Bulgari is a watchmaker that has its roots in a silversmithing business since 1884. Founded by Greek immigrant Sotirio Bulgari, the first shop opened in Rome, Italy, producing its first timepiece in the 1940s. The company has since produced numerous high-end watches with distinctive branding. One of Bulgari’s most recent offerings is its new Aluminum GMT watch that is worthy of a second look.
First glance at the Bulgari Aluminum GMT watch
The first thing your eyes move to is the unique dial that features a thick red semicircle band that takes up the lower portion of the outer portion of the dial. It catches your attention immediately until you begin noticing the other features of the dial that move out of the traditional realm ever so slightly. The second’s hand is an ultra-thin silver needle-style with a red circle at the end and a thicker cap pointing toward the second, also in red. It’s a minor detail, yet it shows the care taken to differentiate the personality of this timepiece and set it apart from the others. Next, the Bulgari branding on the thick blue bezel with a fixed inner portion and the band in an engraved styling is the most obvious and bold features.
This is a watch with two halves with a split dial that is denoted by the bi-coloring of the outer ring. The split in the dial is a cool aesthetic for certain, but it’s also the practical design method that Bulgari uses to denote the difference between night and daytime hours which works well with its nautically coded theme. The Aluminum is not a misspelling. It’s the way that the Italian watchmaker spells the word in its native tongue. Forbes weighed in on the announcement of the new GMT, pointing out that the new aluminum alloy that Bulgari is using for its cases is resistant to scratching, more durable, and far more lightweight. Other updates to the watch line include a new mechanical movement replacing the quartz, and redesign of the rubber bracelet.
A Closer look at Bulgari’s New Aluminum GMT Watch
Now to get to the finer details. GQ Magazine sees this timepiece as ideal for travelers with its 24-hour pointer hand to hold steady on home time with the central hour and minutes hands to be adjusted for the local time. It’s easier that way when you’re moving across multiple time zones. The case is a silvery color in ultra-lightweight aluminum alloy. It measures 40mm in width with cylindrical lugs. The bezel is a thick blue rubberized material with the Bulgari name deeply etched in bold letters. They’ve helped to keep the price and the weight a bit lighter as the alloy is less expensive than its more precious counterpart titanium.
A Blog to Watch leads us through a detailed explanation of the powerplant that makes this a GMT timepiece. The Aluminum GMT is powered by a caliber B192 automatic GMT movement from the brand’s in-house B-series, based on the ETA 22893-2. The House of Bulgari is not divulging many of the details of its prized movement, however, there are a few details that we’re aware of to share. It beats at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour with an ample power reserve of 42 hours. This goes four hours beyond the standard movement. The 24-hour hand is a quickset that many do not consider a true GMT.
The strap and other details
The strap is made of Bulgari’s new redesigned rubber material with aluminum. It features an engraving of the brand in bold letters, in blue. This sporty watch is rated for water resistance to 100 meters. The dial features printed Arabic numerals at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions with luminous treatment to further enhance its legibility in all lighting conditions. A sapphire crystal with antireflective treatment subdues the glare of bright lights so you can easily tell the time whether it’s bright and sunny outside or if it’s pitch black in the dead of night.
Pricing and availability
The price of the new Bulgari Aluminum GMT watch is set at $3,500. It is currently available through Bulgari and its authorized dealers. We weren’t able to find any limitations on the number of pieces that the brand plans to produce, so for now, we’re going to assume that there will be a good supply available. So far, they’re not sold out.
The Bulgari Aluminum GMT watch is a unique timepiece that has a few features we find appealing. The dial could take some getting used to but it is reminiscent of an old Pepsi sign with the red and blue indications. The split dial for separating day and night hours is also a practical approach to the design. Although it would be nice to know a few more details about the in-house movement, it’s an intriguing mystery that Bulgari is playing their cards close to the vest on this one. Trade secrets aside, it is a powerful and accurate movement that provides the necessary functions with a longer power reserve, which is also an attractive feature. From an aesthetics perspective, the dial is a little busy, but it’s a good-looking timepiece with a hint of sophistication. We could see someone with a timid demeanor shying away because it looks complicated to operate. There is a small learning curve if you’re not accustomed to working with GMTs. Having said this, the watch is an obvious celebration of the opening up of travel. Although not all parts of the world allow movement from one country to another, at least local travel has relaxed to some degree. Overall, it’s a good-looking watch that offers high-end luxury watch features and craftsmanship at a moderate cost, representing value for what it is you’re getting.