Bulgari demonstrates its characteristic fearless sense of colour this summer with four new one-of-a-kind high jewellery watches and three new Octo Roma models that can be customised in 30 different ways using malachite, lapis lazuli or onyx.
The four Magnifica high jewellery secret watches make liberal use of top-notch rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds, in a variety of cuts, shapes and setting styles. They were conceived by the crack team of creatives at Bulgari’s high jewellery atelier in Rome, led by product creation executive director Fabrizio Buonamassa. All are unique pieces, with quartz movements.
It took the team 1,650 hours to make the Magnifica Ruby Metamorphosis, a secret watch set in platinum with a cover dominated by a 6.3-carat, antique cushion-cut Mozambique ruby. It is surrounded by 48 baguette-cut rubies (7.32 carats), 146 baguette-cut diamonds (19.78 carats), three brilliant-cut diamonds (1.32 carats) and pavé-set diamonds (4.80 carats). The dial is full pavé, and the elements of the bracelet are linked together in a complex network of articulated sections that fit like a flexible bracelet.
The Magnifica Celestial Sky is a cuff style bracelet watch with an offset dial surrounded by gems arranged in curvy swaths of varying shapes, in the baroque style of Roman architecture. Set in platinum, the showpiece gem on the cover is a 6.07-carat oval sapphire in a vibrant shade of blue that recalls the hue of the Roman sky. It is covers a pavé dial, and includes 103 buff-top sapphires (11.44 carats), 10 tourmaline beads (27.90 carats) and 779 round brilliant-cut diamonds (0.90 carats).
The one outlier to the burst of colour motif is the art-deco-style platinum-set Diamond Swan on an articulated bracelet intricately woven in a tapered formation of links shaped like a swan’s wing. Each is set with diamonds juxtaposed with mother-of-pearl inserts. The links appear to be floating in mid-air thanks to a special construction developed by Bulgari. It is set with six round brilliant diamonds (6.14 carats), 12 mother-of-pearl inserts (13.56 carats) and pavé-set diamonds (23.31 carats). It was inspired by a Bulgari necklace of the same name, that took its design cues from Art Deco artist Tamara de Lempicka.
The pavé dial of the Magnifica Baroque spiral is hidden under a cover of faceted rock crystal, surrounded by an open-worked arrangement of gems set in 18-karat rose gold, including 10 cabochon-cut rubies (2.32 carats), 8 cabochon-cut sapphires (2.81 carats), 8 cabochon-cut emeralds (2.41 carats) and pavé-set diamonds (1384 carats). It was inspired by a matching high jewellery necklace, which in turn was inspired by the Baroque period artist Artemisia Gentileschi.
The Magnifica collection will be displayed at high jewellery events in Bulgari boutiques around the world this summer. Pieces can be shipped to interested clients for private viewings. All prices on request.
For those that prefer a more masculine setting for their precious stones, the tourbillons in the Octo Roma Naturalia collection employs red-carpet-ready materials in a different way. Pieces of lapis lazuli, malachite or onyx are carved into shapes to fit as overlays onto the bridges, plates and bezels, or to serve as indexes. The components for each watch are cut from a single block of stone in order to preserve the color and the harmony of the grain. The process takes two months, since each rock is selected, cut, polished and assembled by hand. According to Bulgari, each stone has its own special lore: black onyx serves as a protective shield and conduit to inner strength; lapis lazuli represents honour and possibility; green malachite is known as a stone of transformation.
The 44 mm Octo Roma Naturalia pieces contain the flying tourbillon caliber BVL206. They can be ordered in boutiques, where a sales associate will use a special app to create customised versions, including the choice of stone, case material, case setting and engraving on the case back. Case options include titanium, pink gold or platinum. Diamonds can be set into the bezel and middle case or bezel only (only in rose gold or platinum). There are 30 potential combinations. Prices will vary according to the options chosen.
From Robb Report USA