Bulgari invites you to experience Geneva Watch Days 2023 with the promise of the brand’s fabulous creative heritage.
The extraordinary duality of nature is the guiding theme, as materials, colours, shapes, and both rare and age-old savoir-faire find new expression, are rediscovered and reinvented anew. As we return to Geneva in 2023, Bulgari’s jewelry and watchmaking interpretations reflect all the passion that goes into perpetuating the Maison’s unique heritage and peerless reputation among customers and connoisseurs alike.
Here are the six new creations to discover on the shores of Lake Geneva, in three acts:
The first of these touches on the Octo Finissimo saga, which continues to unfold around new materials. Following titanium, platinum, rose and yellow gold, ceramic and tantalum, the Octo Finissimo concept finds itself expressed in carbon and gold. Bulgari‘s relentless quest for finesse – marked by 8 world records since 2014 – continues with two Octo Finissimo Automatic models (the record set in 2017) and the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar (the record set in 2021) now clad in the anthracite hues of high-tech carbon, contrasted with the luminous brilliance of gold. Dazzling.
The second act of this autumn’s calendar shines a spotlight on Bulgari’s marvellous Piccolissimo BVL 100 round miniature mechanical movement, the smallest on the market. It marks the mystique of mechanical time in High Jewelry, true to the spirit of secret jewelry watches. Here, two new models come to the fore: the Serpenti Misteriosi in white gold set with over 33 carats of diamonds; and the Serpenti Misteriosi in rose gold, which combines the chromatic depth of black lacquer with the spatial volume of navette-cut diamonds. Fascinating.
For the third, Bulgari has unearthed precious antique coins, curated them for their historical significance, and set them on the Monete Catene secret watches. The two coins in the Monete Catene Dual Time wristwatch evoke the reign of the legendary couple formed by the Emperor Septimus Severus and his empress Julia Domna, revered as a goddess. The Monete Catene watch features a single denarius, a silver coin with the effigy of formidable Emperor Caracalla. With their ample volume, these Monete Catene, made of gold and diamonds, are a demonstration of sophistication and aesthetic mastery, showcasing exceptional antique treasures of Ancient Rome and Greece, a quintessential element of the Bulgari style. Inspiring.
To be sure, the duality of nature is a treasure trove of wonders and inspirations for Bulgari. Join us from 29 August to 2 September 2023 and discover the Maison’s creative innovations at Geneva Watch Days 2023.
OCTO FINISSIMO CARBONGOLD AUTOMATIC and OCTO FINISSIMO CARBONGOLD PERPETUAL CALENDAR
Bulgari, again, revisits the rulebook with the Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Automatic and the Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Perpetual Calendar. Two milestones in Bulgari’s relentless quest for finesse, crowned by 8 records since 2014, are changing the game: the Octo Finissimo Automatic (2017 record) and the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar (2021 record) are reborn in high-tech anthracite carbon, offset by luxurious touches of gold. Bulgari first presented this norm-defying blend of materials and textures in 1993 – an innovation made possible by the brand’s unique ability to envision materials from a “watchmaking jeweller’s” perspective. Objects of rarity, the Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Automatic and the Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Perpetual Calendar redefine the rules of modern horology – a stroke of style and innovation, a daring statement on the timeline of watchmaking.
Shaking up art and matter
Expertly versed in smithing gold, but also in working with high-tech materials such as titanium and ceramics, Bulgari excels in surprising and original associations. The Maison was among the first to create jewelry watches in steel, notably with the Tubogas bracelet. Then, in a feat of finesse, the Octo Finissimo explored the technical and aesthetic possibilities of platinum, yellow and rose gold, titanium, ceramics and, of course, steel, with surfaces at times polished, brushed polished or matte, even monochromatic.
With the new Octo Finissimo CarbonGold watches, with small seconds or a perpetual calendar, Bulgari combines gold with carbon – for a wildly different take on chic look and feel. The case, strap and dial are made of extremely lightweight, anthracite-coloured carbon with a matte finish. The golden display elements and the crown, crafted in gold, offer a luxurious contrast against this high-tech backdrop. The blend of materials dates back to 1993, an invitation to explore the potential of new alloys and associations.
Italian flair, Swiss ultra-slimness
Architectural in its foundations, the Octo Finissimo makes the roundness of the bezel work with the octagonal structure of the watch face, which echoes throughout the design. Taut lines stand out in measured majesty – the Bulgari style! Its extreme finesse embodies the extraordinary watchmaking expertise of the Manufacture, which time and again has proved capable of rethinking deeply ingrained codes only to push their boundaries. The Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar, which won the coveted Aiguille d’Or prize at the Grand prix d’horlogerie de Genève (the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix) in 2021, set the Maison’s 7th record for slimness. Redesigned from the ground up, Bulgari’s calibre BVL 305 gives the watch an incredible profile of only 2.75 mm. In this new carbon version, the ultra-thin classic perpetual calendar complication – requiring no adjustment before 2100 – takes on a resolutely contemporary look.
The Estetica della Meccanica, the ‘aesthetic of mechanics’, cultivated by Bulgari also shows in the transparent caseback of the Octo Finissimo CarbonGold: held in place by eight precious metal screws, like micro-sunbursts on the carbon surface, it reveals vibrant contrasts, with the Côte de Genève-decorated rose gold bridges and oscillating weight forged from rose gold-plated platinum. A unique, daring aesthetic with an edgy, technical impact. In the truest style of Bulgari.
SERPENTI MISTERIOSI, HIGH JEWELRY SECRET WATCH
Already an absolute icon, Serpenti Misteriosi now unfurls its irresistible twists in new incarnations. The sparkle of white gold paved with diamonds for the first, the temptation of rose gold, with scales of black lacquer and set with sumptuous diamonds, for the second. Hypnotically poised, a precious serpent’s head with emerald eyes conceals a pavé-set dial. Its heart beats to the mesmerising rhythms of the Piccolissimo miniature movement. The quintessence of Italian glamour and Bulgari’s mastery of jewelry and watchmaking, the Serpenti Misteriosi secret watches are inspired by the rich creative heritage of the “Roman Jeweller of Time”.
The art of the infinitely small
Bulgari signals the return of mechanical time to High Jewelry, as did in the past high jewelry secret watches. Two fortes of the Maison, stunning jewelry and ultra-thin watches, are brought together once again thanks to the engineering prowess of the Calibre BVL 100. Aptly named Piccolissimo, meaning ‘very, very small’ in Italian, it is also the thinnest available on the market, designed and manufactured by Bulgari. The extreme miniaturisation follows through on Bulgari’s relentless pursuit of finesse – a quest so far crowned by no fewer than 8 records – and combines it with dimensions ideal for powering high jewelry watches, such as the Serpenti Misteriosi. This extraordinary movement is wound by a crown located under the serpent’s head.
A powerful talisman revered since Mesopotamian cultures, the snake – serpente in Italian – has inspired Bulgari since the 1940s. Elizabeth Taylor was the first to wear a Serpenti secret watch with a dragon’s head pointing its mischievous gold tongue. The opulence of this jewel, overflowing with gems and gold, evoked the splendour of ancient Egypt and the sublime costumes of Cleopatra, the role the Hollywood star was portraying at the time at the fabled Cinecittà studios in Rome. Today, Bulgari has revisited the lines of the Serpenti Misteriosi, for lightness and a perfect fit. Seductive, symbols of strength and renewal, the serpents encircle the wrist in two turns – as if to never leave or let go. Eyes of emerald, Liz Taylor’s favourite gem, bewitch with a single glance. A flick of the tongue playfully reveals the diamond-paved dial. Ingeniously, the watch can be unclipped at will, so that the Serpenti Misteriosi can be worn on either arm, and the dial adjusted accordingly.
Each of the Serpenti’s hexagonal scales is cast using the delicate lost-wax technique, a skill dating back more than 6,000 years. 116 brilliant-cut diamonds (32.91 carats) enhance the Serpenti Misteriosi in white gold. The Serpenti Misteriosi in rose gold, by contrast, combines the chromatic depth of black lacquer with the ethereal glow of navette-cut diamonds, creating fascinating patterns. Here, the art of lacquering is inspired by the enamelling technique used by the Egyptians as far back as 2000 BCE, and by Bulgari since the 1960s for the Serpenti. It takes more than 80 hours of painstaking attention detail to polish and assemble the two turns of the Serpenti Misteriosi, before letting them slip through time with their eternal beauty.
MONETE CATENE HIGH JEWELRY SECRET WATCHES
In the rich creative heritage of Bulgari, the “Roman Jeweller of Time,” one can find extraordinary expressions of horology as jewelry. The new Monete Catene secret watches, inspired by the innovative concept of Gemme Nummarie introduced by Nicola Bulgari in the mid 60s, truly epitomize the pinnacle of Bulgari’s craftsmanship and artistry. Precious antique coins, powerful symbols of history, elevate the watch cases, as exquisite as they are sculptural, to another plane. Fashioned from gold and set with diamonds, these high jewelry timepieces flow around the wrist thanks to supple chain bracelets reminiscent of 1940s curb chains, also known as gourmettes. The Monete Catene Dual Time cuff looks back at another chapter of Bulgari history through the lens of High Jewelry, inspired by the Maison’s watch creation from the 1970s. Within these precious horological creations, discreetly pulsating, a treasure of mechanical miniaturisation: the Bulgari Piccolissimo movement.
Beyond time, a certain style
Through the ages, antique precious coins have borne witness to the greatness of Ancient Rome and Greece, quintessentially the style of Bulgari, a Maison with Roman and Greek roots. From the 1930s onwards, Bulgari would imagine refined objects – and from the 1960s also jewelry – adorned with ancient coins, an aesthetic inspired by Roman jewelry of the 1st century AD. In 1966, Nicola Bulgari, for whom these unique witnesses to history always held a particular fascination, had the idea of perpetuating this heritage with the first Monete watches. Today, Bulgari has sourced rare coins of the epoch, selecting them for their historical relevance, to cover the Monete Catene secret watches. 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.
The Monete Catene timepieces unfurl their generous body, shaped from gold and diamonds, with sophistication and aesthetic mastery. Their skilfully orchestrated lines draw the casing for the coins, exceptional ancient treasures. The case of the Monete Catene wristwatch is designed with 8 facets, like the Octo Monete watches of the time. This geometry, with its powerful symbolism so dear to Bulgari, evokes the ceiling of the Maxentius Basilica in Rome
The Monete Catene Dual Time cuff, equally refined in its design, is inspired by a rectangular watch designed for the Roman Maison in the 1970s. Two dials with hands in two distinct colors display the time in different time zones. Bulgari combines the radiance of the yellow gold – to encircle the coins – with that of rose gold, a two-tone combination characteristic of the period. Baguette and brilliant-cut diamonds and a delicate snow setting make this secret watch a marvel of jewelry-making expertise. On the sides of the case, two emerald cabochons, a Bulgari hallmark, provide the ‘keys’ to revealing the splendour of the otherwise hidden dials, enabling the owner to open the case of the watch.
The Monete Catene watches seamlessly extend into precious chain bracelets (“catene” in Italian). Their curb chain aesthetic has been part of Bulgari’s creative heritage since the 1940s and was taken up in the 1960s for the first Monete jewelry. The Monete Catene Dual Time cuff counts five rows of links, alternating between yellow gold and gem-set rose gold, held in thrall by the sparkle of white gold bars graced with baguette diamonds. For the curb chain bracelet on the Monete Catene watch, Bulgari sprinkled diamonds on the rose gold.
A marvel of miniaturisation, only the Piccolissimo BVL 100 movement, created by the Bulgari Manufacture – and today the smallest round movement – could possibly have a place at the heart of the Monete Catene. A hand-wound calibre that echoes the jewelry watches of past eras, also equipped with mechanical movements. This horological masterpiece of utmost discretion allows Bulgari to weave its high jewelry and high watchmaking expertise around these gold coins, powerful symbols of antiquity, and thus draw on the richness of history to transcend time.