Whether it’s something travel practical for the hodophiles or something diamond-studded for the gemophiles, the new models presented by Bvlgari at the Geneva Watch Days had something for everyone.
Even the young and young at heart are not forgotten with the inclusion of a cheeky timepiece featuring a certain world-famous mouse. Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of the Bvlgari Group since 2013, walks us through the new timepieces in the Octo, Divas’ Dream and Gerald Genta collections.
Appealing to the travellers of the world is the Octo Roma WorldTimer, available in either 904L stainless steel or 904L steel and Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC). No matter the material, the watch comes with a case 41mm in diameter and is powered by the BVL257 Mechanical self-winding movement with 42- hour power reserve.
Is it really timely to release a travel-themed watch considering the current movement restrictions caused by the pandemic?
Here’s what Babin has to say about that: “The more the pandemic is restricting travel, the more people are dreaming about travelling, which is logical, you always want what you can’t get. The Octo Roma WorldTimer is not only a functional watch you’re going to use when travel resumes, but it also triggers your imagination before you can travel.”
Stating that it includes mandatory cities often seen on worldtimer watches, like New York, and cities where Bvlgari hotels are located, as well as dream vacation locations like the Maldives, he adds, “We pick the cities in a way that it’s a bit unconventional. The cities obviously respect the 24 time zones of the worldtimer but when you look at the name of the cities, your imagination is driven towards dreams because not all cities are business destinations and many have been chosen so that it’s an invitation to travel, to dream and in that sense, whether we can travel or not today is not the main point, what is important is that the dream for travel is more alive than ever.”
This is a sentiment echoed by Antoine Pin, Managing Director of the Bvlgari Watch Division, who picks the Octo Roma WorldTimer as his favourite addition in the Octo collection.
“It’s a watch that is inviting us to travel. Of course, some people may tell us that it is very interesting to propose such a watch when nobody can travel, but a watch like ours is not made for today, it’s made for forever. Not necessarily talking about function, it’s more about opportunities to dream and to think of a bright future and with the current COVID, the privilege of being able to travel.”
Another Octo Roma addition is the Papillon Central Tourbillon, enabled by the mechanical hand-wound Manufacture movement Calibre BVL 332, which offers ultimate simplicity in the reading of the hours and minutes despite the complexity of its construction. Its 41 mm rose gold case features a transparent sapphire back and a black matte dial with an opening that reveals the tourbillon cage and the Papillon system.
For those who prefer admiring a watch’s exterior rather than its interior, the Divas’ Dream collection offers three Divina Mosaica models that evoke the splendour of the Roman Empire – the fan-shaped figures on the dials a nod to the paved floors of the Baths of Caracalla. Babin describes the Divina Mosaica Minute Repeater as “very unique” as the work on the dial, which sees an artful mosaic of various diamond cuts, has never been done before in the Swiss watch industry. As its name implies, it is powered by Bvlgari’s own ultra-thin hand-winding minute repeater movement, Calibre BVL 362.
“It’s not only a beautiful jewellery watch, it’s also a nice sophisticated, complicated watch with a charm,” he says, referring to its ability to tell the time by chiming a crystal-clear melody.
The Divina Mosaica watches are also available in Pink Sapphire and Tsavorite, both with a case size of 37 mm in diameter like the Divina Mosaica Minute Repeater but are powered by the mechanical self-winding Manufacture movement Calibre BVL 191. The opulence of the collection is further highlighted in the design of the two Divas’ Dream Malachite and Lapis Lazuli models, where the fan motif is found on the rose gold bracelet that’s semi-set with 372 diamonds instead of on the dial. Both green and blue options are fitted with a rose gold case measuring 33 mm in diameter. Given the extremely positive reactions from clients, Babin believes that the Divas’ Dream collection will be the “star” this coming Christmas.
Last but not least, Babin introduces the Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with Smiling Disney Mickey Mouse. It’s a watch that sparks positivity and joy amidst the gloom of the pandemic, as the iconic cartoon mouse beams brightly on the dial, its retrograde hand pointing out the minute on a 210-degree retrograde sector. This design marks the return of the beloved Disney-themed Gerald Genta watches introduced in the 1980s. Powered by an automatic mono-retrograde movement with a 42-hour power reserve, the watch is fitted with the distinctive historical 41 mm Arena round polished stainless steel case. Produced in a limited run of 150 pieces globally and only available for purchase online, Babin shares that the watch is selling fast as many Genta fans have pre-ordered it.
Flashing a confident smile, he ponders, “Maybe we should’ve shot for 250.”
(All images: Bvlgari)
This story first appeared in Prestige Online – Malaysia