In 2018, Bulgari Shines a Light on Feminine Watchmaking

In 2018, Bulgari Shines a Light on Feminine Watchmaking

At Baselworld 2018, Bulgari celebrated a centennial of jewelry watchmaking with great style.

By Rhonda Riche

There are many beautiful women’s watches, but there are only a handful of jewelry timepieces that one could say are instantly recognizable for their style and status. And Bulgari is the brains (and beauty) behind three of the most iconographic ladies’ designs: The flexible Tubogas bracelet, the sun-dial inspired Lvcea watch with its colorful gemstone crown and, of course, the snaky Serpenti.

Jeweled Movements

Best known as a luxury goods behemoth, Bulgari began as a jewelry maker 134 years ago. In 2018, the company is celebrating the centenary of its first jewelry watch, an ultra-Art Deco, diamond and platinum bracelet watch.

This original high jewelry piece was on display at Baselworld, along with examples of other historic pieces from Bulgari’s archives. But the brand is always looking to the future of watchmaking. This year the fair, they introduced the world’s slimmest self-winding watch, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic. And back in January Bulgari released its first ladies Minute Repeater — the Diva Finissima, which we wrote about here.

In Basel, we also had fun going hands on with the latest versions of the Octo Finissimo Automatic in Sandblasted rose gold and the three-toned Serpenti Tubogas when it suddenly hit us – Bulgari has evolved from a company that makes jewelry watches to one that creates watches that also act as jewelry.

Inner Beauty

Case in point. This year at Baselworld, Bulgari launched two new ladies’ collections: the Lvcea Skeleton and the Lvcea Tubogas.

The Lvcea line pays homage to Rome’s ancient past (“luce” is Italian for “light”) as well as Bulgari’s roots in gem setting (each crown is capped with a colorful cabochon gemstone. Recognizing that female collectors also appreciate the beauty of a fine mechanism; the Skeleton is also the first skeletonized Haute Horlogerie watch (it features the in-house BVL 191 movement) made expressly for madames.

The openwork dial also features a playful take on the Bulgari logo, making it extra appealing to those fashionable folks who like to flaunt a label.

To complete the luxe look, the Lvcea Skeleton comes in rose gold with a bezel set with brilliant diamonds (it’s also available in steel without diamonds) and comes with wither a jewel-toned alligator strap or a steel and rose gold Serpenti bracelet.

Run the Jewels

The Lvcea Tubogas also sees Bulgari fusing its jewelry-making past with its watchmaking present. For the first time, the distinctive round Lvcea case (launched in 2014) is being paired with legendary Tubogas bracelet (first introduced in the 1940s).

The Lvcea Tubogas will be available in five variations:  A 28 or 33mm stainless steel version with a black lacquer dial; A 28 or 33mm model with a white mother-of-pearl dial and an alternating steel and rose gold Tubogas bracelet; And a 33mm precious rose gold with diamonds piece with an in-house, mechanical, automatic winding caliber with a date window.

Basically, these distinctive new timepieces prove that even at 100, the Bulgari ladies are still going strong.

Bvlgari on Watchonista

And receive each week a custom selection of articles.

Thinner. Lighter. Stronger: A Look At Bulgari’s New Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic Carbon

By Rhonda RicheEditor-At-Large
This daring timepiece combines the best of Bulgari’s jewelry and watch-making skills: technical prowess, disruptive design, and innovative use of...

Watches & Wonders: Bulgari Pays Tribute to Gérald Genta With A New 50th Anniversary Watch

By Hyla BauerContributor
A conversation with Fabrizio Buonamassa, Bulgari’s Director of Watch Design, about the new platinum timepiece and Genta's watchmaking heritage.

Video: The Octo According To Bulgari, "An Object Must Speak To The Heart And Soul"

By Joël A. GrandjeanContributor
St. Moritz, at the end of the summer of 2018. What better place for a timeless interview dedicated to the design of Bulgari's iconic Octo? All around,...