Enter Bulgari's garden of jewelled delights

Enter Bulgari's garden of jewelled delights

It’s easy these days, when conjuring up the image of Bulgari’s watchmaking, to default to the slim cases, ordered lines and almost spartan finishes of the brand’s famous (and famously record-breaking) Octo collection. But never forget that Bulgari is first and foremost a jewelry house.

Not that Roman house’s expertise could be doubted looking at their sumptuous array of high jewelry pieces, the Bulgari Eden The Garden of Wonders collection. Combining the artistry of decorative gem-setting with the precision of Bulgari’s Swiss watchmakers. Consisting of five dripping high jewelry watches inspired by the natural world, Bulgari’s opulence is in full bloom.

First, the Emerald Venus, a platinum bangle presented with a matching necklace and inspired by a fern known colloquially as Venus’ hair, this piece is packed with 47 carats of emeralds, contrasted by a dazzling display of brilliant, pavé and baguette-cut diamonds, which is the result of over 900 hours of work by five artisans.

Emerald Venus
Emerald Venus
Emerald Venus
Emerald Venus

Adding more color to the collection is the Blooming Beauty. This seemingly effortless and harmonious combination of watches and jewels features a snow-set diamond dial with a watch ‘crystal’ in the form of a 9.6-carat mint green tourmaline. Emeralds, Paraiba tourmalines, diamonds, purple and pink spinels all set in platinum complete the floral arrangement.

Blooming Beauty
Blooming Beauty
Blooming Beauty

Adding some fauna to the flora is the Giardino Dell’Eden Piccolissimo, inspired by Bulgari designs from the 60s, which sees a gem-set butterfly gracefully set down on a floral arrangement heavy with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, garnets and more. The watchmaking is just as remarkable as it is powered by the brands new Piccolissimo mechanical micro movement, 12mm across, 2.5mm tall and weighing just 1.3 grams. This remarkable work of miniaturisation is the smallest round calibre in use today.

Giardino Dell'Eden Piccolissimo
Giardino Dell'Eden Piccolissimo
Giardino Dell'Eden Piccolissimo
Giardino Dell'Eden Piccolissimo
Giardino Dell'Eden Piccolissimo

Further adding to the technical prowess is Giardino Dell’Eden Tourbillon, a bright and flamboyant Mediterranean garden set with an astonishing 6500 stones in a rainbow of hues. Central to this remarkable piece of art is a tourbillon, hidden amongst the flowers and the butterflies. This object is outstanding in many ways, not least because it is the first time such a highly decorated piece has been fitted with a tourbillon.

Giardino Dell'Eden Tourbillon
Giardino Dell'Eden Tourbillon
Giardino Dell'Eden Tourbillon
Giardino Dell'Eden Tourbillon

Finally, the proverbial serpent in the Garden of Eden, the Serpenti Misteriosi Riviera. In pink gold and decked in pink stones, Bulgari’s iconic animal — a symbol of wisdom and rebirth — is as technical as it is beautiful. The stones appear to float thanks to the fil couteau technique, which sees the jewelry elements held together with thin gold threads, resulting in one supple snake.

Serpenti Misteriosi Riviera
Serpenti Misteriosi Riviera

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Felix Scholz

Felix Scholz has spent the last decade covering watches from his home in Australia. Given this, it's surprising that he still struggles with time zones. Over the years he's become a firm believer that less is more when it comes to watch design – except when a rainbow bezel is involved. He's written for numerous titles including Hodinkee, GQ, A Collected Man and more. These days he looks after the Australian edition of Revolution and takes a break from writing about watches to talk about them, as the co-host of OT: The Podcast.

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