The Italian jeweler once again upgrades its snake-shaped Bulgari Serpenti collection increasing the total number of precious coils to seven. It may be purely subjective on my part, but I have an impression that, thanks to all the extra coils (and, of course, the extra length of the bracelet,) the refreshed model looks a lot more organic and attractive than the brand’s previous attempts at making a snake-inspired model. However, I also have a feeling that a great number of herpetophobic persons will not agree with me on the ‘attractive’ part of the description.
Case & Bracelet
Yes, judging by the look of it, the new watch is going to be very long, embracing a better part of an average-sized female forearm.
Like the previous versions, the new Bulgari Serpenti 7 Coils combines the signature “woven” Tubogas bracelet with a simple two-hander in an elegant case shaped like a snake’s head.
The process of creating the Tubogas bracelet is unique, time-consuming and requires a great amount of skilled labor.
Also, the Italian brand points out that the bracelet of this particular model takes around 35 meters of rose gold braid: some five meters per coil.
To better match the precious metal, Bvlgari has also set the case with more than two hundred diamonds totaling at 1.11 carats: 38 brilliant-cut gems for the rim and 190 more diamonds for the silvered dial.
Perhaps, the only thing that disappoints me a little is the setting crown. To my taste, the new Serpenti would look even more attractive (or terrifying, depending on your personal list of phobias) if the crown was either flush with the head’s surface or made less prominent. But, apart from that, this piece of jewelry looks very impressive.
The sword-shaped, yellow gold hour and minute hands do not look terribly high-contrast gliding over the tiny diamonds. The fact that there is no Superluminova on them doesn’t increase its nighttime legibility either. However, given that this is more of a luxury accessory rather than a time measuring device, I would say that the watch is readable enough for most of the scenarios: a lady is never too late for a date, you know.
Also, the pair of polished Roman numerals is nicely styled and seems to be nicely proportioned to the ‘snake’s head’.
Unfortunately, inside this beautiful head beats a simple Swiss quartz movement. Well, I hope that one day we will see the trinket featuring a real manufacture-made mechanical caliber. Just to match all the gold and diamonds, if you know what I mean.
On the other hand, the choice of the mechanism may be even more convenient for a normal person being more accurate and requiring a lot less trouble when it comes to keeping it in good working order. With a quartz movement, all you need is changing the battery once in a while. Still, if you plan to pass this thing of beauty to your great-granddaughter, you may find that, while still looking good and all, the trinket can’t be used as a watch any longer due to the lack of a replacement caliber.
The watch will be presented next month during the Baselworld 2011 international show.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: n/a
Overall Rating: 4/5
Bulgari Serpenti 7 Coils specification
Movement: Quartz, high-grade, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes
Case: Rose gold
Bezel shape: Snakehead
Dial: Silvered, set with 190 diamonds
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Tubogas bracelet, seven coils, rose gold
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective coating on both sides
Back: Solid, engraved