Shanghai Stars: Bvlgari Unveils Its Serpenti Seduttori And Some New And Very Exclusive Octos
Watchonista travels to Shanghai for the launch of the Bvlgari Serpenti Seduttori and gets the opportunity to see five stunning new men’s Octo creations.
This was the second time that I have had the pleasure of joining Bvlgari in Shanghai, and the minute I touched down I was welcomed by the Bvlgari dream team, who personally escorted me to the brand’s very own Bvlgari Hotel Shanghai. This is one of my favorite places to stay. The attention to detail and the service is outstanding. The hotel is positioned in the best location on the banks of the Suzhou Canal and is close to the iconic Bund and Shanghai city center. It also just opened a spectacular rooftop bar that has become the place-to-be in town.
Celebrations in China
The brand’s love of details continued to shine through in its beautifully orchestrated celebration that kicked off with a press conference in Shanghai’s historic Chamber of Commerce building. Among the many guests were Bvlgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, the newly appointed Managing Director of Bvlgari Watch Antoine Pin, Director of Bvlgari Watches Design Center Fabrizio Buonamassa, and President of Bvlgari Greater China Kolia Neveux, who unveiled all the new styles. The event was also attended by a host of local and international stars including, Zhong Chuxi, Li Meng, Bonnie Chen, Jerry He, Wang Yanlin, and Zhao Lei.
Babin explained the reason behind the decision to hold its event in Shanghai, “The idea behind the launch was to do it first in London and a week later in Shanghai. We chose London for the European and Middle Eastern markets, and also for logistical reasons with the Bvlgari Hotel there. And, secondly, in Asia, to have an event in China where we could also invite guests from Japan and Singapore.”
The Serpenti Seduttori
The star of the Shanghai show was the Serpenti Seduttori. Taking its design codes from its older sister, the Serpenti Tubogas, the Seduttori is a luxury women’s timepiece with a drop-shaped case and a bracelet inspired by the geometric motif of a snake’s skin. The first models were introduced during Baselworld earlier this year, and Bvlgari profited from this international gathering in Shanghai to unveil further models, each one as gorgeous as the next.
“This timepiece is particularly adapted to Asia,” said Babin. “There are a number of reasons for this, the first of which is cultural. In China, horological knowledge is more recent than in Europe, the US, and Japan, so clients here are looking for iconic products that are already established. Japan is the opposite; the watchmaking culture has a longer history, and the Japanese people are often more open to new things. For example, the Octo sells really well in Japan and much less in China. Chinese clients need to pass by Rolex or more classic timepieces first.”
A Design That Dates Back To The 1940s
The Serpenti Seduttori is a new chapter in the Serpenti story that dates back to the 1940s. Now, the Seduttori case is thinner than ever before and is designed to be more of an everyday wristwatch. Though it keeps the modern elegance and originality that we have come to love and expect from Bvlgari’s women’s timepieces.
The Serpenti Seduttori works particularly well in both China and Japan despite its brand-new design. “We have a watch which is ideal for these countries because its shape already exists,” detailed Babin. “It is an everyday timepiece that clients understand straight away. It was also made for Asian wrists, which tend to be smaller, and yet it also works perfectly on European wrists.”
For the gentlemen, Bvlgari presented several new Octos. Further showcasing the brand’s savoir-faire in combining the finest mechanical movements with the most daring and elegant designs, here are our top five.
Octo L’Original Blue Full Baguette Diamonds On A White Gold Bracelet
I am going to start with my favorite, the Octo L’Original Blue Full Baguette Diamonds. Admittedly, it does have a certain “bling” element to it, but the execution of the setting is really astounding. From the spider web setting on the dial to the baguette-setting on the bracelet, this 44mm white gold Octo is adorned with baguette-cut diamonds across the case, bracelet, and dial.
Octo L’Original Blue Full Baguette Diamonds With Blue Leather Strap
The Octo L’Original Blue Full Baguette Diamonds features the same characteristics as the above timepiece but comes on a blue leather strap instead of a full pavé bracelet. It keeps the sparkle but is a more wearable wristwatch.
Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton Blue
Rocking platinum, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton Blue features Bvlgari’s world-record breaking, ultra-thin, manual-winding tourbillon - the Calibre BVL 268 SK. With its flying tourbillon and ball bearing system that measures a mere 1.95mm in height, this movement is a feat of engineering. Limited to 50 pieces, this is a watch to behold.
Octo Roma Tourbillon Sapphire Jade
Last summer, we had the opportunity to test the Octo Roma Sapphire Lapis Lazuli in Capri. This is yet another example of both Bvlgari’s high-jewelry and watch departments bringing the best of their skills to a common project. This stunning green Octo Roma Tourbillon Sapphire Jade comes in a 44mm rose gold case fully set with baguette-cut diamonds. Precious jade is used for both the middle of the case (which is extremely difficult to do) and to decorate the 18-karat rose gold-plated flying tourbillon movement.
Octo Roma Grande Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar Diamonds
Last but not least, the Octo Roma Grande Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar Diamonds model features a manufacture automatic movement, the Caliber BVL 980, that includes a grande and petite sonnerie, a minute repeater, a tourbillon, perpetual calendar, and moon phase. As if that wasn’t enough, it also features 6.57 carats of diamonds on the bezel and lugs and a further 1.23 carats on the folding clasp. It is important to note that only a few manufactures have the in-house know-how to master complications at this level.
The Next Step
“These are the most important horological launches that we have ever done in the history of Bvlgari,” concluded Babin. “Why? Because we are constructing solid pillars with the Tubogas and the Octo. But at the same time, they are totally unique, polarizing even, and will never be considered dull,” continued Babin. “We are now coming with a universal timepiece in the Serpenti Seduttori which will take us to the next stage and make Bvlgari an important, and universal, watch brand that can stand among the most important players on the horological stage.”
Antoine Pin, Managing Director of Bvlgari Watch, agreed: “I think we have a real role to play in bringing value to mechanical watchmaking for women.” Continuing, Pin said, “We are really at the junction of the two worlds. It is totally relevant. Our complicated jewelry timepieces are selling excessively well, such as the Diva minute repeater that was presented in Basel. We are full steam ahead in production, and we have many things in development that are just sublime.”
A Winning Combination
Bvlgari is one of the most dynamic brands right now and is performing better than ever. One of the reasons for this is the diversity of its offerings, which includes haute joaillerie, jewelry, watches, perfumes, leather goods, hotels, and more. With the arrival of the Serpenti Seduttori, Bvlgari is taking a stronger position in the more affordable ladies watch market.
While, at the same time, it is enriching its high-jewelry collections with unique and precious jeweled timepieces, such as the Serpenti Secret Watches. These are truly innovative timekeepers imbued with the brand’s Roman DNA. The Shanghai event was a testament to the brand’s creativity and its ability to invite customers to immerse themselves in the world of Italian luxury.
(Photography by Watchonista)