Bulgari Bulgari Cities
The Bulgari Bulgari Cities celebrates the luxury firm’s links with nine cities around the globe. Each model references a glamorous location, but with an infusion of Rome and a significant dose of Swiss watchmaking expertise.
The luxury marque, Bulgari has always been associated with its ancestral home of Rome. However, over the years the brand has become a global enterprise. It has several factories in Switzerland making timepieces and watch components. Moreover, its boutiques and hotels are dotted around the globe for the delectation of discerning individuals.
In 1975, Bulgari produced a limited edition watch, gifted to its 100 ‘best clients’. At the time, the watch was en vogue with its LCD display. Most pertinently, the model stated Roma on its bezel, establishing a design feature that would endure for decades.
Now, the high-end firm has created a series of new models, each sharing the same specification, save for one detail, the city name adjacent 6 o’clock. Each model is presented in a 41mm steel case, treated with black DLC, and houses the brand’s manufacture movement, the Calibre BVL 191.
The brand’s press release (May 2020)
The Bvlgari Bvlgari Cities Special Edition 2020 represents the latest iteration of the definitive style, reimagining it as the ultimate urban, casual, sport watch in a continuation of the legacy of provocation that has made the original a standout in the luxury watches industry for over 40 years.
Each watch in the new collection is inspired by one of nine cities — Rome, Tokyo, Dubai, Paris, London, Ibiza, Milan, Mexico City and New York — that have hosted Bvlgari in the past, and are favourites among today’s urban adventurers. To deepen the connection, each City Edition comes with a set of twelve unique art prints created by one of nine talented young artists who were invited to share their own vision of those cities and their connection to the Bvlgari brand.
Designed for a modern urban lifestyle, the new watch features a 41 mm steel case treated with black DLC (Diamond Like Carbon). To represent the urban inspiration behind the City Collection, the bezel is engraved with the BVLGARI logo and the name of one of nine cities. Powered by a mechanical manufacture movement with automatic winding, BVL 191 calibre, the watch comes with two straps that can be used interchangeably: one brown calf leather strap and one black rubber strap. Versatile in nature, it transitions seamlessly from weekday to weekend with a dynamic, strikingly current sense of elegance and adaptability. An elegant black grained leather pouch, that is ideal for travel and transport, complements each timepiece.
First debuting in 1977, in response to enthusiastic demand generated by the provision of the Bvlgari Roma model to the Maison’s hundred best clients, the Bvlgari Bvlgari watch original design was deeply rooted in the brand’s Roman history – telling a story made up of architecture and Italian art. The geometry of its cylindrical case echoed the columns of ancient Rome monuments, while its bezel was inspired by the imperial Roman coins in which the name of the Emperor was engraved on the outside of the coin, leaving the centre free for his portrait.
Over the years, the watch went through slight modifications to accentuate its sharply curved body and elegance, while always keeping its fundamental aesthetic spirit.
Now, the Bvlgari Bvlgari Cities Special Edition 2020 carries the legacy into the future, finding inspiration in the world’s most electrifying urban capitals, and Bvlgari’s enduring passion for travel and exploration. The new iterations encourage wearers to cherish the emotional bonds they have with specific destinations.
While the very first Bvlgari Bvlgari watch was inspired by Bvlgari’s hometown of Rome, this latest special edition – that will have a very limited distribution — embraces a global point of view. Bvlgari has always stood for cosmopolitanism, and mined the richness of exotic and far-flung destinations in its designs. From the 1930s Art Deco styles that drew on Ancient Egyptian iconography to the Japanese and Indian influence of the 70s and American Pop-Art movement that informed recent Bvlgari collections, an international outlook is a fundamental element of Bvlgari DNA.
THE CITIES & THEIR ARTISTS
Beginning with Bvlgari’s cosmopolitanism as a starting point, nine artists have created a portfolio of twelve illustrations for each of the watches. The number 12 nods to the marks on the dial. Illustrations were used rather than photography, for the strength of their evocative power, the capability to transmit intimate feeling and their total freedom within time and space.
Each of the legendary destinations represented in the new collection was chosen because of its dynamic, urban nature — and because they happened to host Bvlgari. These are meccas for the modern urban traveller, who can spend a day or an afternoon wandering streets looking for secret spots. The Bulgari family’s emotional connection to Rome, where Sotirio Boulgaris settled in 1881, was always the starting point of his designs. Now, the Cities Edition lets wearers express their own emotional bond with one of nine magnificent cities.
The beating heart of Bvlgari, Rome has always been the wellspring of Bvlgari style. To express its glory, artist Iris Hatzfeld set out to capture its cinematic splendour, rendering its golden light and stunning textures in lush pencil strokes. Its timeless spirit is made modern in the Cities Collection, which reinvents the enduring bond of Bvlgari and the Eternal City, using it as inspiration for the ultimate urban watch.
A high-tech utopia and capital of avant-garde style and sensibility, Dubai is a symbol of the limitlessness of the human imagination. Like Bvlgari, it is steeped in buoyant possibility and executed with daring. To render the city, artist Vincent Longhi used a graphic illustration technique to create a sort of modern impressionism.
Bvlgari has always been drawn to the treasures of Tokyo. To capture the city’s high-tech façade, the digital artist Faunesque employs a state-of-the-art technique to make Tokyo’s most traditional elements feel fresh and futuristic. A magnet for modern urban adventurers, Tokyo’s magic lies in its distinctiveness, a quality that is mirrored in every new edition of the Bvlgari Bvlgari Collection.
Home to its own distinctive Dolce Vita, Paris represents an analogue to Italian design and culture. To recreate that connection, artist Jean Aubertin uses delicate watercolour to position Paris as Rome’s twin soul. For urban adventurers, there is no better place to explore than Paris, with its hidden corners and secret spots — so it’s a fitting inspiration for the Cities Edition 2020.
Take a casual walk through the London streets with Clémence Trossevin. Twelve watercolour scenes as a quiet English green comic strip. Trossevin has been gleaning for the signs of Bvlgari’s and the United Kingdom’s shared passion for Gardens and India. Passionate about patterns, she has multiplied them on any available surface of her interior scenes.
Ibiza is a touchstone of Mediterranean brilliance, a sun-kissed jewel sparkling in the sea. Deeply rooted in millenary culture, the Mediterranean soul shines on Bvlgari too. Artist Manon Molesti conjures the aqua waters and electric nightlife of the island. Urbane and chic, it’s a capital of modern leisure and absolutely one of a kind, like the Bvlgari Bvlgari Collection.
Milan is the capital of Italian design and innovation. Likewise, Bvlgari has been at the forefront of many industry innovations — from the first luxury quartz watch to the Thé Vert oversize perfume bottle, the first ceramics jewellery and Bvlgari Hotels. To express that industriousness, the young architect Vincent Macquart renders the city’s unique landscape with an eye on architecture, colour and shape. He delights in Industrial Design the way Bvlgari does with Tubogas or Parentesi. Mixing the most modest to the most precious, the modern with the ancient, the huge with the small, Macquart offers us an urban utopia at the scale of this high creativity of the city.
Mexico City is a riot of jubilant colour, making it a natural fit for Bvlgari’s enduring passion for brilliant hues. To channel the vibrancy of Mexico City and Bvlgari’s voluptuous spirit, the artist Aline Zalko uses bold lines and spectacular shades. The spirit of Mexico City aligns beautifully with that of the modern, urban adventurer, whose passion for travel and discovery takes him to the world’s most richly textured destinations.
As the capital of the Pop Art scene, New York is the spiritual home of one facet of Bvlgari design: its pop sensibility. Fashion meets cinema in the larger-than-life cityscape of the Big Apple. To recreate that electricity, the artist Natacha Paschal borrows from fashion magazines, reimagining her own scenes in rough gouache strokes. Urban culture is heavily influenced by New York, from street style to the sporty looks that evolve into high fashion. For this reason, the Big Apple was a natural fit for the Cities Collection.
A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE BORN IN ROME
The collection was first introduced in 1975 as a limited-edition gift for 100 of Bvlgari’s best clients — making it an instant icon among Bvlgari’s most discerning clientele. With the inscriptions “BVLGARI” and “ROMA” engraved on its bezel and unexpected combination of a classic round yellow gold case, digital dial, and plaited rope with leather trim reminiscent of the Roman attachments typically used in antiquity, it was quintessentially Bvlgari in the audacity of its design. The watch celebrated the deep connection of the Bulgari family to Rome and made Bvlgari the very first brand to engrave its name on the case of a watch. From the moment it appeared on the wrists of the hundred personalities closest to the Maison, this watch enjoyed dazzling success. Orders flooded in from all over the world and Bvlgari decided to extend its production, equipping the first series with a more traditional dial, with finely designed hour-markers and two hands. Once again, this proved to be a big success that marked the birth of a true new sign. The first Bvlgari Bvlgari collection, the natural evolution of the Bvlgari Roma watch, was officially launched in 1977. The international success of the collection consecrated the entrance of Bvlgari into the watch industry.
TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS – BVLGARI BVLGARI CITIES SPECIAL EDITION 2020
Mechanical manufacture movement with automatic winding, Calibre BVL 191, indications of the hours, minutes and seconds. 42-hour power reserve;
41 mm steel case treated with black Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) with transparent case back. Bezel engraved with the respective city name. 18kt rose gold crown.
Black lacquered grained dial with rose gold indexes. Date window at 3 o’clock.
Brown calf leather strap with ardillon buckle.
Delivered in an elegant black grained leather pouch containing a second strap in black rubber.