Bulgari not only had one of the most spectacular stands at Baselworld, but also some of the most impressive introductions. On the high watchmaking side, the brand resumes its fascination with repeater watches, introducing the Commedia Dell’Arte, a tribute to the traditional theatre of 16th century Italy that uses masked characters.
The three most iconic of these characters, Brighella, Pulcinella and Harlequin are depicted on the dial as jaquemarts, where they come alive when the cathedral gong is activated. The movement is based on a Christophe Claret caliber, with a striking mechanism developed by Bulgari that uses two gongs wrapped twice around the inside of the case for a richer sound. The backdrop, an Italian palazzo, is a tribute to Bulgari’s Italian roots. Dial treatments include miniature painting, engraving and chasing. There will be eight pieces in each of three versions, one for each character.
In a similar vein, the new Giardino Tropicale has a beautiful, colorful dial crafted using champlevé enameling, miniature painting (of a parrot surrounded by flowers and leaves) and gemsetting. It contains the self-winding tourbillon caliber BUL 263, the cage of which is supported by a sapphire glass bridge. This is a 50-piece edition.
The new Bulgari Bulgari Roma is more of a unisex model, and was designed as a tribute to the 1975 digital piece. The inscription Bulgari Roma is engraved on the bezel of this 250-piece limited edition. There is also a new Bulgari Bulgari Chrono, with the selfwinding Bulgari column-wheel caliber 328, and a tourbillon version with the Bulgari caliber 263, crafted entirely in Bulgari’s workshops in Le Sentier.
Having proved its mettle as a watchmaker with these and other models with in-house calibers, Bulgari has earned the right to embrace the other side of its heritage – as a maker of not only jewelry but of trend setting fashion watches. The impressive Bulgari Bulgari Catene (Italian for chain) is set to become an instant hit among fashionistas, with its chain-link style bracelet, a hot look right now in jewelry. The bracelet is a double-link, which makes it both luxurious and extremely comfortable, as it conforms perfectly to the wrist. It’s a great every-day look, a category that doesn’t get much press amidst the sea of complications and super watches that make headlines. The diamond version is spectacular.
And good news for those who coveted the new Bulgari Octo when it was introduced last year in gold. It is now available in a supple steel bracelet version that could easily fit a ladies’ wrist as well. Just saying.