On the occasion of the LVMH Watch Week, the Roman Jeweller reveals a mechanical masterpiece that harmoniously brings together the marvel of sound and precious gemstones in a thoroughly modern style. Not only does the Grande Sonnerie four-gong mechanism represent a pinnacle of horological prowess, but the dial and case are now set with shimmering baguette-cut emeralds and diamonds. This is Bulgari at its very best, elegantly fusing Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joaillerie with its hallmark Roman style and design bravado.
The Maison has uncompromisingly committed to an innovation-driven attitude in all its watches, however complex or rare. This philosophy is expressed in the Estetica della Meccanica approach, making even the most extreme and archaic complications relevant and desirable to a new age of cognoscenti and collectors. As the pioneer of contemporary Haute Horlogerie, Bulgari propels heritage and exquisite savoir faire into the future with this design-driven approach that transforms traditional constraints into exciting opportunities.
As a chiming watch, the new bejewelled Grande Sonnerie joins the orchestra of the Sinfonia della Meccanica, along with other masterpieces that allows the wearer to experience the wonder of the mechanical heart of the watch through the pure and primordial emotion of sound.
A contemporary heritage
The Grande Sonnerie with four hammers and gongs is considered the queen of complications and is Bulgari’s most complex timepiece to date. The Maison is amongst only a handful of Swiss watchmakers capable of producing a Grande Sonnerie mechanism that sounds the hours, quarters and minutes. The watch has a harmonious Westminster chime that can be silenced or activated on demand by the side buttons. The creation is powered by the superlative BVL 703 automatic winding, tourbillon-regulated calibre that is composed of 732 individual components diligently assembled over nine months by one master watchmaker, who also carries out any later adjustments or services.
A jeweller at heart, Bulgari’s Octo Roma Grande Sonnerie follows on from the all-diamond version and is set with 446 baguette-cut Zambian emeralds and diamonds totalling over 30 carats. Crafted in white gold with a sapphire crystal case-back, this outstanding creation reveals a graphic, architectural look featuring a pattern of jointed elements that harmoniously conveys a sense of dynamic lightness and eternal beauty. Presented on a vibrant green alligator strap to match the emerald-set bezel, the watch is a one-of-a-kind creation and its arrival confirms Bulgari’s prowess both as the most revolutionary and exciting watchmaker as well as a refined jeweller to gentlemen.
Mechanical self-winding movement, BVL703 calibre with Grande and Petite Sonnerie, 4-hammer Westminster chime, Minute Repeater and power-reserve indicator for the striking mechanism: 24 hours in Grande Sonnerie mode, 28 hours in Petite Sonnerie mode; 21,600 VpH, 82 jewels, 31.50 mm diameter, 8.77 mm thick. Water-resistant to 3 ATM.
Case and dial
44mm-diameter white gold case, bezel and lugs set with 72 baguette-cut emeralds (~ 7.28 cts) and 374 baguette-cut diamonds (~22.86 cts), 15.42 mm thick, transparent case-back, white gold crown set with baguette-cut diamonds and 1 round rose-cut diamond, baguette-cut diamonds on the dial.
Green alligator strap with white gold folding clasp.
Horological complications have for decades followed principles involving narrow codification and extreme classicism. Bulgari has always ignored these terms. Witness the new Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon, in which the two traditional complications of the tourbillon and the striking mechanism speak a resolutely modern language.
Contemporary interpretation is an integral part of the creative acts of the Maison, which applies it daily to its watchmaking developments. Such is the case with the new Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon which, while combining two essentially classic complications, redefines watchmaking tradition in a resolutely modernist approach. This watch features a highly graphic skeletonised movement with blue bridges. The platinum case is encircled by a blued titanium caseband.
It has been designed to amplify the sound rendition and clarity, which is the primary parameter governing the construction of a striking watch. The Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon movement with three hammers, hand-wound calibre BVL428, measures 35 mm in diameter, 8.35 mm thick and comprises a total of 432 components. It is entirely manufactured in-house.
The generous proportions of the case are designed to maximise sound propagation, enabling increased torque from the three-tone construction and greater sound power production. In particular, the caseband is designed to maximise sound and allow it to spread as much as possible. It has cavities inside the design to reduce the amount of metal between the inside and outside, and three openings on the caseband that correspond to the three gongs, thus allowing the sound to exit the chamber.
The gongs are attached directly to the body of the case for the most efficient sound transmission and the middle-case is made of titanium to ensure the clearest possible sound diffusion. The back is also hollowed out and redesigned with a titanium grid that protects this resonant area and enables outward transmission of the sound.
The gongs on the watch are hand-crafted in several stages. They are bent and formed by hand before being annealed, or hardened, at a temperature of 900 degrees Celsius, then cleaned before being reheated in a 500-degree kiln, a process that endows the metal with its crystal-clear resonance. Like some components of the striking mechanism, they are drawn out with a file, in order to refine the chords of the chime. The melodic sequence of this chime with three hammers striking three tones plays the note C for the hours, the notes E D C for the quarters and the note E for the minutes. The mechanism is activated by a pusher on the left side of the caseband.
The movement is equipped with one classical barrel ensuring the power reserve of at least 75 hours for the movement at full charge, meanwhile the functioning of the sound mechanism is ensured by a spring which is contained in a barrel-shaped container drilled directly in the bridge.
The architecture of the BVL428 calibre, the cut-out of the bridges and the positioning of the various components are original, contemporary and contrasted in order to reveal the beauty of the mechanism. The hammers, gongs, tourbillon cage and perforated surfaces are made of alternating polished steels, while the finely worked mainplate and bridges feature an ALD treatment. The high-tech carbon-based vacuum-deposition coating is an elegant deep blue.
Available in a 30-piece limited edition the watch has a transparent sapphire crystal caseback, is water-resistant to three atmospheres, and comes with a blue alligator leather strap secured by a platinum triple-blade folding clasp.
Manufacture mechanical manual winding BVL428 calibre, minute repeater, three-hammer carillon tourbillon and power-reserve indicator; 75-hour power reserve, 21,600 VpH, 36 jewels, movement and blue-treated bridges; 35.00 mm diameter, 8.35 mm thick.
Case and dial
44 mm platinum case; openworked titanium middle-case, specially conceived to enhance sound performances; white gold crown, set with a black ceramic insert; white gold pusher to activate the chime; 12.83 mm thick.
Blue alligator strap with platinum triple-blade folding clasp.
30-piece limited edition.