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Geneva Watch Days
Bulgari - The Octo Roma Collection expands

Bulgari The Octo Roma Collection expands

Presentation of the Geneva Watch Days novelties 2021 and other launches

Color is the Sixth Sens

Don’t be deceived by appearences. These Bulgari timepieces are mere examples the brand chose to manufacture. In reality, these Octo Roma Naturalia are meant to showcase the extent of Bulgari’s new bespoke timepieces program. The Octo Roma Tourbillon serves as the very exclusive platform of choice to lead that new initiative, based on the belief that a certain clientele will not wear the same watch as anyone else, rooted in the culture of high jewelry where virtually every piece is a one-off, and most of all in a century-old culture of stones, colour and exclusivity.

Colour is the sixth sense

Octo Roma Naturalia Lapis Lazuli © Bulgari

A Sense of Rainbow

At the beginning, there was colour. These just might be the best words to describe Bulgari. They have been consistently using coloured gems and stones of all shapes and sizes, of all origins, in order to achieve a unique visual impression. Opulent, extravagant, bold, Bulgari never shied away from reds, purples, greens, oranges, pinks and all shades of yellow. So it just makes sense that the Octo Roma Naturalia be covered in hard stones like never a skeleton before.

A Sense of Watchmaking

The Octo Roma case is home to an in-house calibre comprising a tourbillon with flying cage, in the shape of a skeleton which seems to float mid-air. The Naturalia version of this initial architecture has added a hard-stone plate in between the movement’s bridges, what’s left of them anyway. It adds a full and lustrous background where there is usually just void. And then there are the bridges themselves. They’re adorned with narrow and long plates of matching hard stone. Even the caseband has been designed to accomodate a pair of purpose-cut slabs of mineral. And finally, the bezel and angular Octo lugs are ready for extensive gem-setting.

Colour is the sixth sense

Octo Roma Naturalia © Bulgari

A Sense of Bespoke

The three first timepieces to be introduced are very different in colour. One is black sandblasted titanium with onyx everywhere. The second is made of platinum set with diamonds and enhanced with plates of lapis lazuli. And the last one features malachite in the middle of a large expanse of pink gold, with a smooth bezel. From there, you can go just where your fancies take you. Mix the hard stones to your heart’s content. Choose whatever metal type you wish. Add gems on the bezel, lugs, buckle, in the shape of baguette-cut stones preferably. But if you choose a platinum or gold case, one thing is for sure: the movement’s bridges and plates will be made of solid gold of matching colour.

A Sense of Feminity

Launched as an experiment, the design of every made-to-measure Octo Roma Naturalia is implemented with the help of an app, available only in Bulgari boutiques. It also allows for the design of a personalized engraving on the caseback. And why stop there? Once the brand’s manufacturing facilities are up to speed, the plan is to extend customization to a variety of items from the Bulgari catalog, with one proviso: those will have to be ladies’ timepieces.

Colour is the sixth sense

Antoine Pin © Bulgari

Antoine Pin, CEO of Bulgari Watches & Jewelry

Do you think that the customization offer initiated by Bvlgari will grow?
We believe in this concept because it meets the expectations of some of our clients who – due to their watchmaking knowledge and their propensity for making regular timepiece purchases – wish to be able to personalize products while respecting the spirit in which they were designed. So we can indeed foresee an expansion of our offer.

Colour is the sixth sense

Serpenti Spiga © Bulgari

What are the key takeaways from your 2021 brand event focused on high jewelry and jewelry watches?
There are three major elements I would single out. First and foremost, the positive spirit of the event. There was a joie de vivre and a longing to rediscover normality in everyday life, as well as desire for the exceptional. Our partners and guests showed great enthusiasm and an appetite for novelty and for our creations. I also noticed a depth in the discussions, with more interest in explanations regarding the how and why of our products. There was clearly greater demand for meaning. Finally, I appreciated the fact that the combination of our watchmaking and jewelry products is now acknowledged by our clients and regarded as self-evident. I would even say that demand was particularly strong for our models combining jewelry design and horological performance – such as the Serpenti Seddutori Tourbillon or our new Octo Roma Naturalia collection

It seems that Bvlgari is experiencing a spectacular rebound after the crisis the sector went through last year, to what extent?
First of all, it is clear that the watch sector is experiencing a significant rebound after the low point it experienced a year ago. We are among the brands that are benefiting from this rebound and we are very happy about that. However, a major rebound requires a great deal of effort on the part of our industrial teams, who are working twice as hard to meet demand. After the Covid crisis, which required a lot of resilience and commitment on their part, this sudden acceleration in our sales is excellent news, but also a fresh challenge, to which they are responding magnificently.

The Eighth Wonder of the Worldtime

Travel is back. Remote interaction is no longer the only option and Bulgari is doing what it takes to prepare for setting off on journeys again. The one horological tool that’s entirely dedicated to faraway places including all time zones is the worldtime complication. Not only is Octo Roma WorldTimer the first Bulgari timepiece to display the time anywhere on Earth at a glance, but also one of the first to be released as the world begins to reopen. Rome used to be the center of the world, and this Roma is a vivid reminder that the Eternal City lies at the heart of Bulgari’s history. It was in fact where the brand was founded in 1884 by Sotirio Bulgari, and where it is officially headquartered.

Colour is the sixth sense

Octo Roma World Timer © Bulgari

Everywhere

Roma has however come to mean something slightly different in the Bulgari timepiece range. Launched in 2017, the Octo Roma is a gentler, smoother take on the Octo design that is still an octagon, but with softer edges and a more predominant round bezel.

Colour is the sixth sense

Octo Roma World Timer © Bulgari

Its shape is in fact closer to that of a planet, while still feeling very much like an Octo. The entire case is made of stainless steel, as is the characteristic bracelet: both are brushed, polished, beveled and aesthetically striking. In the center lies a blue, sunray dial featuring three hands only. The latter – in combination with a double rotating disk on the outer edge for the time and place (in 24 reference cities) – serve to display local time as well as that in any time zone. The whole world is back on your wrist, Roma style.

*Article written in collaboration with David Chokron

 

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Bulgari has its own clear definition of excellence, which involves the perfect balance between design, added-value, quality of its products and its worldwide service. In the case of Bulgari watches, it all started with the Bulgari Bulgari watch that led to the creation of Bulgari Time in Switzerland in 1982.

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