INTRODUCING: The Bulgari Aluminium GMT Amerigo Vespucci sets sailFergus Nash
When you think of watch collaborations with the Italian navy your mind would usually travel to a brand like Panerai, or possibly even Squale. That said, with Bulgari so proud of their Italian heritage, it makes perfect sense that they would pay tribute to an important piece of their nation’s history, regardless of their militaristic involvement. The Bulgari Aluminium GMT Amerigo Vespucci holds an incredibly niche yet important reference to a tall ship of the same name, used to train Italian sailors since 1931.
Amerigo Vespucci himself was a legendary explorer in the fabled “age of discovery” between 1497 and 1504, when he travelled mainly to what would become known as South America. His name may sound familiar as the entire continent of the Americas was named after him, as the man who proposed that these lands were not part of India as Christopher Columbus had imagined. The tall ship also named in his stead was not part of those adventures, however, it has become a symbol of pride for the Italian navy with its black and white stripes, ornate gold decorations on the bow and stern, and the life-size figurehead of Amerigo Vespucci himself.
Bulgari have chosen to honour the ship, which carried the 1960 Olympic torch, through the Bulgari Aluminium GMT Amerigo Vespucci — an incredibly modern design for such a traditional ship. This modernisation succeeds in proving the longevity of the vessel, ensuring its legacy is commemorated across all walks of life. The ship is specifically referenced on the caseback, but the front of the watch rides the line between something clearly special without being so specific that it’s no longer versatile. The famous gold accents on the ship are referenced via the yellow highlights on the dial, including the top half of the 24-hour chapter ring, printed minute markers, and tips of the seconds and GMT hand. The other subtle nod are two lines of green and red either side of the GMT text, completing an Italian flag motif.
The rest of the case is standard, with the Bulgari Aluminium GMT Amerigo Vespucci following the same 40mm dimensions as the other GMTs in their range. It’s only 9.7mm tall and 48mm lug-to-lug, and the large rubber bezel helps make it appear smaller on the wrist too for ultimate wearability for any gender. The aluminium case brings the weight down to an extremely comfortable 68.6 grams, with the unique rubber-link bracelet strap hybrid perfectly conforming to the wrist. The automatic-winding B192 calibre has a healthy power reserve of 50 hours and a beat rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour being based off of the Sellita 330, and the whole package is pool-ready with 100m of water resistance and a screw-down crown.
The Bulgari Aluminium GMT Amerigo Vespucci pricing and availability:
The Bulgari Aluminium GMT Amerigo Vespucci is limited to 1000 pieces and is available from Bulgari’s boutiques and web store here. Price: $5,800 AUD
|40mm x 48mm x 9.7mm
|Black and yellow
|Hours, minutes, seconds, date