Geneva Watch Days Roundup 2021: Bvlgari’s Bevy Of New Beauties
If a job is worth doing, then it’s worth doing properly. At least, that’s how the saying goes. It seems that Bvlgari has heeded these words of wisdom, and, at Geneva Watch Days 2021, it has made the most of the occasion by launching five new watches. That’s a lot of fresh horological goodness right there, so let’s take a brief look at each of these new models in the Bvlgari Geneva Watch Days Roundup 2021!
Bvlgari Octo Roma Worldtimer
The Fratello team has traveled over to Geneva from our various home bases across Europe, so it feels appropriate to start with a travel watch. It’s nice that, after 18 months, we are finally seeing parts of the world open up again. I recently wrote about some of my favorite travel watches. If the new Bvlgari Octo Roma Worldtimer had been out back then, it might well have made the list.
The Octo Roma Worldtimer features an actual worldtimer complication meaning the user can instantly read the time in all 24 cities indicated on the dial. If you’re sitting in your house in London, and you want to know the time in Sydney and Anchorage simultaneously, this watch has you covered! Powering these attractive timepieces is an all-new integrated movement, the BVL257, designed and developed by the Manufacture in-house in Le Sentier.
You may also notice that some of the cities/locations on the dial are not the standard locations you might be used to. For example, Bvlgari chose to represent the Caribbean not by St. Barts instead of the usual Bermuda (sorry Bermuda) as the brand believes it embodies the heart of luxury in the region. Bvlgari also highlighted certain cities where it has a hotel or plans to open one.
The 41mm Bvlgari Octo Roma Worldtimer is available in satin-brushed and polished stainless steel and matching bracelet or in a DLC coated black steel with sandblasted surfaces and a black rubber strap. At the time of writing, no pricing information is available.
Bvlgari Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon
It seems to be a day of old sayings. You know the one about the Butterfly Effect? There are many different variations, but it goes something like “when a butterfly flaps its wings, it can cause a whirlwind across the globe”. Let’s take a look at the name of this handsome creature. It makes me wonder if the designers were feeling particularly inspired one day. “Tourbillon” and “Papillon” translate from French to “whirlwind” and “butterfly,” respectively. Coincidence? Possibly not, because Bvlgari will be hoping to make waves with this new model.
The Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon is a fascinating timepiece. It eschews the standard method of displaying and reading time in favor of a retrograde minute scale on the lower half of the dial and a jump hour display at 12 o’clock. As one of the Papillon minute “hands” starts to move from 0 to 60, it rotates to an active position, interacting directly with the scale around the periphery of the dial. When the other Papillon “hand” exits the scale at the 60 mark, it rotates to a retracted position and ceases to interact. It’s kind of hard to explain as it’s a very visual display, so take a look at the image, and you should see what I’m talking about.
Float like a butterfly
Despite the stunning central tourbillon, the beautiful simplicity of the patented Papillon device is the star of the show for me. According to Bvlgari, the sophisticated Paillon mechanism consumes less power than a traditional minutes display. This, of course, has a positive knock-on effect on the overall power reserve, allowing for 60 hours of power once fully charged. A handy power reserve indicator is visible through the case back.
The hand-wound Calibre BVL 332 drives the Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon. It is entirely designed and assembled in-house by Bvlgari’s team of master watchmakers. It’s a gorgeous movement, and the black and gold bridges and parts perfectly complement the 41mm rose gold Octo Roma case. Again, at the time of writing, no pricing information is available. Still, I’d expect it to be on the higher side of things.
Bvlgari Divina Mosaica
Bvlgari is treating us to three new creations that combine art, jewelry, and watchmaking. It’s okay if you want to admit that, visually, these watches are not for you, as indeed, I would say they are not for me. Still, the watchmaking prowess and artistry on show are hard to deny. Designed to evoke the style of Roman artisans of yore, all three watches pay tribute to the Roman Baths of Caracalla and its fan-paved floors. The motif is used on the full-set dials of each of the new Divina Mosaica models.
First off, Bvlgari gives us a minute repeater, inside of a 37mm white gold case. A white gold case entirely set with brilliant-cut and baguette-cut diamonds in that exquisite Caracalla fan pattern. The wearer uses a white gold “lucky charm” set with more brilliant-cut diamonds to operate the minute repeater mechanism.
Dripping with diamonds
The other two models in the new Divina Mosaica collection are time-only models, also in 37mm cases. One uses a combination of brilliant-cut diamonds and baguette-cut pink sapphires in a rose gold case. The other uses a combination of brilliant-cut diamonds and baguette-cut tsavorites in a white gold case.
Say what you want about the Bvlgari Divina Mosaica watches; you cannot help but appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that goes into creating objects like these. No pricing information was available at the time of writing.
Bvlgari Divas’ Dream
Of the 5 different model releases, this is my least favorite. Still, I’m certainly not the target demographic, so make of that what you will. The Divas’ Dream also takes inspiration from the Roman Baths of Caracalla, just like the Divina Mosaica, utilizing the same fan theme. This collection features two 33m rose gold watches set with brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel, dial, and bracelet. The fundamental difference between the two watches comes down to the stone dials.
One uses malachite, of which the green dial wonderfully compliments the warm tones of the rose fold. The horizontal striations of the natural malachite pattern also work in harmony with the rest of the design. Obviously, this pattern is a natural formation, so it will vary from dial to dial. Still, of the two, the malachite is my favorite.
Green > blue
The second model features a blue dial made of lapis lazuli. In my opinion, the vivid blue hue doesn’t work as well with the rose gold case; it’d possibly look better in a yellow gold or white gold case. The natural pattern of the lapis lazuli is not as visually appealing as that of the malachite, and it seems a bit “flat” in comparison. I’m sure some will disagree with me, but that’s fine. Art is supposed to be subjective.
I think you may sense a pattern here as, once again, no pricing was available at the time of writing.
Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde With Smiling Disney Mickey Mouse
The Gerald Genta name is owned by Bvlgari since 2000. Since 2010, Gerald Genta watches were marketed solely under the Bvlgari brand. I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve not paid a tremendous amount of attention to the brand featuring the legendary designer’s name. That said, the one watch from this brand that did catch my attention was released this time last year, at Geneva Watch Days 2020. That was the titanium Gérald Genta Arena Bi-retro.
At Geneva Watch Days 2021, we see another release in the Arena Retrograde With Smiling Disney Mickey Mouse, which sees a return for the iconic Disney character. This is not the first time that Mickey and Genta have played together. Here we see the famous mouse joyously leaping onto the rhodium-plated sunray dial. His left arm indicates the minutes on a 210-degree retrograde scale; meanwhile, the aperture at 5 o’clock displays the jumping hour.
The automatic movement has a 42-hour power reserve housed in the classic 41mm Gerald Genta Arena round polished stainless steel case. The Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde With Smiling Disney Mickey Mouse will be a limited edition with just 150-pieces available worldwide, so if you’re looking for a whimsical watch with some solid horological chops, this might be the one for you. And, that’s right, you guessed it — no pricing was available at the time of writing.
What do you think?
So there we have the Bvlgari roundup for Geneva Watch Days 2021. There’s something for everyone on offer, from serious watchmaking and Haute horology to jewelry and something a little more fun. I’m keen to hear your thoughts on Bvlgari’s releases. Which is your favorite?
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