For three years in a row, the Basel watch fair opens with the announcement of a new Bvlgari watch record. To date, the company has set four records for "fineness" with the release of the thinnest hand-wound tourbillon (2014), the thinnest minute repeater (2016), the thinnest automatic watch (2017) and the thinnest automatic tourbillon (2018) in the Octo Finissimo series.). The development of ultra-thin calibers and the strategy of watchmaking is carried out by a team led by Guido Terreni.
- What is more important for Bvlgari: aesthetics or mechanics?
- Of course, aesthetics. All decisions we make are driven by design, so from a technical point of view, we need to overcome the limitations that the designer puts before us. Still, first of all, you fall in love with the design object, and only then you try to delve into the technical details of how the product was created.
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- Did the Finissimo line appear for aesthetic reasons?
- Yes, because we decided that we wanted to express masculine elegance as much as possible. However, our ultra-thin watches are very traditional: the aesthetics pay homage to the 1950s and 1960s, my grandfather's generation. I am a person of a different generation, I am dressed differently, I have a different car, and I want a different watch. Until recently, Finissimo Ultra-Thin models were too strict, in the spirit of black tie. We wanted to create a watch that can be worn every day. So we opted for a comfortable bracelet design and a matte monochrome palette that became one of our aesthetic codes. To titanium was added gold and steel with special sandblasting. Using three monochrome materials in the collection is a more correct move than experimenting with color with dials.
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- Did the monochrome idea become embodied in the minute repeater made of carbon?
- Exactly! It is made of real graphite, like a case and a bracelet that has no analogues in the industry - we assemble it from individual thin links. The natural pattern of this material creates a camouflage effect that is clearly visible on the dial, covered with a single layer of carbon. The watch weighs only 47 g with a bracelet (for comparison: the titanium model weighs 77 g), while graphite exhibits excellent acoustic properties and is incredibly durable.
- Speaking of a modern watch manufacture, should it be 100% vertically integrated?
“We believe that a luxury brand should inspire confidence and master different know-how skillfully, so we carried out vertical integration. If you want to be among the pioneers, you need a lot of freedom for creativity, an internal development department, production. Then you become the master of what you create. Integration allows you to control the "price-quality" ratio, because you no longer need to put your added value on the price in which there is already an added value laid down by the supplier. Yes, we buy cylinders, rubies for calibers, hands. Some components are easier to buy from someone than to make yourself.
1 of 4 Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Carbon © Press Office Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic © Press Office Octo Finissimo Automatic Sunblasted © Press Office Octo Finissimo Automatic Sunblasted © Press Office
- Is Bvlgari a watch brand or a jewelry brand after all?
- Personally, I consider Bvlgari a watch manufacturer, but customers still perceive the brand as a jewelry brand. However, it does not matter at all. We feel great in the perfumery, hotel and fashion business. The hourly trend continues this series.
- But is Bvlgari an atypical Swiss watchmaker?
“When I got my appointment at Bvlgari, I set out to make the best timepieces to our limits. We have integrated all production facilities (and there were five of them historically) into one company Bvlgari Horlogerie, founded in 2011. It was obvious that the advantages of the brand were in its aesthetics, in the Italian style, in the pursuit of elegance, which the technical side should support. But this philosophy goes against the way traditional Swiss brands work. There is a term habillage (from the French habiller, “to dress.” - “”), which denotes all elements external to the watch mechanism: case, dial, bracelet. That is, for many brands, everything starts with a motor around which everything else is assembled. It's the opposite for us: first we want to define the style, and then implement it in the product.This approach creates certain limitations, but there is pleasure in overcoming them - this is how dialogue is born.>