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Gerald Genta

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Bulgari this week pays tribute to Gerald Genta with a renewed version of the famed designer’s Mickey Mouse watch. At the same time the watchmaker/jeweler adds a world time watch to its Octo Roma collection and revives a Papillon central tourbillon design, now set in an Octo Roma case. The original Papillon was a Daniel Roth jumping hour invention with ‘butterfly’ hands.

These debuts were just three Bulgari highlights at Geneva Watch Days 2021, where the Italo-Swiss watchmaker launched nine new models. These also included new models in the jeweled Divas’ Dream lineup and three Divina Mosaica watches, including one spectacular diamond-set model fitted with Bulgari’s thin minute repeater movement.

The new Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with smiling Disney Mickey Mouse.

Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with smiling Disney Mickey Mouse

Bulgari’s retro Retrograde watch, starring the world’s most famous mouse, pays tribute to the genius of Gerald Genta, who placed Mickey Mouse (and other Disney characters) on his own high-end watches starting in 1984. The Gerald Genta Mickey Mouse watches are today much sought-after by collectors.

You may recall that Bulgari in 2019 launched the first ode to Genta with its 50th Anniversary Arena Bi-Retro, which Bulgari released with only Gerald Genta’s name on the dial. Last year we saw a titanium version of the watch.

Those debuts recalled Bulgari’s acquisition of the Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth brands in 2000, a purchase that has played a significant role in building Bulgari’s haute horlogerie expertise.

Gérald Genta, who died in 2011 at the age of 80, designed many of the icons of modern watch design, including the Universal Genève Polerouter, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the IWC Ingenieur, Cartier’s Pasha, the Omega Constellation, the Bvlgari Bvlgari and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Many of these designs remain bestsellers for their respective brands.

This new Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with smiling Disney Mickey Mouse marks the return of one of the most sought-after Genta designs. The watch’s debut also marks the next level in Bulgari’s ongoing reboot of the Gerald Genta line as its own brand. To accompany that expansion, Bulgari is developing a new Gerald Genta website.

The new watch almost perfectly mimics many of the original Gerald Genta designs, here nicely settled into 41mm steel Gerald Genta Arena case. In this version you’ll find Mickey showing the time amid an also-playful rhodium-plated sunray dial. Mickey’s left arm and white-gloved hand indicates the minutes on a 210-degree retrograde dial as a jumping hour indicator shows the hour at the 5 o’clock position.

Bulgari is making the Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with smiling Disney Mickey Mouse as a limited edition of 150-pieces, all available only online at Bulgari. Price: 16,500 euros, with January 2022 delivery.

Octo Roma WorldTimer

Bulgari developed a new movement, Caliber BVL257, to power this world time watch, a first for the Octo Roma collection. And as a travel watch, it features instant reading of the time in twenty-four cities, which corresponds to the world’s primary time zones. This launch comes just days after the debut of another well-received Bulgari travel model, the Aluminum GMT watch.

The new Bulgari Octo Roma WorldTimer.

Echoing classic world timer dial layouts, the Octo Roma WorldTimer offers a central display of the hours, minutes and seconds combined with a double rotating disc on the outer edge. One of the disks is set with the names of the reference cities while the second displays the 24-hour scale. When read in tandem, they allow the wearer to read the time in multiple time zones.

The Octo Roma WorldTimer is also available with a black DLC case and black rubber strap.

Bulgari took some liberties with the cities listed around the dial of this new watch, opting to swap the more common Bermuda for St. Barts, and representing cities where Bulgari has (or will soon have) one of its own hotels.

This sporty watch is built within the brand’ excellent multi-faceted Octo Roma 41mm steel case with a blue dial and matching steel bracelet. A stealthier version can be had in a black DLC case with a black textured rubber strap. Price: $8,350.

We’ll have more details about Bulgari’s Geneva Watch Days launches in upcoming posts. We’ve posted a few teasers below for those who can’t wait until then.

The new Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon. At the end of the 60 minutes indicated by one of the “butterfly” hands, the disc jumps to display the new time in the aperture.
The incredible Bulgari Divina Mosaica Minute Repeater.
Two debuts in the Divas’ Dream collection include models with dials in lapis lazuli (pictured) and malachite.

 

Specifications: Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with smiling Disney Mickey Mouse

Movement: Mono-retrograde movement, jumping hour aperture at 5 o’clock, retrograde minutes hand on a 210-degree sector, 28,800 vph, 42- hour power reserve.

Case: Jumping hour aperture at 5 o’clock, retrograde minutes hand on a 210-degree sector.

Strap: Red textured padded rubber with Gerald Genta folding clasp in polished stainless steel.

Price: 16,500 euros, with January 2022 delivery.

 

Specifications: Bulgari Octo Roma WorldTimer Stainless Steel

Movement: Automatic BVL257 with World time display, hours, minutes and seconds, 24 time zones and 24-hour indicator; 42-hour power reserve, frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz).

Case: 41mm by 11.35mm 904L stainless steel with satin-brushed/polished finish, satin-brushed/polished bezel, transparent back, screw-lock steel crown set with a ceramic decoration and serving to set the time as well as the cities indication; water-resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Blue sunburst, applied brushed rhodium-plated gold hour-markers.

Bracelet: Satin-brushed/polished steel bracelet with triple-blade folding clasp.

Price: $8,350.

 

Specifications: Bulgari Octo Roma WorldTimer Steel DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon)

Movement: Automatic BVL257 with World time display hours, minutes and seconds, 24 time zones and 24-hour indicator; 42-hour power reserve, frequency: 28,800 Vph (4Hz).

Case: 41mm by 11.35mm 904L steel, black sandblasted DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) finish, transparent caseback, screw-lock crown in DLC black steel set with a ceramic decoration and serving to set the time as well as the cities indication, water-resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Matte black sandblasted, hour-markers, hours and minutes hands enhanced with SuperLuminova.

Strap: Black textured rubber strap with DLC steel pin buckle.

Price: $8,350.

Bulgari advanced its six-year run of horological record-breaking this week with the new Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic, the sixth ultra-thin watch in as many years claiming ultimate horological thinness.

Bulgari’s new Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph.

Measuring a wispy 7.4mm thick, thanks to a 3.5mm thick skeletonized movement and a thin, sandblasted titanium case, the watch now claims the title as the thinnest watch with both a tourbillon and a single-push chronograph. 

A look at the Bulgari Octo Finissimo World Record ultra-thin watches since 2014, with the new Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph in front.

 

In addition to this headlining debut from Bulgari’s slate of three debuts at Geneva Watch Days, the Italo-Swiss watchmaker also showed the Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Sport, a new model inspired by the famed Gerald Genta Arena design from 1969. Bulgari also debuted the Bulgari Aluminum, another retro-inspired watch based on the very successful aluminum-cased original from 1998.

Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic

This new watch combines features Bulgari has already mastered within an ultra-thin package: an automatic tourbillon (seen in the 2018 Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic) and the chronograph (debuted just last year with the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic).

The new watch measures 7.4mm thick, thanks to a 3.5mm thick skeletonized movement and a thin, sandblasted titanium case.

Here however Bulgari has transformed the chronograph from a three-subdial layout to a two-counter display, and is now activated, stopped and reset by pressing the top of two rectangular pushers. The lower pusher, at the 4 o’clock location, sets the crown to either allow for hand-winding or for setting the time.

The new skeletonized BVL388, with a horizontal clutch with a column wheel, has been finished and designed with eye-catching contemporary flair.

The chronograph subdials are the only real dials here as Bulgari has skeletonized the Caliber BVL388, including the tourbillon’s bridge, exposing more of the movement to the wearer. From the back, the wearer can also enjoy a view of the peripheral rotor Bulgari first added to the Finissimo series in the 2018 Chronograph GMT Automatic.

The new BVL388 skeletonized caliber, dial-side view.

The new watch’s gold oscillating weight races around a skeletonized BVL388 displaying a horizontal clutch with a column wheel, all of which Bulgari has finished and designed with eye-catching contemporary flair. 

Bulgari will make fifty Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph watches, each priced at $142,000.

The new Gerald Genta Arena Bi-Retro Sport

Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Sport

This release is the second of the revived Gerald Genta collection dedicated to its namesake, the premiere watch designer of the past fifty years. You might recall that Bulgari debuted the first commemorative Gerald Genta model last year with the 50th Anniversary platinum Arena bi-retro watch. 

That release, first seen in Geneva last year, recalls Bulgari’s acquisition of the Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth brands in 2000, a purchase that has played a significant role in building Bulgari’s haute horlogerie expertise.

Gérald Genta, who died in 2011 at the age of 80, designed many of the icons of modern watch design, including the Universal Genève Polerouter, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the IWC Ingenieur, Cartier’s Pasha, the Omega Constellation, the Bvlgari Bvlgari and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Many of these designs remain bestsellers for their respective brands.

Like the 2019 Genta release, the 2020 Gérald Genta Arena watch also focuses on the jumping hours display, here framed in titanium instead of the highly polished platinum seen last year. Bulgari places the watch’s characteristic jumping hours in a large window at 12 o’clock while the minutes are tracked on an arc that spans the top half of the matte black dial with brilliant yellow numerals and broad, skeletonized hands.

As with most Genta jumping hour watches of the past, the minute hand travels across the top of the dial, snapping back to zero every sixty minutes. The date is set in a smaller arc at 6 o’clock.

Powered by the BVL 300 Caliber with jumping hours, retrograde minutes (210°) and date (180°), the watch’s bidirectional self-winding movement boasts a 42-hour power reserve and is visible through the clear sapphire case back. Bulgari will match a matte black alligator strap and a titanium buckle with the titanium case.

Price: $14,800.

The three new Bulgari Aluminum watches.

Bulgari Aluminum

A surprising hit when it debuted in 1998, the original Bulgari Aluminum was quickly spotted on the wrists of celebrities and collectors alike. Made of rubber and aluminum, a combination not seen among higher-end Swiss watches previously, the watch was casually sporty and worn by men and women.

An ad for the 1998 Bulgari Aluminum watches.

The new Bulgari Aluminum echoes the original in most respects, from its case and bracelet materials (still aluminum and rubber), its wide, black rubber bezel and its large markers

But for this re-edition, Bulgari has replaced the mechatronic-quartz movement of the earlier model with new automatic movements. Bulgari has placed an ETA-based caliber B77 inside the time-only model and has fit Caliber B130 into the chronograph model.

In addition, Bulgari has reshaped the watch’s lugs to better fit the new 40mm case size, and it has utilized a new aluminum alloy, which Bulgari says is stronger and more resistant to wear than earlier alloys. The rubber quality has also been improved, says Bulgari.

Prices: $2,950 (time only, either dial color), and $4,250 (chronograph)

 

Specifications:

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic

(Limited edition of 50 pieces.)

Movement: Automatic Bulgari manufacture BVL 388 caliber ultra-thin skeleton with automatic winding, chronograph single-push and tourbillon, (3.50 mm thick). 52 hours power reserve, 21,600 vph (3Hz).

Dial: Solid chronograph subdials within skeletonized movement. Round primary bezel with eight-sided and marked inner bezel.

Case: Stepped eight-sided 42mm sandblasted titanium with transparent caseback; 7.40 mm thick, sandblasted titanium crown and push buttons; skeletonized grey matte dial with plain counters. Water-resistant to 30 meters.

Bracelet: Sandblasted titanium with folding buckle.

Bulgari Gérald Genta Arena Bi-Retrograde Sport

Movement: Manufacture mechanical movement bi-retro BVL300 caliber with automatic winding (bidirectional), jumping hours, retrograde minutes (210°) and date (180°). 42 hours power reserve, 28,800 vph (4Hz). thickness: 6.10mm.

Case: 43mm brushed titanium (12 mm thick), water-resistant to 100 meters;

Dial: Black and anthracite dial with yellow indexes and hands.

Bracelet: Matte black alligator strap with titanium buckle.

Bulgari Aluminum

Three-hand models

Movement: Mechanical ETA-based movement with automatic winding and date, B77 caliber, 42 hours of power reserve.

Case: 40mm aluminum with titanium caseback with DLC treatment and rubber bezel, titanium with DLC treatment crown, water-resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Warm grey or black with SNL indexes and hands

Bracelet: Rubber with aluminum links, aluminum buckle.

Chronograph

Movement: Automatic chronograph with date, B130 caliber, 42 hours of power reserve.

Case: 40mm aluminum with titanium back case, DLC treatment and rubber bezel, titanium with DLC treatment push buttons and crown

Dial: Warm grey with black counters and SNL indexes and hands, water-resistant to 100 meters.

Bracelet: Rubber with aluminum links, Aluminum buckle.