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Bulgari Bulgari Carbon Gold: summer in three colors

Exploring the historical and insightful roots of a brand with deep connections to aesthetics on board a summer boat with the 2016 version of Bulgari's Carbon Gold on my wrist. What a life!

By Alexander Friedman
Co-Founder - Business Development

It's one thing to wear a watch. But it's a whole different thing when you know about its unusual history which thus gives it its priceless value. The prestige that comes with knowledge and the ultimate luxury of a true sense of belonging are the values that make the whole difference between that and simply owning a refined object. The Bulgari Bulgari Carbon Gold is part of a noble range and would thus rather qualify as a mindset than as a simple timepiece. It's more of a sweet way of living than a timepiece. But this did not stop it from morphing into three versions that were introduced at the beginning of summer this year.

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Iconic roots in the era of innovative materials

Bulgari first launched the famous Bvlgari Bvlgari in 1977. It was the first watch to dare and assume an absolute protocentrism in its design, as we can see in its bezel, which has the brand’s name engraved in “stereo”; i.e. twice. The fact that the original written form replaced the “u” with the “v”, as a reference to its undeniable Latin heritage dating back to 2,700 years of Greco-Roman history, strengthened the iconic characteristic of the piece.

In bringing this familiar aesthetic spark to its identity, the brand, which incidentally celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2014, took on a daring avant-garde approach. Since then, many brands have, to a greater or lesser extent, drawn inspiration from this first masterstroke.

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In the 1990s and during the first ten years of the 21st century, watchmaking was marked by the creation of new materials as a result of fusions and mixtures. These were the result, on the one hand, of the work of watchmakers who took on the role of “sorcerer’s apprentice”, and on the other hand of marketing strategies that aimed to stand out at all costs. The names were legion and turned preconceived notions upside down whilst conveying new messages or rewriting historical recipes.

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Sotirio Bulgari, the Greek goldsmith and eponymous founder of the brand, embodies the know-how and skill Bulgari has had since its beginnings. These have always come hand in hand with boundless curiosity of materials and their transformation, more as part of the brand’s DNA than as a simple matter of following trends. And so, Carbon Gold, which is also the name of a range introduced in 1993, is the blend of eternally noble gold and technological composite material; the result of mastering the science of combining hard and soft materials. The brand thus embraces its high-tech and innovative side, especially as the transformation of materials is always in line with the values of the brand – “volume sensuality”, “love for linearity” and a great respect for the history of art and the architecture of the Roman cradle.

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Innovating colors and attractive weaves

Apart from the range of color combinations offered in 2016, there are also three new dials featuring pink gold and SuperLuminova-coated indexes – a modern black, a matte and shiny brown and a trendy deep blue. Bulgari's inclination for risk-taking is seen in this 40-mm piece water resistant to 30 meters. It is equipped with a woven strap similar to the woven cord launched in 1975 for the100-piece limited series of the Bulgari Roma, a tribute to the first store opened on Via Condotti in Rome.

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In this version, however, the strap is in woven leather with a PEEK buckle, an ultra-resistant light alloy used in aeronautics whose value may well be higher than gold. The design for this was yet again inspired by the piece’s iconic aesthetics without ruling out functionalities or practicality. The watch houses the B77 in-house mechanical caliber with 28,800 vibrations per hour, which in spite of its small size, comes with a 42-hour power reserve.

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