Italian jewellery house Bulgari became a watchmaker accidentally when, in 1975, they made 100 unique watches as gifts for important customers. The popularity of this limited release meant that the iconic Bulgari Bulgari followed soon after. Today their watches include the popular Octo and the Lucea lines. Explore Bulgari’s timepieces at Time+Tide.

What Sealed The Deal: Ben's Bulgari Diagono Scuba

Ben came into the Time+Tide offices to buy a NATO strap for his TAG Heuer Monaco. But the conversation quickly turned to the unusual Bulgari diver's watch on his wrist. Here, Ben explains the backstory behind the purchase and why — despite it contradicting everything he normally likes in a watch — he absolutely loves it. Originally, this was my dad's watch, but I think he only wore it twice in 10 years. Dad tends to like bigger pieces – he's also got a Panerai Luminor and a TAG Heuer Link Calibre 5. With this watch, he'd always just say it was "too formal". So I keep saying, "Let me buy this watch off you! Let me buy it off you!" My dad would always refuse. He'd say, "Ben, I bought this watch for 10 grand. I'm not going to sell it to you." But I persisted. It's strange because I don't really like flashy watches. I probably wouldn't wear an all-gold watch; in fact, I'd even avoid most two-tone watches. My dream watch is just a white dial Vacheron Constantin Overseas — no chronograph, just nice, plain, simple. But, for me, this watch just had the perfect amount of gold. It's not… Read More

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VIDEO: "Our planet is the most precious gem we have." Bulgari CEO adds his voice – and a $50K watch – to our bushfire appeal auction

Bulgari CEO

There was not a moment's hesitation. Jean-Christophe Babin, the CEO of Bulgari, and I were standing on a pool deck at a villa in Dubai. Within sight, an emerald green ocean. Swaying palm trees. Skies of blue. A world away from the scene I had left, when I'd jumped on an Emirates flight 24 hours before. Choking smoke in Melbourne. People wearing gas masks as they boarded the plane. Fires in Victoria you could see from 30,000 feet as we flew towards the Middle East. The air quality in Melbourne on the day I left for LVMH Watch Week was the worst of anywhere in the world, including parts of India that are considered hazardous. "Of course we would like to help. It is done. Speak to Antoine (Antoine Pin, the Managing Director of the Bulgari Watches Division), he will arrange the details." The watch that was ultimately offered was the absolutely stunning Bulgari Serpenti in yellow gold picture above. At just over $50,000AUD it is the most valuable watch in the 'Watch & Act!' auction based on its RRP. With the cameras about to roll on an interview, I asked a second question. Would Mr Babin have a message… Read More

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"Watch & Act!" Auction Item – Lot 3: Bulgari's Golden Serpent

Serpenti Tubogas

One of the key pieces in Bulgari's recent resurgence, alongside the record-breaking 50+ award-winning Octo Finissimo, the Serpenti Tubogas represents the height of feminine elegance. Note the serpentine Tubogas bracelet that snakes sensuously around the wearer's wrist. It is offered here in 18k yellow gold with a silver opaline dial. This watch has been generously donated by Bulgari. Merging two of the most iconic symbols of Bulgari design, the Serpenti Tubogas evokes both the shape of a woman and the fluid coils of the serpent. This watch marks a distinctive chapter in the constant evolution of Serpenti. It features a 35mm 18k yellow gold curved case housing a quartz movement, set with brilliant-cut diamonds. Note the 18k yellow gold crown set with a cabochon cut pink rubellite, silver opaline dial with guilloché soleil treatment and hand-applied indexes. It is attached to the wrist with a single spiral 18k yellow gold bracelet. What we like about it Andrew – The Bulgari Serpenti Tubogas is point-blank one of the most elegant feminine statements in watchmaking, and having spent so much time around the model's designer Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, I feel even more appreciative of the design genius at work. The standout for… Read More

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What Sealed The Deal: Ben's Bulgari Diagono Scuba

Ben came into the Time+Tide offices to buy a NATO strap for his TAG Heuer Monaco. But the conversation quickly turned to the unusual Bulgari diver's watch on his wrist. Here, Ben explains the backstory behind the purchase and why — despite it contradicting everything he normally likes in a watch — he absolutely loves it. Originally, this was my dad's watch, but I think he only wore it twice in 10 years. Dad tends to like bigger pieces – he's also got a Panerai Luminor and a TAG Heuer Link Calibre 5. With this watch, he'd always just say it was "too formal". So I keep saying, "Let me buy this watch off you! Let me buy it off you!" My dad would always refuse. He'd say, "Ben, I bought this watch for 10 grand. I'm not going to sell it to you." But I persisted. It's strange because I don't really like flashy watches. I probably wouldn't wear an all-gold watch; in fact, I'd even avoid most two-tone watches. My dream watch is just a white dial Vacheron Constantin Overseas — no chronograph, just nice, plain, simple. But, for me, this watch just had the perfect amount of gold. It's not… Read More

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Is the new Bulgari Octo Finissimo better in steel or ceramic?

Bulgari Octo Finissimo

We're not even a month into 2020 but already Bulgari has released a collection of stunning new references in the Octo Finissimo range, with two standout pieces in steel and ceramic. But which piece is more compelling? The team share their thoughts. James Robinson – Team Steel The biggest news, by far, coming out of LMVH's Watch Week in Dubai was Bulgari's announcement that the Octo Finissimo will be made available in a stainless steel case. Mark my words – this watch has the potential to well and truly shake up the watch industry. Not only does the Octo Finissimo exemplify the Italian marque's commitment to haute horology, it's also a watch that can now go toe-to-toe with the stalwarts of the luxury integrated steel sports watch genre. And, from where I'm sitting, it beats pretty much every one of its perceived contemporaries – it's miles cheaper, slimmer and, to my eyes, more attractive. There's a huge amount of trepidation at my end regarding trying this watch on, however. Why? Well, because I'm pretty sure I'll immediately want to buy it. Luke Benedictus – Bet on Black What do you get when you cross a stealth bomber with a panther?… Read More

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6 of the best fashion watch brands that are serious watchmakers

best fashion watch brands

For lovers of Haute Horlogerie, the term "fashion watch" is often akin to a cuss word. But one doesn't have to dig very far into the history of fine watchmaking to realise just how much we have to thank fashion labels for, and how the best fashion watch brands are serious watchmakers. In the 1980s, following the darkest period in luxury horology's history, during which time quartz watches had threatened to extinguish the craft entirely, it was fashion brands that changed the way watches were seen and worn. Although it seems a bit counterintuitive these days, the idea of a watch as a throwaway accessory helped the luxury industry prosper, simply because it suddenly made watches seem desirable when, in the past, they'd just been viewed as necessary. And rare as it is, there are some excellent watchmakers in the world today that began life as fashion brands, before making a huge investment in proper manufacturing. These are some of the brands that successfully crossed the divide. Bulgari When it comes to transforming a reputation, Bulgari wrote the book. With some of the most impressive manufacturing feats of the past decade to its name (who can forget the Bulgari Octo… Read More

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That time we made a fantasy basketball team out of celebs who wear the Bulgari Octo

Editor's note: Question: What do David Gandy, Gerard Butler, Eric Bana, Bradley Cooper and Adrien Brody all have in common? Answer: They've all been spotted wearing a Bulgari Octo. And apart from being five exceedingly good-looking dudes, they're all rather tall gents. So naturally, our fearless leader Andrew McUtchen pondered, "What would this beefcake collective be like if they were to join forces and start a basketball team?". And spare a thought for the celebs who have been relegated to the bench, because let's face it, 175cm ain't gonna cut it on this team … Jeremy Renner!  Golden State Warriors, you are on notice. If our A-list line-up of regular Bulgari Octo wearers decided to, mythically speaking, join forces on a basketball court in their on-screen personas, you'd be done. Crushed. Eliminated. Defused. Skewered. From snipers to Spartan warriors, Moonlight Sonatas (lovely Adrien, just lovely) and devastating good looks, our Octo Octet has every possible scenario covered, on and off the court. Maybe we've had too much time on our hands, or spent too long analysing Met Gala wristwear, but we've gone ahead and drawn up, not just the Octo's starting five (with allocated positions), but a pretty hard-hitting bench too…. Read More

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