The Bulgari x Gran Turismo Vision GT Limited Edition
Bulgari Reminds us that innovative, chic design can also be… just so much fun
Picture it – the bright, hot sun, shining down on flawless, black tarmac. The low, guttural growling of revving engines ring out like a symphony of high octane anticipation. Your gaze drifts down from the ribbons of heat distorting the track ahead, to the instrument panel of your Bulgari Vision GT – a daring, cutting edge vision of carbon fiber, rubber, and aluminum. You glance down at your wrist, the chronograph counter ticking down to the definitive moment as your arm brushes against the Alcantara of the racing bucket seat. You hear a ding… it’s the microwave… you press pause…
2023 marks the 10 year anniversary of the Vision Gran Turismo project, a collaborative endeavor between legendary gaming studio Polyphony Digital and the world’s most prestigious car manufactures. Though this year will be a little bit different. Rather than seeing a mind bending supercar from the likes of Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Bugatti, this year’s vision comes from none other than Bulgari. Together with Polyphony Digital, Bulgari’s Product Creation Executive Director Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani and former Pininfarina Design Director Fabio Filippini, have collaborated to not only create two limited edition timepieces for Gran Turismo, but also an entirely unique hypercar within the video game itself.
Directly connected in both style and material, the Bulgari Vision GT car and Bulgari Aluminum x Gran Turismo Special Edition chronographs are built around the concept of blending sport and luxury lifestyle in a seamless and elegant way. The car, which Bulgari playfully suggests may actually see a real life race track at some point “in the not-too-distant future”, is retro-futurist vision of aluminum, carbon fiber and rubber, echoing the material components of the watches. A model of the car was on display at the Gran Turismo World Series Finals in Barcelona.
In turn, the watches, a part of the Aluminum series, echo a similar retro style, a modern, sporty reinterpretation of the Aluminum series from the late nineties – itself an evolution of the Bulgari Diagono. Two versions of the watches will be made, 500 of which will feature a bright yellow dial with black accents and 1200 made with an anthracite gray dial with black and yellow accents. Naturally, anyone who purchases one of the timepieces will be granted a code for access to the car within the game.
At first blush, some may question the idea of a luxury watch and jewelry maker collaborating on such a project. Gamers, in particular, tend to be very sensitive to commercial tie ins, especially when done in long established and cherished franchises like Gran Turismo. If the genesis of a collaboration is not immediately apparent or organic, gamers are likely to bristle. However, when one is able to take a step back and view the Bulgari Aluminum Vision GT and the accompanying Aluminum series watches from a less serious perspective, the true purpose becomes clear – the car, the watches, the collaboration – is fun. That’s right, fun (and before anyone scoffs at the idea of gamers being disinclined towards luxury timepieces… have a quick look at the prices involved in racing simulation rigs…)
Despite the lofty, insightful, and intellectually stimulating discussions of high concept design and branding alignment, watches are fun. Cars are fun. Perhaps, most obviously, video games are fun! Games like Gran Turismo are so compelling, so enduring, and so addicting, because they are able to put gamers into the literal driver’s seat of cars that are otherwise completely inaccessible. It’s the purist and most tangible form of wish fulfillment outside of winning the lottery. It allows for the imagination to connect in a very real way to reality.
In a similar vein, the Vision Gran Turismo project brings the world’s greatest car makers, who are themselves used to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, together with the studio to truly throw the rule book out the window and dream. What can we create if we could create anything? Viewed from this perspective, Bulgari is the perfect watch partner for such an endeavor – a brand that has become synonymous with connecting challenging, high concept design with performance and engineering, in the most effortlessly stylish and chic way.
Gaming is about immersive experiences brought to life. In a related way, watches provide an analogous kind of wish fulfillment in that they are often highly evocative objects. Strapping on a watch that transports you to a cherished time, an exotic place, or a passionate pastime, is one of the most fundamental driving factors behind all watch collecting. With that in mind, donning one of the two limited Bulgari Aluminum x Gran Turismo timepieces, plugging in either a controller or, ideally, a driving wheel, and spending a leisured Saturday morning setting lap records on far away tracks sounds about as good as it gets. Well, unless of course Bulgari makes good on the promise of creating their Vision GT car IRL, that is.
Bulgari Aluminium X Gran Turismo Special Edition 2023 Ref. 103893
Movement: Self-winding mechanical movement, date, chronograph, Calibre B381, 42-hour power reserve.
Case & Dial: 41 mm aluminum case, titanium caseback with DLC coating and ‘GT Vision 10th Anniversary’ engraving, rubber bezel; titanium crown with DLC coating; brushed anthracite dial with yellow hour markers and numerals; Super-LumiNova®-coated hour and minute hands; tachymetric scale; water-resistant to 100 m. Caseback engraved with the ‘GT Vision 10th Anniversary’ emblem.
Strap: Rubber strap with aluminum links, aluminum pin buckle.
Personalized Packaging: Dedicated aluminum and rubber box with the number ‘10’ featured prominently, a reference to the 10th anniversary of Vision GT
Availability: Limited edition of 1200 pieces
Bulgari Aluminium X Gran Turismo Special Edition 2023, Ref. 104006
Movement: Self-winding mechanical movement, date, chronograph, Calibre B381, 42-hour power reserve
Case & Dial: 41 mm aluminum case, titanium case back with DLC coating and GT Vision 10th anniversary logo engraving, rubber bezel; titanium crown with DLC coating; varnished yellow dial with black hour markers and numerals; Super- LumiNova®-coated hour and minute hands; tachymetric scale; water-resistant to 100 m. Caseback engraved with the ‘GT Vision 10th Anniversary’ emblem.
Strap: Rubber strap with aluminum links, aluminum pin buckle
Personalized packaging – Dedicated aluminum and rubber box with the number ‘10’ featured prominently, a reference to the 10th anniversary of Vision GT
Availability: Limited edition of 500 pieces
MORE STORIES ABOUT BVLGARI
FROM THE SHOP
|Automatic Swiss movement, made by Sellita
|Hours, minutes, central second, crown at 2 o’clock
|Stainless steel, polished
|Lacquered Electric Blue
|The watch will come on a fabric SNOW BEACH nylon strap
|Limited edition of 300 pieces