ruled Rome and the Western provinces of the Empire; the reverse features the Concordia, or harmony, of the three brothers, who ruled together peacefully for many years. The ancient coin is combined with the innovative shape of the now cult watch Octo.

The second Octo Roma Monete, which comes in platinum, features a different coin that also depicts the Emperor Constans. The reverse side appears to celebrate his victory over the Franks, which was one of the highlights of his reign.

Another Octo Roma Monete, in platinum, features a different coin that also depicts the Emperor Constans.
Another Octo Roma Monete, in platinum, features a different coin that also depicts the Emperor Constans.
Technical specifications: Manufacture mechanical movement with Finissimo Skeleton Flying Tourbillon, sapphire baseplate, Calibre BVL 268, tourbillon carriage mounted on ball bearings, 253 components, indication of the hours and minutes, 21,600 vph, 52-hour power reserve; 1.95 mm thick. Case and dial 44 mm-diameter octagonal case in platinum, fitted with an ancient silver Roman coin (AD 340-350) depicting the emperor Constans I, one of the three sons of Constantine the Great. The reverse of this coin, inscribed TRIVMFATOR GENTIVM BARBARARVM (‘victor over the barbarian peoples’), is a gloating celebration of Roman supremacy over its foreign enemies; water-resistant to 30 m, 18 karat pink gold crown with black ceramic insert. Case thickness: 9.75 mm. Black alligator leather strap fitted with 18 karat pink gold folding buckle.

A further Monete timepiece comes as a pendant watch featuring a 2nd-century coin depicting the laureate head of Apollo of Grynion on the obverse and the god Apollo on the reverse. The octagonal pendant is crafted in rose gold and suspended from a 90-centimetre solid gold chain. The chain, the watch bezel and dial are set with elements made of hand-cut rubrum coral from Sardinia, and brilliant-cut diamonds.

The chain, the watch bezel and dial of this new Monete pendant watch are set with elements made from hand-cut rubrum coral from Sardinia, and brilliant-cut diamonds.
The chain, the watch bezel and dial of this new Monete pendant watch are set with elements made from hand-cut rubrum coral from Sardinia, and brilliant-cut diamonds.
Technical specifications: Monete High-Jewellery secret watch in 18kt pink gold featuring a 41mm-diameter octagonal case decorated with coral elements and brilliant-cut diamonds. The case is fitted with an ancient silver Greek coin (2nd century B.C., Aiolis, Myrina, tetradrachm) depicting the laureate head of Apollo of Grynion. The reverse shows Apollo standing r. holding a phial, surrounded by a wreath. Pavé-set diamond dial. Chain length 90 cm. Quartz movement, Bvlgari customised and embellished with Bvlgari logo.

“All the high jewellery timepieces are designed by my team,” comments Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani. “Sometimes the inspiration comes from an existing jewellery collection, sometimes we start an initiative on our own. Behind the designer there is always an amazing team! There are now five people in my team, and we are growing. They all come from industrial, watch or jewellery design.”

And of course, beyond timekeeping, Capri was also the stage for the introduction of extraordinary Bulgari one-of-a-kind jewellery creations, which we feature in the gallery at the end of this article.

In the Villa Certosa, an almost 700-year-old landmark overlooking the sea, Bulgari’s CEO Jean-Christophe Babin welcomed international and Italian celebrities, influencers and media for a spectacular night.

Some of the stars of the event were Alicia Vikander, Kate Hudson, Eva Green, Uma Thurman, Laura Harrier, Ursula Corbero, Lily Aldridge, Jon Kortajarena, Lady Kitty Spencer, Isabella Ferrari, Adele Exarchopoulos, Maya Henry, Princess Lilly de Wittgenstein, Mario Casas, Maria Pedraza, Nieves Alvarez, Aseel Omran, Nadine Nassib Njeim, Emilia Schule, Karena Lam, Carina Lau, Chun Xia, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Koyuki, Ko So-Young, Anna Cleveland, Giulia Maenza, Laetitia Casta, Magdalena Fackowiak and Matilde Gioli.

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