LVMH Watch Week: Bulgari Demonstrates Its Mastery of Haute Horlogerie & Haute JoaillerieBy Revolution
Bulgari’s focus for LVMH Watch Week 2022 brings the limelight back to its identity as the preeminent Roman jeweler that has built for itself the inhouse watchmaking knowhow to rival and stand shoulder to shoulder with the best that Swiss watchmaking has to offer.
Octo Roma Emerald Grande Sonnerie
Moving right along to this week’s novelties, we start with the Octo Roma Emerald Grande Sonnerie. This is a piece unique creation with the BVL703 calibre beating at its heart, which enables its Grande and Petite Sonnerie functions. Says Bulgari, “Not only does the Grande Sonnerie four-gong mechanism represent a pinnacle of horological prowess, but the dial and case are now set with shimmering baguette-cut emeralds and diamonds. This is Bvlgari at its very best, elegantly fusing Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joaillerie with its hallmark Roman style and design bravado.”
True to this claim, the 44mm white gold case, bezel and lugs of the watch are decorated with some 72 baguette-cut emeralds (~ 7.28 cts) and 411 baguette-cut diamonds (~30.14 cts) including its baguette-cut diamond white gold crown, the one round rose-cut diamond and baguette-cut diamonds on the dial.
The Grande Sonnerie complication is not one that too many watchmakers have mastered. The essential functionality of the chiming mechanism sounds the hours, quarters and minutes with a Westminster chime that can be silenced or activated on demand by the buttons on the side of the case.
The tourbillon regulated BVL 703 automatic winding movement of the watch is made up of 732 parts that are said to take a total of nine months to assemble and is undertaken by one master watchmaker, who also carries out any later adjustments or services.
As this is a one off creation, it would appear that Bulgari has intended for the Octo Roma Emerald Grande Sonnerie to serve as a demonstration of what the brand is able to achieve when it combines its known how in the realms of haute horlogerie with its mastery of haute joaillerie.
BULGARI OCTO ROMA EMERALD GRANDE SONNERIE
Movement: Mechanical self-winding calibre BVL703; 24-hour power reserve in Grande Sonnerie mode; 28-hour power reserve in Petite Sonnerie mode
Functions: Hours and minutes; grande and petite sonnerie; 4-hammer Westminster chime, minute Repeater and power-reserve indicator for the striking mechanism
Case: 44mm; white gold; case, bezel and lugs set with 72 baguette-cut emeralds (~ 7.28 cts) and 411 baguette-cut diamonds (~30.14 cts), 15.42 mm thick, transparent case-back, white gold crown set with baguette-cut diamonds and 1 round rose-cut diamond, baguette-cut diamonds on the dial; water-resistant to 30m
Strap: Green alligator strap with white gold folding clasp.
Price: On enquiry
Availability: Unique piece
Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon
The Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon is the second iteration of the Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon, now offered with blue livery. The timepiece was initially launched at LVMH Watch Week 2021 as a sporty, contemporary take on the classic complication.
As its name suggests, the watch is a minute repeater with a 3-hammer carillon with Westminster chime, regulated by a tourbillon. Making the watch come alive, is the manually-wound Caliber BVL428 that measures in at 35mm across and a thickness of 8.35mm.
The movement itself is said to be a mastery of Bulgari’s watchmaking knowhow, elevated further by the brand’s in-house case making knowhow. Accordingly, the 44mm, “generous proportions of the case are designed to maximize sound propagation, allowing for increased torque of the three-hammer construction and more sound power production.” Specifically, the mid-case is designed to maximize sound and allow for the most volume and resonance. The case internals are, also, hollowed out according to design, to reduce the amount of metal between inside and outside. Then there are three openings that correspond to the three chimes, which allows for the sound to travel unencumbered outside of the case’s internal chamber.
The movement, also, has its chimes fixed directly to the casebody for maximal transmission of sound, which is more so aided by the titanium used for the case. Bulgari has even hollowed and revamped the back of the case with an intentionally crafted titanium grid that protects this resonance zone and allows the audio produced to be projected out of the case.
Bulgari goes on to say that the gongs of the BVL428 are forged by hand before being annealed at a temperature of 900 degrees. The metal surface is then cleaned before another round of heating in an oven at 500 degrees, which at last gives it the physical qualities necessary for crystalline resonance. Adjustments to each gong is then made by a master watchmaker, carefully coaxing out the necessary notes for a Westminster chime, as stated by Bulgari: “The melodic sequence of this Carillon with three hammers sounding three tones plays the note C for the hours, the mid-re-C notes in sequence for the quarters, and the mid note for the minutes.”
Powering all of the necessary functions, no doubt, requires a great deal of energy, which is why Bulgari has equipped the BVL428 with two separate barrels. The first dedicated to the chiming mechanism, which is designed in a way that it rearms itself every time the chime is triggered. The alternate barrel is there to provide 75 hours of power reserve to the timing mechanism and has to be manually wound.
BULGARI OCTO ROMA BLUE CARILLON TOURBILLON
Movement: Manufacture mechanical manual winding BVL428 calibre; movement and blue-treated bridges; 75-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours and minutes, minute repeater, three-hammer carillon tourbillon and power-reserve indicator
Case: & dial: 44mm; platinum; openworked titanium middle-case, specially conceived to enhance sound performances; white gold crown, set with a black ceramic insert; white gold pusher to activate the chime
Strap: Blue alligator strap with platinum triple-blade folding clasp
Availability: 30-piece limited edition
Serpenti Misteriosi High Jewellery Secret Watches
The last big news from Bulgari, for LVMH Watch Week 2022, is also one of its smallest creations. Contained within a new collection of Serpenti Misteriosi High Jewellery Secret Watches, is the watchmakers newly developed Piccolissimo mechanical movement, which they are saying is also the smallest in the world (at present date), entirely conceived and produced within their manufacture in Le Sentier.
The Piccolissimo mechanical movement, or the calibre BVL100 measures in at a diameter of 12.3mm and 2.5mm thickness and weighs a miniscule, 1.30 grams. The movement was made possible thanks to the complete set of knowhow that Bulgari has garnered for itself it pursing the ultra-thin movements of the Finissimo family. Take for instances that Bulgari’s managed to pack 30 hours of power reserve into the BVL100 with a barrel that measures 5mm across and 1.47mm in height, containing within, a mainspring that measures 170mm long when unwound.
Bulgari shares further that,”…to ensure the greatest inertia according to the very small size of the movement, the manufacture opted for a white gold balance wheel.” The piece is operated as such: “Pressing the snake’s tongue on the Serpenti Misteriosi opens the head to reveal the watch. A bidirectional crown located on the caseback enables manual winding and time-setting. This dual function operates by means of a system of reversers.”
Switching our attention from the BVL100, we discover the mastery and artistry that Bulgari continues to express with the Serpenti. Given the brand’s expertise in the art of crafting with gold, the many parts that come together to form the Serpenti are, “individually shaped before being decorated, gem-set and assembled. Particular attention has been paid to the overall design of the precious metal structure forming the bracelet and the head to ensure that it is comfortable and light to wear.”
Remainig true to the Serpenti that was first introduced during the 1950s, each new expression is designed to be worn on either wrist: the container hidden within the snake’s head — housing the diamond-encrusted dial and the underlying movement — can be easily removed and turned in the other direction for easy reading when worn on either arm.
BULGARI SERPENTI MISTERIOSI HIGH JEWELLERY SECRET WATCHES
Refs: 103559, 103560, 103558, 103561
Movement: Mechanical manual winding micro-movement, BVL 100 Piccolissimo calibre; 30-hour power reserve; crown on the caseback, bi-directional for time-setting and winding
Functions: Hours and minutes
Case, dial, and bracelet:
Ref. 103559 – 40mm black-lacquered rose gold case, 2 pear-cut diamonds for the eyes (~0.3 ct), diamond-paved dial; black-lacquered rose gold double-tour bracelet
Ref. 103560 – 40mm white gold case, green-lacquered and set with brilliant-cut diamonds, 2 pear-cut emeralds for the eyes (~0.4 ct), diamond-paved dial; green-lacquered white gold double-tour bracelet set with brilliant-cut diamonds. Total 369 diamonds (~8.35 cts)
Ref. 103558 – 40mm rose gold case set with brilliant-cut diamonds and turquoise inserts, 2 pear-cut rubellites for the eyes (~0.4 ct), diamond-paved dial; double-tour rose gold bracelet set with diamonds and turquoise inserts. Total 724 diamonds (~18.05 cts)
Ref. 103561 – 40mm white gold case and head set with 626 round brilliant-cut diamonds (~15.83 cts), 2 pear-cut emeralds for the eyes (~0.4 ct), diamond-paved dial; yellow gold double-tour bracelet set with round brilliant-cut diamonds, white gold tail set with round brilliant-cut diamonds. Total 795 diamonds (~16.59 cts)
Price & availability: On enquiry only
More information: bulgari.com