BULGARI unveils a limited edition timepiece to pay tribute to 130 years of history and modernity of the iconic Italian jewellery house. The House of Bvlgari’s great adventure is a wonderful family story, one that has been rooted in the heart of the City of Rome for the past 130 years. The only descendant of a Greek family of goldsmiths, Sotirio Boulgaris worked in his forebears’ business in the little village of Epirus until, in around 1880, he decided to move to Italy.
In 1884, he opened his first shop in Rome at the Via Sistina between the fabled Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. Eventually, he Italianized his Greek name and, in tribute to the ancient pieces he traded in, he decided to spell his brand “BVLGARI” with a V from the ancient Latin alphabet. With his sons, Constantino and Giorgio, Sotirio soon relocated to via dei Condotti, one of Rome’s most exclusive addresses. To this day, this remains Bvlgari’s spiritual home and flagship store.
The two brothers developed a very special interest in noble and precious metals, stones and gold which they incorporated into jewellery. They took over from their father with seamless ease and, continuing his creative legacy, creating daring pieces in a style that combined Greco-Roman art, the Italian Renaissance and Roman goldsmithing. From the 1920s onwards, Bvlgari created its first generation of watches as a complement to its haute jewellery collections.
This unique aesthetic approach contributed to Bvlgari’s ascent, especially during the 1950s and 60s. The austerity of the post-war period was over. Bvlgari’s creativity incorporated a subtle blend of fantasy and elegance that was sometimes exuberant and sometimes elegantly sober. Crowned heads of state and movie stars frequented the boutiques in New York, Geneva, Monte Carlo and Paris. Loyal Roman clients were never surprised to run into Sophia Loren or Elizabeth Taylor emerging from the joyous fairyland of La Dolce Vita. The historic boutique on via Dei Condotti was also renovated and transformed, a move that coincided with the launch of the newly designed BVLGARI BVLGARI watch; the latter succeeded the limited edition BVLGARI ROMA which was launched in 1975.
The BVLGARI BVLGARI watch was a unique creation, its double engraving of the Bvlgari name on the gold bezel framing a timelessly elegant dial which drew its inspirational style from the distinct aesthetics of contemporary Rome.
Slipping on a BVLGARI ROMA watch, and later a BVLGARI BVLGARI became a coveted token of membership into a highly sought-after inner circle: one occupied by informed connoisseurs of Bvlgari’s treasures.
And now, 130 years after the founding of Bvlgari, the master-watchmakers at the Manufacture Bvlgari in Switzerland pay tribute to this storied past with a commemorative edition of the famous BVLGARI ROMA timepiece.
In the purest tradition of the original model, the round 39mm case, its bezel engraved with the iconic “BVLGARI ROMA”, combines timeless classicism with an amazing, almost architectural, modernity. The black ceramic crown firmly reinvents the classic shape for the new millennium with cutting edge technologies, while strengthening the ties between memory and imagination.
The technical aspects of the watch are not concealed. A sapphire caseback opens up for viewing the beating of the watch’s heart: a mechanical self-winding Manufacture Calibre BVL 131 M with a 72-hour power reserve.
Like a family heirloom, the lacquered dial with its subtly hand-applied hour-markers, interspersed with numerals at 12 and 6, is finely underscored by the Bvlgari signature.
Three versions are available: one in 18-carat white gold with an intense blue lacquered dial bearing rhodiumed hour-markers; and the other two in 18-cart pink gold adorned with a white or black lacquered dial punctuated by pink gold-plated hour-markers. Available in limited edition of 130 pieces per version.
Model: Bvlgari Roma 130th Anniversary
Manufacture movement, mechanical hand-wound Calibre BVL 131M, equipped with two barrels and comprising 131 parts, hand bevelling and finishing; 21 jewels; 28,800 vph (4Hz); 72-hour power reserve
Polished 18K pink gold or white case, 39 mm in diameter, engraved bezel; sapphire caseback; 7.15 mm thick, water-resistant to 50 m
Blue lacquered and polished dial for the 18K white gold version; black lacquered and polished or white lacquered and polished for the 18K pink gold versions
Strap in blue or chestnut brown (depending on the model) alligator leather with a fine patina, hand-crafted finish, 18K white or pink gold pin buckle
Each of the variations is issued in a 130-piece series of individually numbered watches