When it comes to watches, the entry level offerings from any brand will tend to evoke less excitement that their higher end siblings. Bulgari, however, is proving that it needn’t be so – by paying attention to the design and execution of an entry level timepiece, compelling products can be created. By extension, this approach challenges the existing notion that seasoned collectors needn’t bother themselves with simpler, more accessible watches from a familiar brand; the right product simply finds its way into a collection by virtue of its design and features.
The new Bulgari Aluminium is proof. At first sight, the new watches from this line are reminiscent of the Bulgari Bulgari Cities Special Edition released earlier this year. Indeed, they bear the same urban sensibility and speak a common design language, albeit with subtle variations in areas such as their proportions. The Bulgari Aluminium is, however, rendered in its eponymous material. Weight savings aside, its overall design is also simpler. Coupled with the rubber-and-aluminium strap, the overall vibe of the new watch is more casual, and conceivably a perfect match for a day out in town over the weekend.
For now, three references across two models are available. The Bulgari Aluminium is a three-hand watch with a simple date complication at three o’clock, and is powered by the B130 calibre with a 42-hour power reserve. Grey-on-black and black-on-grey colourways are available for this timepiece. The Bulgari Aluminium Chronograph, on the other hand, sports a single “panda dial” configuration, and is fitted with the B130 chronograph movement with a similar power reserve. The choice to power the new timepieces with mechanical calibres has elevated the line, which previously featured quartz movements.
The Bulgari Aluminium watches are consistently 40 millimetres across, with aluminium cases fitted with rubber bezels and DLC-coated titanium case backs. Thanks to the redesigned lugs, wearability has been improved. The stark colourways, meanwhile, has established a strong visual identity for what looks to be another strong pillar within Bulgari’s line-up.