At the Gran Turismo World Series Finals in Barcelona, BULGARI made not one but two spectacular reveals. For the wrist: the BULGARI Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition, a stunning collaboration that reinterprets the iconic watch with the dynamic dimension of the gaming phenomenon. For the racetrack: the all-new BULGARI Aluminium Vision GT concept car in full scale, a spectacular hypercar designed for racing in the Gran Turismo game.
In 1998, BULGARI reinvented the concept of luxury with the BULGARI Aluminium, a non-gendered “Italian sport-chic” watch that proved visionary and is now a recognised design icon, winning the Red Dot Design Best of the Best Award in 2023. With its unprecedented combination of graphic lines and brand cues with aluminium and rubber – materials directly inspired by the automotive industry – the BULGARI Aluminium has stood the test of time, ever-captivating, ever-authentic and ever-relevant.
Today, 25 years later, the horological icon is being infused with high-octane adrenaline: BULGARI and the famed Gran Turismo auto racing simulation game are teaming up under the banner of precision and innovation. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Vision GT program, which opened race car development for the video game to the world’s top automobile manufacturers. In other words, the perfect occasion for BULGARI to unveil two limited editions of the BULGARI Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition chronograph – along with the BULGARI Aluminium Vision GT Car, the first and only hypercar especially designed for Gran Turismo racing by a watchmaking brand. Incredibly realistic in its look and feel in the virtual world, the real-life model on display today hints at a hypercar that might well roar on a real track in the not-too-distant future.
BULGARI Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition
The BULGARI Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition channels the Gran Turismo universe through the bold character of the legendary BULGARI Aluminium. This chronograph, retaining all of the original’s sleekness and cool, catches the eye with a vibrant yellow directly inspired by the dashboard dials of a legendary Italian gran turismo car from the 1990s. The BULGARI Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition fuses the robust lightness of aluminium for the case with the softness of rubber for the BULGARI-emblazoned bezel. A blend of sporty and innovative materials that flows all the way into the bracelet featuring articulated rubber links connected by aluminium rods. The crown and caseback are forged from high-tech, extra-strong and lightweight titanium with a black DLC treatment, emblazoned with the 10th Anniversary Vision GT logo.
BULGARI introduces the BULGARI Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition in two limited versions: with a yellow dial and black counters (500 pieces); and with an anthracite dial featuring yellow indices (1200 pieces). Marking a first since the collection’s relaunch in 2020, the BULGARI Aluminium moreover pays homage to speed with an integrated tachymetric scale. Designed, developed, and built by BULGARI’s integrated Manufacture, its engine, the automatic Calibre B381 with chronograph, is perfect for timing thrilling races.
BULGARI Aluminium Vision GT Car
But BULGARI reaches further, linking the real with the digital, connecting the mechanics of high horology with those of high-performance auto racing. Built to conquer the virtual racetracks of Gran Turismo, the BULGARI Aluminium Vision GT is the quintessence of BULGARI’s bold style and innovation expressed in racing car form.
The shape and materials used for the car echo the distinctive codes of the BULGARI Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition watch. The curves of its case, but also of the articulated bracelet with its visible screws, mirror the lines that define the cockpit and wheel design. The bodywork is brushed aluminium, with carbon for the lower body and technical sections, and black rubber to protect exposed areas. Inside the cockpit, colours and materials play off each other, emphasizing the contrast between aluminium, black rubber, anthracite Alcantara, and yellow accents. The dashboard, of course, evokes the yellow dial of the BULGARI Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition.
Breathtaking in its realism, imbued with elemental BULGARI codes, the BULGARI Aluminium Vision GT car stems from an extraordinary collaboration between two design visionaries: Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Product Creation Executive Director at BULGARI; and Fabio Filippini, car designer & design strategy advisor, founder of ACCAEFFE Creative Consulting Ltd. “I envisioned a different way of playing with BULGARI’s DNA, creating a concept car that speaks the same language as the BULGARI Aluminium watch. Its design is based on geometric, pure, and angular forms, inspired by the lines of legendary Italian gran turismo cars from the 1970s, featuring sporty three-spoke steering wheels and walnut dashboards. These shapes come together to create the unmistakable BULGARI aesthetic, resulting in a concept car with perfectly realistic proportions, also in the real world, at full scale,” emphasises Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani.
Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of Gran Turismo franchise and president of Polyphony Digital, the studio behind the series, adds: “We greatly value personal relationships. That’s the key to many of the collaborations we have forged, and it’s the soul of our community of players. It’s especially true this time: it flowed naturally from the strong relationship between Mr. Buonamassa, BULGARI’s design director, and Mr. Filippini, the former design director of Pininfarina with whom we collaborated, and also a member of our Explore studio. The timing was perfect, too, as this year marks the 10th anniversary of Vision Gran Turismo. There’s no better way to celebrate it than with a product as stunning as the BULGARI Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition watches and the striking BULGARI Vision Gran Turismo car.”
Once again, BULGARI pushes the boundaries of innovation, and raises the bar both on and off the racing circuit, capturing the thrill of speed with its unique style… Every purchaser of a BULGARI Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition will receive a code enabling them to race in the BULGARI hypercar in the game.
About Gran Turismo™
Gran Turismo™ is a video game developed by Polyphony Digital Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. Having launched in Japan first in 1997, the multi-award-winning franchise is regarded as the best and most authentic driving simulator due to true-to-life graphics, authentic physics technology and careful attention to detail. Polyphony and its famed creator Kazunori Yamauchi have revolutionized the racing game genre.