It may seem that all anyone can talk about these days when it comes to Bulgari is the Octo, but that particular chapter of Bulgari’s horological pursuits only really began in 2012. As early as the 1940s, it was the serpentine bracelet watches that were most deeply associated with Bulgari, and today, eight decades on, it is still is the icon for the ladies line. And then there was the Bulgari Bulgari with its bezel engravings and cylindrical case geometry, inspired by the inscriptions of ancient Roman coins. In 1998, the Diagono arrived, challenging status quo with its unexpected choice of combining aluminium and rubber in a watch.
At Geneva Watch Days, Bulgari is once again bringing the aluminium and rubber model back to the fore, completely revamped and refreshed with a new name: the Bulgari Aluminium. Like its predecessor from 1998, the model defies gender rules, trends, eras, social profile and personal style. At the peak of its success, the watch was emblazoned on the side of an Alitalia Jumbo jet 747. The watch was THE watch for the jet set, worn by both men and women, which was not usual at that time. The combination of materials used — aluminium and rubber — is still unconventional, but remains completely true to Bulgari’s spirit. Bulgari was, and still is, a pioneer in reinventing the idea of luxury, and the juxtaposition of aluminium and rubber, the stark contrast of bright silver and matte black, is simple, disruptive and just a touch irreverent.
The 2020 version of the Bulgari Aluminium is given an upgrade to bring it up to speed with the modern era. It no longer powered by a quartz movement, instead it houses a mechanical self-winding movement from the now fully integrated Manufacture Bulgari. The case design and lugs has been reshaped and improved ergonomically to increase comfort on the wrist. The aluminium alloy used is also more resistant, and the rubber’s technical composition has also been improved. What hasn’t changed is what the watch is: universally appealing to all genders, a representation of authentic Italian sensibility and just a perpetually good-looking sports watch.