Bulgari – Shadow and Light – Geneva Watch Days
This year’s Geneva Watch Days is the third edition of a decentralized event created in 2020 and featuring mainly independent brands not affiliated with major luxury groups. With the last two editions held during the global pandemic high alert period, 2022 appears to be the first time that GWD will be held in a roughly normalized environment. Thus, the new watches launched demonstrate optimism and exuberance, perfectly in tune with the current performance of the global luxury market.
Bulgari is one of GWD’s founding brands and has always brought its “A” game to the event, dropping the Bulgari Aluminum in 2020 and fan-favorite Gerald Genta Arena Retro Mickey Mouse last year. With 2022 being the 10th anniversary of the Octo collection, it’s no surprise that the eight-faced watch receives the bulk of the spotlight throughout the year.
The Octo has enjoyed a meteoric career over the past decade, broadening the appreciation of Bulgari fine watchmaking far beyond the exclusive group of die-hard watch enthusiasts who have followed the brand since the turn of the millennium. Particularly with the advent of the Octo Finissimo in 2014, Bulgari’s fine watchmaking credentials are impeccable.
With critical and commercial success under its belt, Bulgari is now free to take the Octo in new creative directions, exploring design avenues that might have been given lower priority while the technical legitimacy of the collection was still being debated. establishment. Thanks to collaborators selected over the past two years, such as tattoo artist Mo Coppoletta and architect Tadao Ando, the Octo is entering a new phase of experimentation. Even with entirely in-house creations such as the Octo Anniversary Editions with the “sketch” dials based on the original hand-drawn concepts of Bulgari’s Executive Director of Product Creation, Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, it’s clear that the Octo s adventure into a broader realm of artistic expression.
One of Bulgari’s highlights at GWD 2022 is the Octo Finissimo Sejima, a minimalist work in polished stainless steel that plays with light, shadow and reflection. While the majority of timepieces in the Octo collection feature brushed or matte finishes (with polished surfaces limited to contrasting accent points), the Octo Finissimo Sejima embraces the allure of a fully polished exterior.
Octo Finissimo Sejima © Bulgari
You may remember the black ceramic Octo Finissimo from 2020, which was almost entirely polished, with only a few parts sandblasted (mainly the middle links of the bracelet). The Octo Finissimo Sejima extends this aesthetic to the maximum with the addition of a mirror dial. The sapphire crystal dulls the effect of all that shine – normally the only exterior element of a watch that absolutely requires a polished, fully transparent finish. The inner surface of the dial glass is printed with a fine repeating pattern of metallic dots that are larger at the periphery and gradually become smaller towards the center, similar to a halftone gradient.
These dots may seem to obscure the reading of the time, but they force us to give the watch our full attention when trying to discern the hours and minutes, rather than just glancing at it quickly (as we we all tend to do this in our busy lives). The Octo Finissimo Sejima is not an indulgent art project; it’s a mindfulness exercise that you wear on your wrist.
If the Octo Finissimo Sejima makes us more aware of time and its passage, another Bulgari highlight from GWD allows us to enjoy the luxury of time. The Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days houses Bulgari’s new BVL 199 SK caliber, featuring a highly openworked dial and movement. The style of skeletonwork used here is strongly reminiscent of architectural principles, and its beauty comes from its functionality and sturdiness, like the structural beams and frames that support glass skyscrapers. Despite the transparency of the movement, the watch avoids looking flimsy or delicate, partly because of the aesthetics of the bridges, but also the massive barrel with its coil spring that gives the watch its eponymous power reserve of 8 days.
Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 © Bulgari
The Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days evokes awe with its mechanical prowess, but the final culmination of Bulgari’s GWD 2022 launches wields a more alluring allure. The Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon was first launched during LVMH Watch Week 2020 in Dubai and immediately captivated audiences around the world with its finesse and sparkling adamantine brilliance. This year, the Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon goes monochrome, donning a tuxedo of white diamonds and black spinels. Don’t make the mistake of assuming the Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon is a delicate creature – this record-breaking self-winding watch is resplendent in its dazzling black-and-white armor. It’s been breaking records and it can (and will) shatter the ego of anyone who approaches you and makes an ill-advised comment about your “girl watch”.
Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon Black Spinel © Bulgari
Elsewhere in Bulgari’s new fleet of watches at GWD 2022, we see celebrations of gold (Octo Finissimo Automatic in yellow gold), a throwback to 1980s color codes (Serpenti Spiga Ceramic) and dark, somber elegance. (Bvlgari Bvlgari in black DLC steel). If you were looking for a watchmaking adventure at Geneva Watch Days, you’ve come to the right place.
Octo Finissimo Yellow Gold Automatic © Bulgari