Bulgari Baselworld 2015
The week that has just come to an end has been Richemont Group's week. The SIHH is their fair, but usually at the end of January the whole of Geneva is in ferment because, during those days, independent watchmakers and other big luxury groups start to tease their new creations, which will finally be unveiled at Baselworld. The Geneva Watch Week, organized by LVMH and the WPHH (World Presentation of Haute Horlogerie), created by the luxury Group led by Franck Muller, also takes place at the same time.
Bulgari invited a group journalists, including myself, at its Rue de Rhone boutique, to show us some of the new products we will see in Basel, mainly new versions of existing models, leaving room for Baselworld to be the official showcase for their novelties. This year will also mark the 40th anniversary of the Bulgari Bulgari collection, an icon created by the pencil and the genius of Gianni Bulgari; we can therefore expect quite a lot from this collection at the end of March. The Bulgari Baselworld 2015's preview is dedicated to chromatic variations of Bulgari Bulgari and Bulgari Octo, both based on the introduction of a sapphire blue dial, while the collection for ladies will add two new models to the Lucea collection, a line that has gained much success since it was first introduced on the market.
I first mentioned the Bulgari Bulgari some time ago, when the Montenapoleone boutique set up a thematic installation, retracing its history from its origins until the present day. For the first time, this year it will come with a sapphire blue dial and a leather strap with blue tones, or on a stainless steel bracelet. The Bulgari Bulgari has never been one of my favorite watches, but it is undeniable that its case design, which is extremely classic, neat and slightly curved in its latest version, make it one of the most wearable and recognizable watches around. The blue dial will feature on the 41mm case version.
Bulgari Baselworld 2015 means the same dial will also be adopted by the Bulgari Octo which, on the contrary, is at the top of my wish list. Its case design (inspired by the architecture of the Church of Massenzio, built in Rome in the 4th century) is an original mix between a stainless steel bracelet, made by a pack of long rectangular links, featuring a distinctive design, and an octagonal case. Bulgari is a master at making bracelets, an art in which the Maison boasts an unparalleled experience (one only needs to look at a Serpenti); the blue dial makes the Octo even sportier, adding another option to a sports watch that possesses all it takes to become one of the brand's icons, as long as designers will continue to improve the finishes of the movement and come up with a manual wind caliber also for entry level models. This is a technical option that is on the rise again, and that Bulgari has reintroduced with success by launching the Octo Finissimo.
This solution generally guarantees the best esthetical balance between movement and case sizes, while at the same time reducing the case thickness, thanks to the lack of a winding rotor. In the case of the bracelet version, it would be interesting to see how the bracelet would work if coupled with a thinner case.
Finally the Bulgari Lucea will come in rose or white 18k gold, featuring a bezel and lugs adorned with brilliant cut diamonds. The bracelet, that in its shape ideally evokes a Serpenti's one, is made of white gold with brilliant cut diamonds in the first case, whereas the rose gold version features a leather alligator strap. There is no information yet about retail prices, which will probably be officially released during Baselworld 2015, in about two months.
(Photo credit: Google; Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®