The watch so nice they named it twice is back, with new case materials and sizes. Bulgari’s Bulgari Bulgari watch, whose engraved bezel and logo-free dial earned it a place among the horological design classics of the 197os, is now available with three new cases and in a new smaller model for ladies.
The origin of the Bulgari Bulgari can be traced to 1975, and a notion by the three Bulgari brothers who were then running the company — Nicola, Gianni, and Paolo — to produce an exclusive gift to reward their 100 best clients. The watches’ signature feature — two “BVLGARI” engravings around the bezel, while the dial was left clean of the brand name — was inspired by the ancient coins struck by Roman emperors, one of many aesthetic influences from ancient Rome that would inform and influence the look of Bulgari watches and jewelry over the decades. So popular was this unconventional timepiece that by 1977, it was launched as a commercial model, its double-engraved bezel giving it its name, Bulgari Bulgari or “BB.”
The three new versions of the Bulgari Bulgari for men carry on the original’s now iconic look but are defiantly modern in their materials. Their 41-mm-diameter round cases are offered in bronze, in two-tone black DLC-coated steel with bronze bezel, and in all-black DLC-coated steel. The new watches are also equipped with a tool-free intrchangeable strap system that allows wearers to quickly and easily swap out between the available embossed rubber, alligator leather, and calf leather strap options.
The dials of all three new models are finely grained and black lacquered, with applied bronze hour numerals and markers. Behind a clear sapphire caseback, one can glimpse the movement, Bulgari’s automatic Caliber BVL 191, which powers the hours, minutes, and central seconds as well as the date display at 3 o’clock. This “solotempo” (“time only”) movement has a bidirectional winding rotor decorated with Geneva stripes, a 28,800-vph frequency, and a 42-hour power reserve.
Each of the new men’s Bulgari Bulgari models is delivered in a black-grained leather pouch that contains a second strap option. The bronze-cased model comes on chestnut brown calfskin leather; the black-DLC-and-bronze version, on black calfskin leather; and the black DLC version, on black rubber. Prices range from $4,000 for the black DLC (Ref. 102929), to $4,500 for the two-tone (Ref. 102931), to $5,600 for the bronze (Ref. 102977).
For the ladies, Bulgari offers both a very dainty 23-mm-diameter Bulgari Bulgari as well as a more contemporary albeit still eminently feminine model at 33 mm. Both are outfitted with a Swiss quartz movement that has been personalized by Bulgari. Both of the watches are on steel bracelets that recall those of the original Bulgari Bulgari of the 1970s. Dials come in sunburst anthracite, lacquered black, sunburst brown, and mother-of-pearl options, most with applied brilliant-cut diamond hour markers. Crowns are in steel or gold and set with a pink cabochon.
Prices on the 23-mm Bulgari Bulgari Ladies models are $3,600 for the all-steel version without diamond hour markers; $4,650 with diamond hour markers; $7,000 for two-tone steel-and-gold without diamonds; and $8,050 for two-tone with diamonds on a mother-of-pearl dial. The 33-mm models range from $5,050 in all steel to $9,350 for two-tone steel-and-gold, both with diamond indices.