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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.

Arnold & Son has dressed one of its most impressive watches, the Globetrotter, in red gold, to create the Globetrotter Gold, effectively underscoring the luxury of this model’s world-time functionality.

The new Arnold & Son Globetrotter Gold.

Previously available cased in steel, the 45mm Globetrotter takes on a new golden glow, especially with its massive openworked bridge now so richly polished in the same gold used to case the watch.

That arched bridge does more that catch the eye. It holds a functional ruby atop the domed Northern Hemisphere dial. Reading world times starts at the ruby, where the eye imagines the start of a longitude line that extends to the 24-hour sapphire ring that surrounds the dial. The wearer identifies local time simply by reading the red hands pointing to the gold indexes.

With this Globetrotter Gold, Arnold & Son enhanced the elegance of the Globetrotter with new accents of both gold and deep blue. The dial’s appliqué indexes are faceted in red gold (and also painted in SuperLuminova). Artisans have also painted the oceans with several coats of blue-pigmented lacquer enriched with pearlescent powder, which means their glow is richer than you might expect for such a small detail. Also, note that Arnold & Son has lightened the coastlines, adding more SuperLuminova to enhance their visiblity in the dark. In contrast, all the mountain ranges are matte finished.

Look for equally fine finishing on the in-house automatic caliber A&S6022, which is visible through the sapphire back. The movement’s 22-karat gold oscillating weight is skeletonized and features the Clou de Paris guilloché pattern. For an added touch of elegance, the brand’s finishers have matched the high-quality anthracite movement plating to the red gold case.

Arnold & Son will make twenty-eight editions of the Globetrotter Gold. Price: CHF 41,900, or about $45,800.

 

The new Junghans Meister Worldtimer offers a clear, affordable timekeeping option for travellers ­– whenever crossing time zones and lines of longitude again becomes commonplace.

This storied German watchmaker nicely combines a clear dial design with useful functionality with this elegant 40mm model, the brand’s first non-quartz worldtimer.

The new Junghans Meister Worldtimer.

The watchmaker presents a fairly classical world time dial layout, with its gray hour disc rotating underneath a radial dial opening that displays the hour in twenty-four different time zones simultaneously.

Junghans designers have echoed traditional worldtimer designs by allocating a specific city to every hour of the day in its respective time zone. To account for the nighttime hours at far-flung destinations, the times between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. are represented in black.

Junghans has placed all the primary indicators in a convex arrangement around the center. The three dauphin-shaped hands provide the local time while the hour disc offers quick location of the hours in other time zones. The clear glass back of the case provides a view into the ETA-based self-winding movement.

Prices: $1,745 (blue dial) and $2,045 (all others).

 

Specifications: Junghans Meister Worldtimer

Movement: Self-winding ETA-based J820.5 with 24-hour display and power reserve of up to 42 hours.

Case: 40.4mm by 10.4mm steel, five-screw caseback with mineral crystal. These models are available with optional hard Plexiglass with coating for enhanced scratch resistance, or domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on both sides.

Dial: Matte silver-plated, galvanic anthracite or blue with sunray brush.  Two city rings around the 24-hour disc 
with SuperLuminova luminous substance on hands.

Strap: Calf leather (in brown or blue) or horse leather (in black) with stainless steel or PVD-coated buckle
 stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
.

Water-resistance: Up to 30 meters 
with hard Plexiglass and with sapphire crystal up to 50 meters.

Prices: $1,945 (blue dial) and $2,045 (all others).

 

 

 

Among its early 2020 debuts, Frederique Constant this week adds karat gold to its Classic Worldtimer Manufacture and adds sportier dials to its Flyback Chronograph Manufacture, both among the Geneva-based brand’s best-known collections that also happen to be made with in-house-designed movements.

Additional 2020 debuts (to be detailed in future posts) include new Art Deco-style watches for women and an updated smartwatch called Vitality. 

Flyback Chronograph Manufacture

This watch has earned accolades as possibly the best-value flyback chronograph watch on the market with a manufacture movement (FC-760). The 42mm watch debuted in 2017 priced less than $4,000, and still might one of the few such flyback chronographs available at such an attractive price  ($4,295 and $4,595 for the current offering).

With the flyback, the chronograph’s hand can be stopped, reset to zero, and restarted with one push of a button. The function allows for timing an elapsed interval of events during races. Frederique Constant spent six years developing the caliber prior to its debut, when the brand touted the modular design as one of the most efficient available as it requires only 96 of its 233 components to be dedicated to the flyback function. 

The Flyback Chronograph Manufacture is powered by the in-house FC-760 flyback chronograph movement.

   

But it’s not simply the watch’s ultra-efficient star-shaped column-wheel flyback chronograph caliber that draws enthusiasts. The Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture’s retro-inspired dial and case design also plays a role in advancing the watch’s popularity.

New dials

Initially offered with a more classical Roman numeral dial, the watch is now being offered with its first two-tone dial variations, though still retaining the applied, beveled hour markers we’ve seen on this watch in recent years.

Frederique Constant is unveiling the two new options with silvered counters and darker (blue or brown) surrounding dials, echoing the contrasts seen on many chronographs of the 1960s and 1970s.

The sportier treatment sets the dial’s three-counters (date, 30-minute counter and small seconds) in stronger contrast to the dial, which also features baton indices and luminous hands.  

On the gold-plated version, the three counters are set against a chocolate-colored dial with a 42mm rose-gold-plated case. The second model features a blue dial with a stainless-steel case. All are fitted with an alligator strap with a deployant clasp. Price: $4,295 (steel case) and $4,595 (rose-gold-plated steel case).

Gold Worldtimer 

Available for the first time with a rose gold case, Frederique Constant’s Classic Worldtimer Manufacture is also now offered with a new blue, grey and red dial. This newest edition (limited to eighty-eight watches) still reveals a familiar world map on its dial with world city times indicated via two separate discs.

In its steel-cased edition, the Classic Worldtimer Manufacture remains among the most affordable (at $3,995) full-featured Swiss-made world-time watches available. 

The watch’s functions are just as useful now as they were ten years ago when Frederique Constant released the very first Classic Worldtimer. On the dial, twenty-four world time zones, indicated by cities, rotate around nicely detailed continents and oceans seen in the center of the dial.

For this special limited-edition karat gold version, the watchmaker has colored the twelve daytime hours in red while the nighttime hours appear in grey. Frederique Constant continues to nicely decorate the date counter at 6 o’clock with a particularly fetching sunray guilloché pattern.

Frederique Constant has designed its FC-718 movement to be quickly and easily adjusted via the crown, thus requiring no additional pushbuttons on the case. Price: $14,995.

 

Specifications: 

Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture, rose-gold-plated steel (FC-760CHC4H4)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph, date adjustable by hand, tachymeter

Movement: FC-760 Manufacture caliber, automatic, flyback chronograph with date adjustable by the crown, perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decoration on the movement, 32 jewels, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph

Case: 42mm rose-gold-plated, polished and satined stainless steel three-part case, glass box sapphire crystal, see-through case-back. Water-resistant to 50 meters

Dial: Brown with applied rose-gold-plated indexes, hand-polished rose-gold-plated hands

Strap: Dark brown alligator leather strap

 

Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture, steel case  (FC-760NS4H6)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph, date adjustable by hand, tachymeter

Movement: FC-760 Manufacture caliber, automatic, flyback chronograph with date adjustable by the crown. Perlage and circular Côtes de Genève decoration, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph

Case: 42mm polished and satined stainless steel three-part, glass box sapphire crystal, see-through case-back. Water-resistant to 50 meters

Dial: Navy with applied silver indexes, hand-polished silver hands

Strap: Blue alligator leather

 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Rose Gold Classic Worldtimer Manufacture, (FC-718NRWM4H9)

Movement: FC-718 Manufacture caliber, automatic with all functions (time and world timer) adjustable by the crown, perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decoration on the movement, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph

Case: 42mm polished 18-karat rose gold with convex sapphire crystal, see-through caseback, water-resistant to 30 meters

Dial: Navy blue color dial with grey world map in the center and luminous indexes, hand-polished rose-gold-plated hands with white luminous treatment; date counter at 6 o’clock, 24 hour disc with day (red) & night (grey) indication, city disc with 24 cities

Strap: Navy blue alligator leather strap with off-white stitches