It’s not too difficult to detect a “world travel” theme running through many of Italian watchmaker-jeweler Bulgari’s recent additions to its men’s collection, starting with the sporty Aluminium GMT, rolled out just last week, and continuing with the first world-time watch to join its luxurious Octa Roma collection, a headliner of Bulgari’s lineup at this week’s Geneva Watch Days event.
The Octo Roma Worldtimer, whose case is offered in either satin-brushed and polished stainless steel or black DLC-coated steel with a sandblasted finish, is designed to be both attractive and utilitarian. In classic world-timer fashion, its dial — either in sunburst-finish blue or matte, sandblasted black — enables a quick reading of the time in all of the globe’s 24 major time zones, using a double rotating disk on the outer edge, one inscribed with a 24-hour scale, the other with the names of 24 world cities. The local time is displayed on the typical skeleton hands of the Octa Roma on applied numerals and markers.
It is the choice of locales on the city ring that makes Bulgari’s world-time watch a bit different than most. In keeping with the timepiece’s high-luxury character, they are meant to indicate the most upscale spot in a chosen time zone — super-exclusive St. Bart’s, for example, displacing Bermuda for the Caribbean region. The names are also indicative of cities in which Bulgari operates one of its branded hotels or plans to opens one. In the spirit of user-friendlines, the world time functions can all be adjusted easily through the crown.
Inside the emblematic octagonal case, which measures 41 mm in diameter, is a new manufacture caliber, the self-winding BVL257, entirely developed and produced in the Bulgari watchmaking atelier in Le Sentier, Switzerland. Composed of 261 components, including 26 jewels, the movement features an integrated world-time function and offers a 28,800 vph frequency and a 42-hour power reserve.
The two versions of the Bulgari Octo Roma Worldtimer also differ in their means of securing the watch to well-traveled wrists. The steel-and-blue model (Ref. 103481) has a satin-brushed and polished steel bracelet with a triple blade folding clasp, while the all-black DLC watch (Ref. 103486) offers a black textures rubber strap with a DLC-coated steel pin buckle. Both versions will retail for $8,350.