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Bulgari Bulgari — so good they named it twice

Bulgari unveils its first drop of 2024 models at LVMH Watch Week in Miami.

Without raiding the lesser-seen secrets of its archival vaults, Bulgari has used LVMH Watch Week in Miami to unveil some very contemporary versions of its signature collections from the past 50 years – incorporating elements from the very heart of the maison.

The use of gold has been a timeless symbol of Bulgari since the 1930s and 40s, and this year takes centre stage in collections including Bulgari Bulgari, Lucea, and Octo Finissimo, weaving a collective narrative of opulence and sophistication.

According to CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, the new pieces articulate the intricate challenge of translating emotion into tangible forms – particularly when measured against the relentless ticking of time. In this pursuit, gold embodies a timeless elegance that transcends mere horology.

Bulgari Bulgari: a timeless icon

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With its origins in 1975’s Bulgari Roma – a solid gold timepiece conceptualised by Gianni Bulgari as a gift to the brand’s top 100 customers – the watch that became the Bulgari Bulgari is a reflection of the prevailing trends of its time – fresh, modern and unashamedly bearing the house logo not once, but twice.

Now, almost 50 years later, the maison has revisited the watch that Bulgari’s brand heritage director Lucia Boscaini describes as “arguably our most important wristwatch”.

Two models – one in yellow gold with a black dial, the other in rose gold with a silver opaline dial – are offered in mid-century appropriate 26mm and 38mm sizes. The larger models house self-winding movements, while the smaller models are quartz powered.

An additional two quartz models in 23mm or 33mm come in the form of a collaboration with Blackpink, Lisa (the brand’s second outing with the K-pop idol). The two limited-editions feature an edelweiss flower engraved on the caseback, symbolising the artist’s eternal connection to the alpine star. The dial is adorned with 400 squares of white mother-of-pearl, assembled to create a geometric motive, and diamonds.

Octo Finissimo: the fusion of expertise

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Since its inception in 2014, Octo Finissimo has come to epitomise the fusion of Swiss horological expertise and Roman elegance.

A feat of minimalist design and exquisite engineering, the Octo Finissimo forever changed the landscape of watchmaking. Within the first eight years, the manufacture set eight records for slimness, blending a mechanical revolution with inimitable Italian chic.

In 2022, Octo Finissimo embraced the timeless lustre of yellow gold, reinterpreting the vintage charm of the first Art Deco watches designed by Bulgari in the late 1930s.

The latest iterations, Octo Finissimo Yellow Gold and Tuscan Copper, pay homage to this vintage charm. The yellow-gold variant exhibits a sun-like glow, enhancing the watch’s bold lines and distinctive Roman-inspired geometry.

In steel, the Octo Finissimo Tuscan Copper showcases a dial with a metallic copper hue, which the brand compares to the shades found in the Italian Renaissance Mannerist paintings of the 16th century.

The case, distinguished by 58 facets and architectural angles, culminates in a satin-finished yellow-gold bracelet with triple-blade folding clasp.

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The dial, coated in a blue with a sunray finish, adds the final touch of opulence to the gold’s splendour. Golden hands and hour markers, in striking contrast to the blue are perfectly in tune with the chic and sporty essence of this timepiece.

Boasting a 40mm diameter and a mere 6.4 mm slimness, the new Octo Finissimo has water resistance up to 100 metres. The transparent caseback offers a glimpse of the 2.23mm-high BVL 138 calibre with hand-finished chamfers, circular graining, and Côtes de Genève stripes.

Lucea: a decade of glamour

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Lucea remains a beacon of Bulgari’s approach to jewelled watches. Made in steel and gold, the new models feature refined lines that encase marquetry dials featuring iridescent mother-of-pearl or upcycled malachite fragments.

Exemplifying the brand’s reputation as the ‘Roman Jeweller of Time’, Lucea has constantly evolved, emphasising Bulgari’s commitment to merging substance with style, crafting a jewel and then envisioning the calibre that would best complement it.

Marking its decade milestone, Lucea’s case and bracelet have been refined to embody a new lightness and flexibility akin to the jewellery collections such as Serpenti. The bracelet’s V-shaped links are softened and rounded, with polished central elements in rose gold or steel.

The slimmed-down bezels frame the signature Intarsia dials in white or green mother-of-pearl or malachite. The watches are available in 33m or 38mm versions with self-winding or quartz movements.

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