Serpenti Tubogas. Available through Bulgari.
Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, Bulgari’s spiral Serpenti is characterized by its inventive construction and reptilian charm. An ancient and complicated symbol, the snake is thought to represent power, wisdom, protection, and desire all at once, something Bulgari founder Sotirios Voulgaris and his heirs channeled into the brand’s DNA. In the 1940s, in the context of wartime shortages, jewelers began to turn to technology known as tubogas, which had originally been patented in 1881 for a flexible gas pipe; Bulgari followed suit, resulting in what is now the brand’s signature serpentine shape, used for jewelry and timepieces alike. With its elastic architecture, entirely assembled without soldering, the Serpenti is a prime example of tubogas — when it débuted in 1948, it was shown with long bands of gold skillfully wrapped around a steel core, achieving a sinuous flexibility. And while the stripped-down model shown here has none of the precious metal, gemstones, or enameling found on its sister models, all the Serpentis ooze a muscular sensuality that has long drawn bona-fide stars like Elizabeth Taylor or Zendaya.