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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.