Bulgari: This Sporting Life

by Pearlyn Quan

Three new Bulgari Aluminium releases put a playful twist of light and colour on iconic Italianità cool.

When Roman luxury house Bulgari launched the first Bulgari Aluminium in 1998, it introduced a new aesthetic vocabulary for luxury watches – particularly with the unexpected use of a (gasp) non-precious metal and unexpected materials like rubber.

Challenging the status quo of what constituted a luxury timepiece in the day, these timepieces were bold, monochromatic and ultra-sporty. Light on the wrist and highly readable with its stark contrast of bright silver and matte black, the Bulgari Aluminium was simple, disruptive and irreverent – and a big hit with the jetset.

Twenty-five years on, the unconventional choice of material is no longer so shocking, with experimental alloys and high-tech ceramics paving the way for new developments in haute horlogerie.

But Bulgari still has a few surprises for its Aluminium range yet. This year, the Italian brand is reviving this late-90s icon with a new spin – updated movements under the hood, expanded diameters, and a delightful new palette of colours to evoke your best summer memories.

Back in Black

Featuring a new chronograph movement Caliber B381 and a slightly larger case size (41mm instead of 40), the Bulgari Aluminium Chronograph is available in black and white, and also a new very sleek all-black design.

Building upon its expertise in mechanical movements, cutting-edge construction techniques, and premium materials, Bulgari has thoroughly reimagined the watch, incorporating impressive features such as aerospace-grade 6028-aluminium alloy and FKM rubber – the most durable rubber used in watchmaking.

Expect logos – lots of them, five to be exact, including the iconic double Bulgari logo on the black rubber bezel. The black or white dial features black counters, while the hands and indexes are luminescent, providing a clear and legible display, even in low light. The mechanical self-winding movement B381, with a chronograph and date functions, ensures precision timekeeping.

Undoubtedly one of the most distinctive features of the Bulgari Aluminium is its black rubber aluminium-link bracelet, which sits comfortably and securely on the wrist, while allowing movement and ventilation.

Cool Blue Horizon

With a limited edition of just 1000 pieces each, the Capri Edition of the Bulgari Aluminium is just the right side of 80s-era sexy-sporty summer chic. The brilliant Tyrrhenian blue gradient dial evokes the long days and changing light over the legendary Bay of Naples, as Italian as Campari or Limoncello in the sunshine.  The personalised caseback also features an engraving depicting Capri’s famous Faraglioni coastal rock formations.

Available in a Solotempo (time and date) and a chronograph version, the Capri Edition features a shaded blue dial with luminescent hands and indexes in a 40mm aluminium case, and is water resistant up to 100m.

The Bulgari Aluminium Capri Chronograph, powered by the reliable mechanical self-winding calibre B130, features the start/stop and reset pushers on either side of the crown. The Capri Solotempo model offers accurate timekeeping with a calibre B77 mechanical automatic movement, which also features a date display.

Game, Set, Match

With its white dial accented with green luminescent hands and indexes with a luminescent tennis-yellow dot, the Match Point edition is irresistibly fun and perky.

Green has been the colour du jour for watches, and this hue of deep forest green, paired with the white dial and aluminium links, evokes the crispness and clean lines of the sport. Alluding to the beloved greens of tennis lawns and clubhouses, the timepiece is a special nod to the community of tennis enthusiasts, and even features an engraving of a tennis ball on the back, a quirky Velcro® strap and left-hand crown.

Limited to just 800 pieces, this sporty timepiece features a mechanical movement with automatic winding and date, the B77 calibre, ensures precise timekeeping along with a comfortable 42-hour power reserve.

Images courtesy of Bulgari, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.

Related Links:

Bulgari: Bejewelled Time

Bulgari: Prismatic Effect

Bulgari Octo Finissimo: Go for Gold

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