Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bulgari Commedia dell’Arte

 Inspired by the Italian theatrical arts of the 16th century, this new collection of watches by Bulgari is indeed a collection of masterpieces. Called Bulgari Commedia dell’Arte, it boasts a rare level of complexity, both in design and in mechanical features. The first thing that strikes the eye is the beautiful dial, which shows three famous figures in the history of performing arts – Pulcinella, Brighella and Harlequin – on a marvelous hand-painted backdrop of stunning detail.

Each character is raised above the backdrop and they have 5 to 7 (depending on model) moving components that help bring the entire scene to life. This happens every time the Minute Repeater chime is heard. For the chiming complication Bulgari used unusually long steel wires for the gongs, thus obtaining better resonance and deeper sound.

Available in three versions, the dials are crafted of 18k white gold and then decorated using special artisanal techniques, such as engraving, miniature painting and chasing. The entire scene is brought to life by a hand finished Calibre BVL 618 movement with 18,000 vph, 48 hours of power reserve and 91 jewels. The 54 mm case is made of 18k white gold and provides water resistance to 30 meters.

The minutes are displayed on the right side of the dial, the rest being occupied by the fascinating automata. A large opening at six o’clock shows the jumping hour. This luxurious timepiece also flaunts a sapphire crystal, sapphire crystal back, and a classy alligator strap with 18k white gold triple-blade folding clasp.

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