Geneva Watch Days 2023: Bulgari releases six new timepieces for both men and women
Recently in the limelight for its full-marble Only Watch timepiece, Bulgari kicks off Geneva Watch Days 2023 with a stellar presentation of six new watches. Designed for both men and women, these novelties cement Bulgari’s dual identity in watch and jewelry making while underscoring its rich expertise in design creativity. For men, Bulgari offers a new rendition of its superstar icon, the Octo Finissimo, and for women, the Italian maison spotlights its unassailable jewelry crafting savoir-faire through four secret watches across two all-time favorite signature themes, Serpenti and Monete.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo CarbonGold
Since its introduction in 2014, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo has been dressed in near ever material conceivable. Stainless steel, gold, platinum, titanium, ceramic, carbon, tantalum for Only Watch 2021, and as mentioned above, marble for Only Watch 2023. For Geneva Watch Days 2023, the Octo Finissimo reprises its application with carbon which was first seen in the 2018 Octo Finissimo Carbon Minute Repeater. At that time it was highly disruptive in terms of design as well as concept since it is not often that a high complication such as the minute repeater gets cased in carbon.
So today Bulgari revisits this high-tech material and applies it to two existing models: the Octo Finissimo Automatic and the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar. But there’s more. To bring a delightful contrast to the futuristic aesthetic of the all-black carbon — with a beautiful naturally dappled surfaces — Bulgari incorporates the two watches with elegant streaks of shimmering gold. Key details on the dial such as the hour numerals and markers, the hands, the Bulgari logo and the Swiss Made label are all enrobed in rose gold tone, while the crown is actually made of 18K rose gold along with a black ceramic insert.
Which is all very nice but in case you’re wondering, we’ve still not arrived at the main event. Turn the watch over to the back and you’ll see what the fuss is all about. There, over the glorious expanse of its generous sapphire crystal case back lies the mechanical manufacture ultra-thin movement Caliber BVL 138 (BVL 305 for the perpetual calendar model) and its gorgeous gold-tone movement bridges. Finished with traditional Côtes de Gèneve and dotted with polished screws and rubies, it is a beautiful sight by any and all measure. In keeping with the gold-tone theme, even the platinum winding micro-rotor is dressed in gold.
And reminding you of the watch’s love for gold (apparently it’s called chrysophilia) is a miniature cartouche attached on the case middle.
Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi Secret Watch
The Serpenti is of course Bulgari’s most famous icon, and the Italian maison continually unveils ever more intoxicating design renditions year after year. Coiling sensuously around the wrist, the Serpenti watch more often than not comes with a quartz movement. But since 2022 with the arrival of the Caliber BVL 100 Piccolissimo movement, Bulgari now has the ability to create mechanically-driven Serpenti high jewelry watches, thus cementing its reputation as a watchmaking jeweler.
Caliber BVL 100 is not only the smallest mechanical movement ever made by Bulgari, but also one of the smallest mechanical movements ever made in the luxury industry. In a way, it shows us that Bulgari has not only mastered ultra-thin movement making but also ultra-small. More importantly, with BVL 100 comes a world of new opportunities for Bulgari to adapt the Serpenti for modern watch-savvy audiences. And the forward thinking doesn’t stop here.
As the Serpenti is not just a jewel, not just a watch, but very much both, Bulgari intends it to be enjoyed on both fronts. Thus, the movement is completely removable, so that in the event it needs to be sent back for servicing, the Serpenti can still remain with its owner, and continue to be worn as a jewel. You could also purchase a quartz movement as a standby unit should you so desire.
For Geneva Watch Days 2023, Bulgari debuts two additional looks for the mechanical Serpenti: a fully iced-out version in white gold with eyes of dazzling pear-shaped emeralds, and a rose gold model covered in black lacquer scales interlaced with navette diamonds, along with green pear-shaped emerald eyes.
Bulgari Monete Catene Secret Watch
A grail piece for many jewelry lovers, the Bulgari Monete combines art, jewelry and history with perfect aplomb. Featuring antique precious coins sourced predominantly from Rome and Greece but also other ancient cities, this collection now includes timepieces via the Monete Catene Secret Watch, which once again underscore’s Bulgari incredible creativity in combining watch and jewelry design.
Across two different and yet equally spectacular models, Bulgari revisits an aesthetic inspired by Roman jewelry of the 1st century AD. In the Monete Catene Dual Time, the two coins of the Monete Catene Dual Time cuff evoke the reign of a fabled couple, that of Septimius Severus – emperor from 193 to 211 AD – and his empress, Julia Domna, who was venerated as a goddess. On the Monete Catene wristwatch: a denarius, or silver coin, bearing the effigy of Emperor Caracalla, who ruled from 198 to 217 AD. Minted during his reign, the coin expresses this emperor’s strategic genius.
Bulgari’s jewelry crafting savoir-faire comes through most evidently in the smithing of the gourmette bracelets of the watches, known as catene in Italian. This quintessentially Italian style has been a part of Bulgari’s creative heritage since the 1940s, and first seen featuring the Monete design in the 1960s. Reminiscent of the Octo Monete watches of the past, the Monete Catene wristwatch comes with twin rows of catene chains lightly sprinkled with diamonds.
Meanwhile, the Monete Catene Dual Time takes things up several notches — decidedly into high jewelry territory — with five rows of chains all fully paved with diamonds. Its rectangular case was inspired by a Bulgari heritage watch from the 1970s and combines a single row of baguette diamonds on the periphery contrasting with snow-set diamonds all around the two coins. The entire watch also features rose gold in addition to touches of yellow and white gold set with more diamonds all around — talk about wrist candy.
And to continue with the candy metaphors, these watches come with a surprise center too. Bulgari’s Caliber BVL 100 Piccolissimo brings mechanical might to these fabulous timepieces, and yes if you’re wondering, the Monete Catene Dual Time features not one but two of these amazing little wonders of high watchmaking.
FROM THE SHOP
|Self-winding caliber FBN 229.01 with natural escapement; 72-hour power reserve
|Hours, minutes and small seconds
|40mm; stainless steel; water resistant to 30m
|Verdant green, with sector track; applied, white rhodium treated gold Arabic numerals and hour markers
|Brown calf leather with Alcantara lining, stainless steel pin buckle; additional Milanese bracelet in stainless steel
|Limited edition of 15 pieces