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.