by Kyle Stults on April 14, 2014
In an impressive technical achievement, watchmakers at Bulgari have achieved a new world record for world’s thinnest tourbillon caliber. Yes, Bulgari. This watch — case and all — is 5.0mm thin (40mm diameter, made of platinum). The movement — a mere 1.95mm.
This bests recent “record holders” in the ultra-thin tourbillon category from Arnold & Son (UTTE – 2.97mm) and Breguet (tourbillon Cal 581DR – 3mm), both 2013 launches. Prior to this it was Piaget with the world’s thinnest tourbillon – the Piaget caliber 600P is a mere 3.5mm thick. Also in this category but now a few rungs down the ladder solely on the basis of dimension is JLC (their 1.85mm thin Cal 849 is the thinnest time-only/non-tourbillon hand wound in the world) and of course Audemars Piguet (their tourbillon Cal 2924 measures 4.46mm).
By the way, Bulgari is now led by the other “JCB” – Jean Christophe Babin. He was formerly CEO of TAG Heuer for about a decade.
And the world’s thinnest mechanical watch of any kind? The Piaget Altiplano 900P, an amazing creation in which case and caliber are one, measures in at a total 3.65mm.
New for 2013 from Bulgari is this classically styled piece, though with the “Roma” bezel notation rather than BVLGARI BVLGARI. 39mm rose gold case with black lacquered dial. Limited edition 250 pieces. Priced at 22,000 EUR.
Gerald Genta design lives on…
Did you know the original “Octo” was created by legendary Swiss watch designer Gerald Genta? Yup, and now the Octo lives on under the Bulgari brand. Bulgari acquired the Gerald Genta brand in 1999/2000, and in 2010 it announced that it would be fully “integrating” Gerald Genta (and Daniel Roth) into Bulgari. In other words, the Gerald Genta name would soon live on in spirit only. Now in 2010 Bulgari did showcase some pieces with both the Bulgari and Gerald Genta logos on them — I do not know if these pieces were produced as such or not, but in some number of years they might be worthy collector’s pieces. Anyway — back to the Octo. Originally created by Genta and named for its eight-sided case, the watch was produced with a wide array of complications including a Grand Sonnerie Tourbillon. But as you can see this new Octo from Bulgari is very simple and elegant whilst carrying on the Octo design. I’ve got more pics and video, below.
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by Kyle Stults on April 20, 2012
Here is one of three new “Daniel Roth” pieces launched by Bulgari for 2012. The first thing that attracts the eyes is the tourbillon at 6 o’clock — fully visible through a cutout in the dial. The watch makes masterful use of the iconic Daniel Roth case shape, and there are several subtle details which I find particularly compelling (see pictures, video below). The in-house, manual wind caliber DR 3300 has 2 barrels providing a commendable power reserve of 75 hours. In addition, there are three stacked cathedral gongs, each of which individually shaped and bent by hand and then annealed at 900°C, cleaned and fired at 500°C. The gongs are actuated by three individual hammers and strike a C-note for the hours, an E-D-C sequence for the quarters and an E-note for the minutes. I highly recommend watching the video as it gives you a good walk-through of the watch — minute repeater in particular. A really, really marvelous timepiece!
Bulgari Daniel Roth Carillon Tourbillon Minute Repeater
Limited Edition 30 pieces
43mm pink gold case
Bulgari Daniel Roth Carillon Tourbillon Minute Repeater VIDEO (1080p)
Something I have never seen: the crown is engraved with the individual watch number — very clever, I like it:
Upon close look you notice that the dial is made of a sapphire disk which does not attach to the case band or bezel — to better allow for the minute repeater to be heard:
sits beautifully on the wrist:
I debated whether or not to even go with this, but here they are, new for 2012 – the new Bulgari Diagono models with ceramic bezels. Really I am not much a fan of Bulgari’s Diagono line — these pieces are too entrenched in the “fashion” segment for a watch die-hard like myself. I much prefer, say, the very high end Bulgari Daniel Roth/Gerald Genta pieces (there are a few new models for 2012 which I will get to in coming weeks). The gaudy BVLGARI branding on the bezel is always what has turned me off from this line (among other factors). This said, it could be worse — the women’s models with white ceramic bezels, for example.
Bulgari Diagono Ceramic
42mm pink gold or steel case, automatic mechanical movement (ETA), satin-finished black ceramic bezel and pushers, black rubber strap
A new piece from Bulgari, who has teamed with Maserati to present this piece. I appreciate the retrograde counters and the nice cushioned calfskin strap, but the “Maserati grille” theme on the dial requires some imagaination. Yea, it’s no Hublot Big Bang Ferrari, but if you like Maserati and you’ve got money to burn, put it on your list.
Bulgari Octo Maserati Watch
45mm steel “Octo” case, automatic mechanical movement, retrograde minutes/date/chronograph hrs/mins/seconds (6 o’clock)
by Kyle Stults on December 30, 2011
This is the kind of watch I picture a Russian Oligarch wearing. According to Bulgari, the sonnerie function will chime over 433,500 times per a year if it is continuously operated. The movement is quite impressive, with almost 1000 parts — watch the video below for a closer look. One interesting thing about the movement is that it is an automatic (hence the rotor). In ultra-complicated watches such as this one you almost always see a manual-wind movement. This is nice, because it must be kind of a hassle to always be re-setting this watch as might be the case if it were a manual wind.
The Bulgari Daniel Roth Grande Sonnerie Quantieme Perpetual Calendar watch will be priced at 980,000 Swiss Francs, or in excess of $1,000,000 at current F/X.
Bulgari Daniel Roth Grande Sonnerie Quantieme Perpetual Watch
A full list of features is as follows:
-Westminster Carillon chimes
-Leap Year Indicator
-Automatic winding for movement and striking system
-Silent centrifugal governor
-Power reserve indicator for movement (48h)
-Power reserve indicator for striking system (28h in mode « Little »)
-Secured striking mode (during striking, the time setting system is disconnected)
-Secured time setting (during time setting, the striking system is disconnected)
-Secured striking system (the minute repeater is disconnected during striking in « passing » and vice-versa)
-Striking mode selector “chimes/silence » (rotating water resistant selector with indication)
-Striking mode selector « little/grand » (rotating water resistant selector with indication)
A Grand Complication model housing a wealth of superlatives, the new Bulgari Grande Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar, Daniel Roth Collection, boasts a 923-part movement that sounds the Westminster chime while also providing full calendar indications. The creation of this timepiece requires the steady hand of a master-watchmaker for a full year; 20 different functions are resident within its mechanical architecture. Bulgari claims this watch to be in the 10 most complicated watches ever presented, though I have not verified this claim (lazy Thursday). It is undoubtedly a majestic looking watch, with the sounds of the Westminster chime making it a desirable object for the serious watch connoisseur.
Bulgari Grande Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar
Pink Gold case, crown at 9 o’clock for time adjustments; strike/silence and Grande & Petite Sonnerie selectors at 10 and 7 o’clock respectively, minute repeater pusher at 9 o’clock
18-carat pink gold with alternating lacquered finish, opaline anthracite & snailed surface treatment, openworking; semi-transparent sapphire discs indicating the days and months.
Manufacture movement, Cal. DR 5307, comprising 923 parts & 82 jewels.
Grande Sonnerie with Westminster chime, 4 hammers, Perpetual Calendar, Minute Repeater, Tourbillon & Moon Phases.
Indication of the hours and minutes, day of the week and months, leap years, moon phases and date; double power-reserve indication for the movement and the striking mechanism
Complications and functions
Leap Year Indicator
Automatic winding for movement and striking system
Silent centrifugal governor
Power reserve indicator for movement (48h)
Power reserve indicator for striking system (28h in mode « Little »)
Secured striking mode (during striking, the time setting system is disconnected)
Secured time setting (during time setting, the striking system is disconnected)
Secured striking system (the minute repeater is disconnected during striking in « passing » and vice-versa)
Striking mode selector “chimes/silence » (rotating water resistant selector with indication)
Striking mode selector « little/grand » (rotating water resistant selector with indication)
This special edition Bulgari Diagono X-Pro is perhaps my favorite of the many special edition watches being produced for the upcoming celebration of “Purists” 10 year anniversary celebration in Las Vegas. I really like the overall look of the regular Diagono X-Pro (see it here), and the blue color accents on the dial of this special Purists edition make it particularly appealing to me. More broadly, I find the X-Pro to be a respectable offering from Bulgari as compared to its more tradional Bulgari Diagono’s which have bezel’s emblazoned with huge BVGLARI lettering that I find to be obnoxious and gaudy. Price it: $16,250. Buy it.
BVLGARI PuristS 10th Diagono X-Pro Watch
Limited edition 50 pieces
45mm steel+titanium case, special blue color accents on the dial, rubber-coated chrono pushers and crown, automatic mechanical movement (Bvlgari Calibre 312 which is a Valjoux 7750 base customized by La Joux-Perret Manufacture with an additional GMT module), on rubber strap with pin buckle
“PuristS 10th / One of Fifty” text on caseback
Here is a new watch from Bulgari “Daniel Roth”, the Grand Lune. More on the “Daniel Roth” co-branding at the bottom of the post. But first, the watch — it is a most interesting watch, good and bad — as I will also discuss below.
Bulgari Grande Lune
44mm rose gold elliptical case, split-level dial with white lacquer (top) and black gold satin-finished (bottom) surfaces, “3-hand” seconds hand (20 second increments), manual wind Frederic Piguet movement with Daniel Roth complication,
What I like about it is the split-level dial in different materials (white lacquer / satin-finished black gold) and the rather unique ’3-hand’ seconds hand — note each hand (each a different length) covers a 20-second increment.
The real deal killer here, though, is the “31-day” sub-dial. Look closely and you can that some numbers face “inward” and some face “outward”. If this it is a matter of preference, I guess I am in the “not a fan” camp. I think it is confusing and does not look good, particular when the numbers transition from facing inward to outward — for example see the transition from “7″ to “9″ (which actually looks like a “6″) and “23″ to “25″ –looks just awful if you ask me.
Now as for the “Daniel Roth” name on the dial — you may recall that in January 2010, Bulgari announced the “end” of the high end and much adored “Daniel Roth” (and “Gerald Genta”) watch brand that it had previously acquired. Actually, the strategy Bulgari announced was to feature the DR (and GG) brand along with the Bulgari brand on the watches. Really, though, Bulgari basically co-opted the DD/GG brands and the “co-branding” strategy is now nothing more than a token nod to the Daniel Roth or Gerald Genta heritage. In other words, what formerly would have been a “Daniel Roth” or a “Gerald Genta” watch is now a Bulgari watch. While this transformation is lamented by many high-end watch collectors who have much love for both Roth and Genta, it is life — as an independent, you either survive, you get gobbled up, or you die. In another year or two, I expect you will neither see nor hear about Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta as they relate to Bulgari’s watches.
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