Bulgari: the Tubogas bracelet celebrates 40 years of watchmaking design

Bulgari offers ladies a wide range of choices across all price categories. Five collections and a number of High Jewelry watches are theirs for the taking. Indeed, over half a million women used the app and the configurator provided as part of the Serpenti experience. Bulgari’s ongoing love story with women looks set to continue indefinitely, especially since 1500 new jobs were created by the brand in 2017. Its High Jewelry ateliers in Valenza were also entirely renovated and enlarged, thereby doubling the staff complement, expected to reach 800 in 2018. In parallel, the Bulgari Academy was launched in order to ensure a continuous stream of around 50 High Jewelry apprentices in training. There is of course constant interaction between jewelry and watchmaking, as the group CEO Jean-Christophe Babin points out : “we draw inspiration from successful jewelry models to enrich watchmaking, such as the three gold colors of the B Zero 1 ring that are now picked up on the Serpenti watch.”


Last year, Bulgari’s favorite reptile was once again reinvented in a bold and elegant manner, giving rise to a quintuple coil around the arm and making this precious adornment that is also an exceptional jewelry watch and an entirely contemporary and unexpected fashion item. After the five-coil steel version in 2017, the Serpenti Tubogas Trois Ors made its appearance in 2018. This combination of colors calls for highly specific expertise in order to ensure seamless color combinations, while playing with light effects on the front and back of the Tubogas bracelet. While the 1960s and 1970s models often featured juxtaposed colors, Bulgari has innovated once again in 2019 with a version merging the three shades of gold in an extremely flowing manner. Pink gold is reserved for the watch shaped like a snake’s head, rimmed by 38 diamonds and graced with a winding crown topped by a cabochon-cut pink rubellite. White gold creates a pleasing contrast on the buckle in the middle of the bracelet, while yellow gold symbolizing the serpent’s tail completes the trilogy. This is the ideal watch women who are uncertain of which gold color to choose or which rings to match it with…


Born in the midst of the Art Deco period, Tubogas bracelets offer a highly contemporary play on symbols of modernity and smoothly integrated them in today’s lifestyle. Named Tubogas for their likeness with the supple gas pipes of the industrial era, they feature a technique used by Bulgari in jewelry-making from the late 1940s onwards. Stemming from a production process that is extremely complex for jewelers, the Tubogas bracelet consists is composed of long gold or steel bands wrapped around a steel core, perfectly interlocking so as to ensure the perfect degree of tension while remaining remain free of any welding. At least five meters of ribbons are required for a single bracelet. Thanks to a spiralshaped structure, the contoured edges of these metal ribbons slot into each other so as to entirely conceal the inner structure of the bracelet, thereby giving the Tubogas its characteristic springy feel. As Guido Terreni, CEO Bulgari Watches explains : “the result is supple, elastic and enables an incomparably brilliant mirror polish”. The design as updated in the 1970s, when Bulgari introduced it on a certain number of watches, bracelets, necklaces and rings.


Unveiled at Baselworld 2017, the Lvcea Tubogas is distinguished by incomparable comfort on the wrist ensuring extremely pleasant daily wear. Sitting lightly on the wrist like a gentle caress, the five new Lvcea Tubogas models feature elegantly symmetrical bracelet links bringing a modern touch to the Lvcea collection. Available in 28 and 33mm sizes, all the models are adorned with diamond hour-markers and a cabochoncut pink stone set in the crown. A quartz movement powers the smaller model, whereas Bulgari has chosen an in-house self-winding caliber for the larger model. A spectacular black-lacquered dial graces the stainless steel model, striking a dramatic contrast with the shimmering white mother-of-pearl dial of the steel and pink gold Lvcea Tubogas. The line is complemented by a precious pink gold interpretation with full diamond-set bezel and bracelet.

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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