Great things have been coming from Bulgari in recent years and none of them are historical remakes. Indeed, the Swiss-Italian giant has been making some of the most innovative and contemporary timepieces in the industry. Specifically, the Octo has made much headway into the collector’s consciousness as a truly legitimate watch combining elegance with technical and design creativity. Perhaps it’s because of Bulgari’s natural strength in aesthetics that the company doesn’t need to replicate historical products.
CEO, Jean-Christophe Babin:
“In the field of watchmaking where most brands are pure Swiss players, the fact that we’re from Italy, from Rome, which is probably in terms of architectural treasures one of the richest on the planet and not only for antique times but also more recently, we have in our genes this obsession for pioneering design. It shows very much if you look at the new Octo Minute Repeater. It looks like a UFO, something you may not easily imagine. Already as a watch it’s extraordinary. Then you discover it’s a minute repeater. It departs a lot from 99 percent of the repeaters which are often in cases and dials dating back to the 19th century. We prefer a vision of the minute repeater which comes from the future.
“This year Bulgari is celebrating 100 years of jewellery watchmaking. We started the first watch in 1918, that’s a very long time ago. But rather than replicating the piece, a diamond and platinum watch, which was designed by our founder Sotirio Bulgari, we come with the Diva Finissima which is a totally innovative watch. It’s the thinnest automatic minute repeater jewellery watch. So we have tried 100 years later, rather than just replicating a watch that had been our starting point, to celebrate that watch with our own vision of a ladies watch for the 21st century. This is the way of Bulgari. I wouldn’t imagine myself doing a watch of 1918.
“I think it’s important that we bring something new to Swiss watchmaking. We are bringing an innovative minute repeater in an ultrathin case, which itself because of the weight is further stressing this very technological and aesthetical dimension. This really gives it a true reason for being. It’s not one minute repeater among 10 others. It’s a new-generation watch that’s also a repeater, and it very much expresses our innovative spirit not only technically with the movement but also with the material. Carbon is a technical challenge. You can imagine the resonance in terms of acoustics in carbon is not at all the first thing that would cross your mind. So here you have as much aesthetic innovation as you have technological innovation. Technology is not limited to the movement. Carbon layering itself is highly technological.”
“WE HAVE IN OUR GENES THIS OBSESSION FOR PIONEERING DESIGN.”