A motif is a dominant or recurring idea in artistic work. It could be a decorative image or a design. Every field, and every industry, especially if it has to do with art and creativity, makes use of motifs. These motifs are timeless and may be reinterpreted and re-expressed complete differently. It is up to the creativity and imagination of the artist or the craftsman. But, the motif remains, essentially the same.
The serpent motif or the snake is one that has been a part of the watch industry for quite some time now. Snakes have been associated with some of the oldest rituals. These motifs are one of the earliest historical and culturally diverse mythological symbols. Rights from legends and myths that start from the fall of Adam and Eve, the snake represents a host of meanings in different countries and civilisations.
Let’s for a moment take a dive into the past. For the Pharaohs of Egypt, snakes represented royalty and deity. The Romans had different interpretations altogether. The motif meant a gamut of things ranging from everlasting love to a symbol of wisdom. The Greeks looked towards the serpent as a symbol of wisdom, and to Aesculapius, the god of medicine, who had a snake wrapped around his staff – a motif that continues to remain the symbol of the medical profession.
Hindus worship the snake. Many cultures have meanings, ranging from rebirth, transformations, power, sexuality and desire associated with this motif.
Perhaps one of the best and continuing examples of the use of the serpent motif is the Italian jeweller Bulgari. The iconic Serpenti watch is a classic that has constantly reinvented itself. This feat has rightly made many people call the brand a snake-charmer!
Montblanc, another well-known lifestyle brand, has infused the mystic of the snake into the design of its writing instruments. For over a century, Montblanc has developed a unique expertise in refining traditional craftsmanship with all the modern advantages of precision technology. Here, the Rouge et Noir collection says it all. The snake is seen exhibiting beautiful examples of the goldsmith’s craft in both the bejewelled nib and the fine workmanship of the writing instrument making a powerful presence.
Jewellers have also been fascinated with the motif. Cartier, one of the best known names in the realm of jewellery, may have a panther as a more recognizable motif, but they too have explored the charms of the snake.
Every year, the serpent finds new ways of expression in the creations of various brands. It could be the way it coils, or fits around the neck or wrist, or raises its head to reveal the time….the expressions have no end! What’s next? We cannot wait to find out!