Bulgari looks to PlayStation racers with the new Aluminium Chronograph Gran Turismo limited edition

Bulgari looks to PlayStation racers with the new Aluminium Chronograph Gran Turismo limited edition

Borna Bošnjak
  • Bulgari’s partnership with Gran Turismo is based on the new Aluminium Chronograph, with a bright, ’90s supercar dashboard-inspired dial.
  • The two limited editions celebrate the 10th anniversary of Vision GT, Gran Turismo’s selection of virtual hypercars created by real-life manufacturers.
  • The launch also unveils a Bulgari Aluminium Vision GT hypercar, accompanying every limited-edition watch sold.

My very first gaming console was a PlayStation 3, and I’ll never forget the joy I had when I discovered a copy of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue under the Christmas tree one year. I spent countless hours going through the 24-hour endurance races, and as a result now have a unique appreciation for small, box-shaped Japanese vehicles that are the backbone of any Gran Turismo game. While GT5 Prologue celebrated 10 years of the Gran Turismo games, Polyphony Digital (the game studio behind GT) chose to celebrate a different decennary with the help of Bulgari. The Bulgari Aluminium x Gran Turismo special editions pay tribute to 10 years of Vision GT, a unique program for real-life manufacturers to create vehicles that only exist in the virtual world, inspired by what may be in the future.

The watches

bulgari aluminium gran turismo special edition 2023 yellow dial

Two limited-edition pieces comprise the Gran Turismo collection – both with clearly sporty intentions. The first is a bright yellow-dialled panda layout, with azurage-finish sub-dials that are clearly inspired by ’90s supercars. For those wishing for a slightly more subdued take, Bulgari is also offering a brushed anthracite dial variant, though its burnt orange highlights are anything but subtle. As opposed to the new 41mm Aluminium Chronograph these LEs are based on, the minute track shrinks in diameter a little, allowing Bulgari to print a tachymeter scale around its perimeter, befitting of a racing watch.

bulgari aluminium gran turismo special edition 2023 anthracite dial wrist
The Aluminium Chronograph x Gran Turismo, with Shanghai International Circuit in the background (that happens to not be in the game)

As I just mentioned, the Aluminium x Gran Turismo models are 41mm in diameter, with a slender overall height of just over 11mm. Their aluminium midcase and titanium caseback are sure to result in a lightweight on-wrist experience, while the burly rubber bezel with the recognisable Bulgari Bulgari embossing may offer some bump resistance when cranking your simulator rig steering wheel into a tight corner.

The other fairly unique thing about the Bulgari Aluminium is its bracelet construction. The first two links are rubber with aluminium inserts, offering some articulation, before continuing into a flexible rubber strap secured by an aluminium pin buckle.

bulgari aluminium gran turismo special edition 2023 caseback

Finally, the Vision GT-emblazoned caseback hides the Aluminium Chronograph’s engine, which received an update for the new 41mm in 2023. Rather than using the ETA-based B130 modular chrono, Bulgari is now employing a Sellita SW300 with a Dubois Dépraz module. The result is a slim chronograph movement with a 42-hour power reserve.

The car

Originally known for their jewellery, and more recently, high-end watchmaking, Bulgari may yet end up a famed automaker, too. They’re dipping their toes into the world of vehicle design with the Bulgari Aluminium Vision GT, a low-slung, closed-wheel machine with touches inspired by the watch. The visible screws of the case inspired the wheels, while its bodywork is naturally aluminium, with rubber for bump protection. If you happen to be both a Gran Turismo 7 and Bulgari fan, and end up picking up an Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition, you’ll also receive a code to unlock the vehicle in-game.

The vehicle design is a product of Bulgari’s Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani and Fabio Filippini of ACCAEFFE Creative Consulting, the former explaining how the design came to life – well, sort of. “I envisioned a different way of playing with Bulgari’s DNA, creating a concept car that speaks the same language as the Bulgari Aluminium watch. Its design is based on geometric, pure, and angular forms, inspired by the lines of legendary Italian gran turismo cars from the 1970s, featuring sporty three-spoke steering wheels and walnut dashboards. These shapes come together to create the unmistakable Bulgari aesthetic, resulting in a concept car with perfectly realistic proportions, also in the real world, at full scale.”

Bulgari Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition 2023 pricing and availability

bulgari aluminium gran turismo special edition 2023 anthracite dial box

The Bulgari Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition 2023 pieces are available now, sold in a special aluminium and rubber box tributing the 10th anniversary of Vision GT. The anthracite dial is limited to 1,200 pieces, whereas the yellow is limited to 500 pieces. Price: A$7,500, US$4,800 (excluding tax)

Brand Bulgari
Model Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition 2023
Reference Number 103893
Case Dimensions 41mm (D) x 11.1mm (T)
Case Material Aluminium, titanium and rubber
Water Resistance 100 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Brushed anthracite, varnished yellow
Bracelet Rubber and aluminium link strap, aluminium pin buckle
Movement B381, Sellita SW300 with Dubois Dépraz module, automatic
Power Reserve 42 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Availability 1,200 pieces (anthracite)
500 pieces (yellow)
Price A$7,500
US$4,800 (excluding tax)