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Serpenti Watch
Iconic Designs

Serpenti Watch

About the Design

While the Bulgari Serpenti watch technically arrived first, it was a decorative bracelet from the Italian luxury jewelry house’s signature line that made a notable impact, thanks to a little help from Hollywood. In 1962, the brand garnered international attention after its now-legendary serpent motif made its way into a photograph taken on the set of the star-studded historical epic Cleopatra. A Bulgari Serpenti bracelet — with its stunning snake head encrusted with diamonds — was wrapped around the wrist of the film’s star, Elizabeth Taylor, and the already desirable design was suddenly splashed across the pages of the tabloids, particularly as news of the actress’s romantic affair with Richard Burton made the rounds. The serpent motif had by then been around for nearly 15 years, as Giorgio and Constantino Voulgaris — the sons of Bulgari founder Sotirios Voulgaris who’d taken over the business when their father passed away in 1932 — introduced a wristwatch with a case that resembled the head of a snake in the 1940s.


Elegant and artful, Bulgari’s snake motif began as an homage to jewelry of the Roman and Hellenistic eras. And fittingly, serpents have long been symbolic of time — of eternity and renewal. Credit for decades of demand for jewelry adorned with reptiles can be attributed to Queen Victoria’s illustrious engagement ring, which took the form of a gold snake set with rubies, diamonds and an emerald (her birthstone). When Taylor’s Serpenti bracelet appeared, the attention had artisans at Bulgari exploring variations on the house’s popular theme, but the original snake, in 1948, was characterized by a golden yellow body, its tail and head encrusted with diamonds. 


The debut of the inaugural Serpenti watch coincided with Bulgari’s adoption of the Tubogas, or gas-pipe, goldsmithing technique, in which bands of gold are wrapped around a steel core without soldering, bringing the flexible braided bracelet to fruition. The design was quintessentially Bulgari: bold, colorful and eye-catching. The snake was more abstract in appearance back then; over the years, the timepiece has assumed more of its namesake’s tangible physical features. Variations were introduced that had the face obscured by a hinged cover, which better emulated a snake’s head, and today, watches featuring the snake motif are available in a wide range of different styles, including bands dotted with hexagonal patterns inspired by snake scales and more. 


Bulgari Serpenti Watch

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Bulgari Bulgari Serpenti Jewelry Scaglie in White Gold Watch
By Bvlgari
Located in Miami, FL
Brand: Bvlgari Model Name: Serpenti Ref: SPW26G Movement: Quartz Case Material: White Gold Dial: Mother of Pearl Bezel: White Gold Hour Markers: Diamond Index Dial Br...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Wrist Watches

Materials

Diamond, 18k Gold, White Gold

Bvlgari Serpenti Silver Dial Diamond Bezel Ladies Watch
By Bvlgari
Located in MIAMI, FL
Bvlgari Serpenti Silver Dial Diamond Bezel Ladies Watch 101827 NEW Gorgeous ladies watch that is 100% brand new, with new stickers, complete with box t...
Category

2010s Modern Wrist Watches

Materials

Diamond, Stainless Steel

Bulgari Diamond, Mauve Pink Enamel Serpenti Watch
By Bvlgari
Located in New York, NY
An exceptional 18k gold bracelet watch that captures the power and essence of mystery and seduction through the iconic Bulgari serpent, which sensually coils around the wrist exposi...
Category

Vintage 1960s Wrist Watches

Materials

Diamond, 18k Gold

Bulgari Serpenti Bracelet/Wristwatch Mother of Pearl and Diamond
By Bvlgari
Located in New York, NY
Bvlgari Serpenti Bracelet/Wristwatch In Coiled Rose Gold, Mother-of- Pearl and Diamond 18 kt., quartz, composed of polished tapered scales accented by round diamonds approximately 2....
Category

1990s Artist Wrist Watches

Materials

Diamond, 18k Gold

Bulgari White Gold Diamonds Tubogas Ladies Watch
By Bvlgari
Located in New York, NY
A Bulgari Tubogas Lady's Watch watch in 18kt white gold with 29 round brilliant cut diamonds around the dial and on the tail; Movado movement. Made in Italy, circa 1965.
Category

Vintage 1960s Wrist Watches

Materials

Diamond, 18k Gold

Bulgari Rare Black and Yellow Gold Tubogas Ladies Watch
By Bvlgari
Located in New York, NY
A unique version of the Bulgari Tubogas lady's watch in 18kt yellow and blackened gold with a marquise shaped (gold) dial; carrying a mechanical Movado movement. Made in Italy, circ...
Category

Vintage 1960s More Bracelets

Materials

18k Gold

Bulgari Gold Tubogas Ladies Watch
By Bvlgari
Located in New York, NY
Bulgari Tubogas lady's watch in 18kt yellow gold. Mechanical movement. Made in Italy, circa 1965.
Category

Vintage 1960s Wrist Watches

Materials

18k Gold

Unusual Black Yellow Bulgari Tubogas Ladies Watch
By Bvlgari
Located in New York, NY
An unusual version of the iconic Bulgari tubogas lady's watch, with alternated blackened and yellow 18kt gold, oval shaped dial, carrying a mechanical Movado movement. Made in Italy,...
Category

Vintage 1960s Retro Bracelets

Materials

18k Gold

Bulgari Lady's Tricolor Gold Tubogas mechanical Wristwatch
By Bvlgari
Located in New York, NY
A Bulgari Tri-Colour Gold Lady’s Wristwatch with mechanical movement. Made in Italy, circa 1965.
Category

Vintage 1960s Retro Bracelets

Materials

18k Gold

Bulgari Ladies yellow gold Tubogas Bracelet Wristwatch
By Bvlgari
Located in New York, NY
An 18k yellow gold tubogas watch-bracelet by Bulgari with oval dial. Made in Italy, circa 1965
Category

Vintage 1960s Wrist Watches

Materials

18k Gold

Bulgari Lady's Yellow Gold Juvenia Movement Pear Shaped Tubogas Wristwatch
By Bvlgari
Located in New York, NY
A Bulgari Tubogas 18kt yellow gold lady’s wristwatch with a refined pear shaped dial, carrying a Juvenia watch movement. Circa 1965
Category

Vintage 1960s More Bracelets

Materials

18k Gold

Bulgari Tricolor Gold Lady's Tubogas Wristwatch
By Bvlgari
Located in New York, NY
A tricolor (white, yellow and pink) 18kt gold Tubogas lady’s wristwatch by Bulgari, carrying a Gerald Genta movement. Made in Italy, circa 1965.
Category

Vintage 1960s Retro Bracelets

Materials

18k Gold

Bulgari Lady's Three Color Gold Quartz Serpenti Wristwatch
By Bvlgari
Located in San Francisco, CA
Bulgari 18Kt Yellow, White, and Rose Gold Bracelet Watch from the Serpenti collection. This duo purpose jewelry piece is a quartz movement timepiece and bracelet that comfortably wra...
Category

Late 20th Century Wrist Watches

Materials

18k Gold