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WHILE Bulgari continues to slim down its masculine Octo watch line, the Italian brand hasn't forgotten the women. Two new models - Lvcea Tubogas and Lvcea Skeleton - have been added to Bulgari's Lvcea collection for ladies, first introduced in 2014.
The Lvcea Tubogas is a reminder of Bulgari's heritage as jeweller. In this model, the Lvcea is for the first time presented with the iconic Tubogas bracelet - the metal strap with slinky links which helped to launch the popular serpent watch in the 1940s.
There are five versions of the Lvcea Tubogas. One features a dramatic black lacquer dial in a 28 or 33mm stainless steel case. Another has a shimmering white mother-of-pearl dial in a 28 or 33mm steel case fitted on an alternating steel and rose gold Tubogas bracelet. Finally, there's the rose gold piece in a 33mm case decked with diamonds on the bezel and bracelet.
The smaller 28mm timepieces are equipped with a quartz movement. The bigger 33mm ones are powered by a mechanical automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve.
The Lvcea Skeleton is the only skeletonised watch in the market made expressly for women, according to Bulgari. It says this confirms the brand's commitment to feminine watches.
With its open-worked dial, the Lvcea Skeleton is a showcase of the hand-crafted automatic movement that's at the heart of the timepiece. It's also "the first skeleton watch in history that takes the letters of the watchmaker's logo and makes them integral to the design".
The Lvcea Skeleton comes in three models, in a 33mm case in steel or rose gold. The red hands are made of lacquer. A cabochon-cut gemstone is set into the crown of each watch. The bezel is decorated with diamonds.
For the men, Bulgari presents the world's thinnest tourbillon complication watch which is driven by an automatic movement. The new Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic is just 3.95mm thick. It's the fourth record-slim timepiece for Bulgari.
The first was the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon in 2014 which was followed by the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in 2016. The third was last year's Octo Finissimo Automatic.
Both the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon skeleton and the Octo Finissimo Automatic won prizes at the annual Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve, the watch industry's equivalent to the Academy Awards.
To make the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic this thin, Bulgari had to find a technical solution in the overall construction of the watch. The new movement handles automatic winding via "an innovative and attractive peripheral oscillating weight positioned on the back of the movement".
"It is made of white gold and aluminium, two metals whose contrasting density enables the circular weight to oscillate in a particularly regular manner," Bulgari says. "The movement also incorporates a flying tourbillon equipped with a ball-bearing system contributing to the reduced thickness."
The 1.95mm thick movement, which has 52 hours of power reserve, is housed in a sand-blasted titanium case that reveals the entirely open-worked skeleton mechanism.
Bulgari also re-released the 2016 Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, replacing its original titanium case with a carbon case. The ultra-light and highest resistant carbon material is also endowed with impressive acoustic properties, according to Bulgari.
The Octo Finissimo Automatic returns with two new interpretations, one in rose gold and the other in rhodium-plated steel. The two new versions, featuring sand-blasted surfaces, complement the titanium piece rolled out last year, because the latter also flaunted sand-blasted surfaces.
The sand-blasting technique ensures that the rose gold is warm without glinting, luminous yet not dazzling. The rhodium-plated steel also takes on elegant and silky shimmering shades.