Brand's magnificent seven
On January 15, Bulgari Group chief executive Francesco Trapani announced that the company had acquired watchmaking brands Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta. Two months later, the brand presented the products of this collaboration at BaselWorld 2010 with a series of novelties and the launch of the first mechanical movement developed and produced entirely in-house by Bulgari.
Originally functioning as individual brands under Bulgari Group, Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta now operate as two lines under the Bulgari brand and are launching seven novelties this year.
The new models in the Daniel Roth collection include the Endurer Chronosprint, Tourbillon Lumiere and Tourbillon Rattrapante.
The Endurer Chronosprint houses a patented mechanism which allows the hour and minute hands to be off centre in order to highlight the large chronograph subdial at six o'clock. The subdial consists of a 60-minute scale outside a 12-hour scale with two chronograph hands of differing lengths.
The self-winding movement has a 42-hour power reserve and the stainless steel case is paired with a black alligator leather strap.
Skeleton watch fans will appreciate the elegance of the Tourbillon Lumiere model. With a main plate measuring 3.48mm thick, it is one of the world's thinnest tourbillon watches.
The model houses a movement with impressive transparency, featuring open-worked plates, bridges and a ratchet wheel, and a thin inner bezel marked with hour and minute indexes. The tourbillon is clearly visible at six o'clock.
The mechanical hand-wound 'skeleton-work' movement is housed within a rose gold case paired with a brown alligator leather strap.
The last of the Daniel Roth novelties is the Tourbillon Rattrapante, which showcases a tourbillon and a split seconds chronograph. Instead of central hour and minute hands, a subdial at seven o'clock shows the time, leaving the central axis to the gold-plated chronograph seconds hand and the blue split-seconds hand.
The other functions are positioned evenly across the dial, with the tourbillon at 11 o'clock, the 30-minute chronograph counter at three o'clock and a power reserve indicator at five o'clock. The watch comes in rose gold paired with an alligator leather strap.
Of the four novelties in the Gerald Genta collection, the Octo Chronographe Quadri-Retro and the Octo Grande Sonnerie Tourbillon are notable.
The Octo Chronographe Quadri-Retro has an eight-sided case housing a movement which features a column wheel chronograph function and four retrograde displays on the cloisonn? dial.
The model's unique time display involves a jumping hour-display window at 12 o'clock, with a retrograde minute track arching over it. The central chronograph seconds hand starts and stops at six o'clock instead of 12 o'clock so as not to block the hour display, while the chronograph minutes and hours are measured in retrograde displays at three o'clock and nine o'clock respectively.
The final retrograde display at six o'clock shows the date. The model is water-resistant to a depth of 100 metres and comes in rose gold paired with an alligator leather strap.
Like the Quadri-Retro, the Octo Grande Sonnerie Tourbillon has a novel dial configuration. Driven by a tourbillon regulator, this highly complex watch displays the time through a retrograde hour display on the left side of the dial and a small rotating minute disc on the right.
The four subdials on the right side of the dial show the minute repeater's strike/silent indication, the striking mechanism's power reserve, the time indication's power reserve and strike-mode selector indication, which shows whether the grande sonnerie (grand strike) or petite sonnerie (small strike) is activated.
The model comes in white gold with a transparent case back and is paired with an alligator leather strap.
Bulgari this year launched its first in-house movement, the calibre 168, which is housed in the new Sotirio Bulgari line. The self-winding movement has 168 parts and its functions include hours, minutes, seconds and an instant-jump central date.
The new Sotirio Bulgari models come in 43mm cases with black sapphire dials and are available in materials including diamond-like carbon.