LVMH-owned house Bulgari isn't the same kind of youth culture namedrop as, say, Louis Vuitton or Dior, but that doesn't discount the brand's big moves in its own space. That is, iv LV operates in the luxury space, Bulgari is super-luxury, an entirely different sphere of opulence.
It's not that Bulgari isn't keen on linking with movers and shakers, however: in the past few years, it's collaborated with Hiroshi Fujiwara and signed buzzy ambassadors for its bags and jewelry like BLACKPINK's Lisa.
At Geneva Watch Days, another big watch industry event held from late August until early September, Bulgari demonstrated its savvy grasp of that fine line that stretches between contemporary and timeless with an expansive collection of opulent timepieces, all new for 2022.
For the sake of brevity — and my own limited timepiece knowledge — we're focusing on a few select standouts from Bulgari's big reveal, though the collection includes everything from a stunning Serpenti Spiga in Black Crea to a minimalist wonder envisioned by architect Kazuyo Sejima.
Firstly, there's the pristine Octo Finissimo, issued for 2022 in yellow gold ($35,800-$45,500).
Described by Highsnobiety watch editor Malaika Crawford as the "one true gold", yellow gold is the primary precious metal currently shaking up the watch space.
It colored the recently reissued Vacheron Constantin 222 and graced the timeless Cartier Tank, giving yellow gold a whiff of trendiness — an usual term for describing a sumptuous material used for accenting some of the world's priciest accessories, but it's here and it's happening.
It's also worth mentioning Bulgari's new Hajime Sorayama collab, Sorayama's second luxury watch team-up in mere months.
This aluminum special edition filters Bulgari's subtle grace through Sorayama's inimitable futurism, though it's hardly a statement timepiece.
Instead, the watches contrasting panels of galvanized aluminum and titanium subtly reflect Sorayama's retro automotive inspiration, with nary a sexy robot in sight.
Bulgari also lifted the lid on a diamond Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon, describing the timepiece as the epitome of "Haute Horlogerie." For $185,000, it's hard to disagree.
Crawford points out that this gem is especially notable in the high jewelry space thanks to its tourbillon movement, setting the Serpenti apart from its quartz battery-powered peers and blurring the lines between jewelry and watches.
Also it's dripping in white gold, precious diamonds, and black spinel gems which, uh, yeah, speak for themselves. But this a tasteful display, skirting potential gaudiness by way of a thoughtful, intentional layout across the miniscule 1.8mm-thick watch.