Bvlgari fires up the glitter with the new Aeterna high jewellery collection

The Italian luxury house bills the Aeterna as its “most extraordinary” high jewellery collection ever

Bewitching collectors with explosive offerings of coloured gemstones and high-wattage diamonds is a practice that Bvlgari is familiar with. But to have their hearts palpitating with bejewelled treats on such a large and lavish scale as it does with the new Aeterna high jewellery collection? Even Bvlgari admits that it is something quite unprecedented.

Commemorating the Italian marque’s 140th anniversary, the Aeterna (“Everlasting” in Latin) is a proper demonstration of Bvlgari’s creative prowess and knack for reinvention. The company spares no expense in showcasing its savoir faire that has been honed over the years with a spread of over 500 pieces of stupendous watches, jewellery, bags, and fragrances inspired by Rome, its birth city, as well as its own rich archives.

The Serpenti Aeterna necklace was created from a rough diamond that totalled over 200 carats. Photo by Bvlgari

Designed for maximum sparkle and sensuality, the high jewellery pieces are the result of Bvlgari’s gem-crafting department going on overdrive. A definite standout is the stunning Serpenti Aeterna necklace. Set with seven D-flawless, pear-shaped diamonds totalling 140 carats to commemorate the anniversary year, the seductive serpentine-shaped necklace took over 2,800 hours to make.

“It is the most precious necklace we ever crafted,” says Lucia Silvestri, Bvlgari’s jewellery creative director.

Besides the Serpenti Aeterna necklace, the other high jewellery pieces from the collection enthral with similar boldness, vivacity, and unabashed glitter. The Tubogas Flower of Time necklace, for instance, updates another Bvlgari icon with an oval-cut 31.07-carat Zambian emerald as the centrepiece, framed by rubellites and diamonds.

The Tubogas Flower of Time necklace set with 16 buff-top rubellites and pavé-set diamonds. Photo by Bvlgari

Elsewhere, kaleidoscopic showers of coloured gemstones distinguish pieces like the Earth Song pink gold necklace, affixed with 345.68 carats of rubellites, amethysts, kunzites, green tourmalines, and diamonds; and the Lotus Cabochon necklace that echoes the shape of a lotus flower, with rubellite, turquoise, emerald, and amethyst cabochons set on a carpet-like gold base.

The Lotus Cabochon necklace thrills with flamboyant colours and intriguing pebble-like texture of the stones. Photo by Bvlgari

As for the Aeterna watches, Bvlgari collectors are similarly enticed with creations that enliven the timekeeping experience with bold, breathtaking baubles. Inspired by Italian summer nights, the Fuochi D’Artificio series of cuff watches will make you feel like you are wearing fireworks on your wrist. Flamboyant swirls of coloured stones encircle tiny dials driven by the world’s smallest round mechanical movement in this collection—but there is nothing diminutive about the presence of the Fuochi D’Artificio High Jewellery Manchette and Fuochi D’Artificio High Jewellery Petite Watch.

The Fuochi D’Artificio High Jewellerry Manchette watch took than 1,450 hours to construct. Photo by Bvlgari

In a similar vein, the timekeeping duties take a backseat to spectacular bursts of stones with the Fenice High Jewellery Watch and Serpenti Misteriosi models, which are powered by the same mini-movement as the Fuochi D’Artificio creations. The former is a picture of glimmering, gradated blues and purples, set with over 160 carats of blue, pink and purple sapphires, amethysts, rubies, pink garnets, tanzanites, iolites, aquamarines and diamonds.

The Serpenti Misteriosi Chimera and Serpenti Misteriosi Dragone, on the other hand, are bangle-style watches. Echoing the sensuous profile of the animal, the watches are festooned with diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires in a variety of cuts and sizes—each piece an exercise in meticulous study of proportions that took hundreds of hours to construct.

For horological aficionados who are also partial to forthright glitter, the Fenice Octo Roma Secret watch strikes a delicate balance between technical watchmaking and bejewelled ostentation.

Its 44mm platinum case features a hinged top-cover with a phoenix motif, drenched in brilliant-cut blue, purple and pink sapphires, aquamarines, rubies, and amethysts, accentuated by pink gold spikes. Flip the cover open, and one is treated to the sight of one of Bvlgari’s most exquisite movements—a skeletonised hand-wound movement with flying tourbillon that has been conceived entirely in-house.

“I’m extremely proud of my teams for having developed the most extraordinary high-end collection ever,” says Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of the Bvlgari Group. “Not only in Bvlgari’s unparalleled 140 years of history, but probably overall in the 21st century.” It is a bold proclamation that, while up for debate, jewellery aficionados will find hard pressed to disagree with.