Bulgari: the “Diagono Scuba” puts on four new faces.
The horizon is embroidered with tiny waves and sea spray for as far as the eyes can see. The crystal clear water tells our imagination about the unimaginable underwater scenery. Could such elegance be transposed onto extreme sports?
Bulgari has its faithful followers. In 1994, it launched a version of the Diagono specially designed for water sports. The “Diagono Scuba” ousted rivals stuck in conventional aesthetics or traditional designs, often far too infatuated by their “diving equipment uniform”. Yet, whilst sporty, said watches were often chosen over more elegant or “appropriate” watches and were even worn for dinners or lounge parties.
Thus, it used to be rather customary amongst the upper classes to change watches when dressing up for soirees on yacht decks and select terraces. They had a watch for day and water activities and another one for long lasting sunsets that rush into the night’s mugginess.
Bulgari is the ultimate champion of Italian elegance steeped in architectural codes, harmonized roman columns and secular arches. Unsurprisingly, then, the brand has always shone with equal intensity in the two worlds. This applies to the deep sea as much as to the stately pontoons on the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, which is one of the most select places where celebrities vie until dawn.
In-house caliber and head screws
Then, this summer, out of the blue, reappears the “Diagono Scuba”; Bulgari’s sports watch. “The watch owes its good performance to its specific design”, summarizes an enthusiastic Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, watch designer for Bulgari who is behind the piece. The classy “BVL 191 Solo tempo” is equipped with an in-house caliber and it blends in easily in high-level circles, both in urban and sports contexts. The four versions of this piece put universal watchmaking good taste back in the spotlight with the authority their noble descent bestows on them.
The case measures 41 mm and is available in either 18K pink gold with a pin buckle and a rubber strap, in steel with a steel strap, or in a bicolor version combining steel with 18K pink gold and with matching strap and folding buckle. The subtle new technical details of this version concern mostly its in-house automatic caliber and have added to the history of the model. By means of example: the hours, minutes and seconds are displayed using an aperture on the dial at three o’clock; the motor beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour i.e. at a frequency of 4 Hertz and its oscillating weight is fitted onto ceramic ball-bearings.
The date change is automatic and armed with a stop-second that acts as a standstill for the balance when the crown is pulled. A safety clutch system prevents the pinions from being damaged and saves energy when the winding device is activated, either through the crown or as a result of the unavoidable movement of its oscillating weight.
Diving into elegance
On the topic of finishes; this caliber favors Côte de Genève decorations. The surface of its components is spiral and sandy, and the perimeter of its bridge has been manually cornered and polished and features rimmed wheels, curved pivots, and chamfered drilling. The minutiae attention brought to the details is in line with the principles of Haute Horlogerie and it goes as far as to the polished domed head screws. The unfathomably sparkling black-lacquered dial evokes the sea depths. A piece to be immoderately worn on every occasion, it might give a certain feeling of uneasiness to those who, in spite of it being water resistant, would not even think of wearing gold for diving. If malaise persists, they are advised to sit back and relax on a deckchair until it goes away.