Watches are mechanical instruments that have long been associated with the world of motorsport, most of the time on four wheels. It is no secret that car enthusiasts are often equally passionate about mechanical watches and these two collecting communities have long joined forces. What’s true for sports cars is also true for motorbikes and today we’ll reveal the result of a collaboration that couldn’t be more Italian and stylish. Two Italian icons, both for aesthetics and mechanics. On one side is the legendary motorbike manufacturer Ducati. On the other is the jeweller/watchmaker Bulgari. And when the two join forces, it gives us the edgy Bulgari Aluminium Chronograph Ducati Special Edition.
Founded in 1926, since 1946 Ducati builds premium motorcycles characterized by performance engines, distinctive design, and innovative technology. Ducati motorcycles are the purest expression of refined engineering, unmistakable design and above all, a great passion. The essence of Italian style shows through the lines of each motorcycle, in which lightness, technology and high performance are at the service of all motorcyclists eager to live an incredible experience on two wheels. Fast, bold, aggressive yet stylish and desirable, these machines represent race and passion. And of course, there’s this bright red colour that has long been associated with Ducati and everything motorsport in Italy.
To materialize this union of forces between the motorbike manufacturer and the watchmaker, Bulgari relies on its sportiest watch, a model that is an emblematic timepiece of the 1990s, recently revamped; the Aluminium. Bulgari’s first men’s watch was born in 1977, under the name Bvlgari Bvlgari. The standout feature of this watch was its gold bezel emblazoned with the brand name (not once, but twice), just like coins issued by Roman emperors. Following in its wake, the Roman jeweller introduced the sporty Diagono chronograph in 1988, still emblazoned with the Bvlgari Bvlgari engraving on the dial. The reason we mention these two models is that ten years later, the Aluminium Watch was released combining elements from both the Bvlgari Bvlgari (engraved bezel) and from the Diagono (chronograph). Truly new was the use of aluminium and rubber, materials not usually associated with luxury watches. Its combination of black rubber and lightweight aluminium resulted in an attractive, eye-catching sports watch with an unmistakable Italian soul.
The Bulgari Aluminium collection was revamped and relaunched in 2020, with time-and-date and chronograph models, the latter being used as the perfect vehicle for the collaboration with Ducati. And of course, the main evolution for this Bulgari Aluminium Chronograph Ducati Special Edition is the new colour scheme. Gone is the classic black-and-silver monochromatic look. Meet the bright and typically Italian red Aluminium watch.
The case of the Bulgari x Ducati Aluminium Chronograph is thus identical to the classic model, with a 40mm diameter and the same construction, merging different materials and textures. The middle case is made out of lightweight, lightly-toned sandblasted aluminium. The bezel relies on black rubber and carries the emblematic Bvlgari Bvlgari logo. Black is also used on the crown and pushers, which are made of titanium with black DLC coating. So is the casebook, with specific engraving and the Ducati logo. The design is characteristic of this collection, with integrated lugs and a roller module to connect the strap to the case.
Another important element of the design of the Aluminium watch is its strap. Again, it combines materials, being made of black rubber with aluminium elements to connect the links. It is closed by a pin buckle. On the wrist, the watch remains compact yet commands a certain presence. Comfort is certainly part of the equation, thanks to the shape of the bracelet/strap (it’s more of an articulated rubber bracelet than a real strap) and the lightness of aluminium.
The most distinctive element of this Bulgari x Ducati Aluminium Chronograph is its dial. First, it is presented in the signature colour of the historic Bologna-based factories, a bright and vivid matte red tone that has long been associated with Ducati motorbikes. The new tone is here associated with black chronograph counters, black baton markers with luminous plots and the collection’s signature black hands, also filled with Super-LumiNova. A nod to the dashboards of Ducati motorbikes, the markers are 10, 11 and 12 o’clock are replaced by large, italic Arabic numerals, just like a Ducati bike rev-counter. The display is a classic tri-compax, with small seconds, and a chronograph with 30-minute and 12-hour counters. The date takes place at 4:30 on a white disc.
Under the specific caseback is an automatic chronograph movement, something that was new for the 2020 Bulgari Aluminium collection. This Calibre BVL 130 is based on the well-known ETA 2894 architecture. This modular movement runs at a 4Hz frequency and boasts 42 hours of power reserve.
Availability & Price
The Bulgari Aluminium Chronograph Ducati Special Edition is presented in a dedicated aluminium and rubber presentation box bearing the Ducati and Bulgari signatures. It is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces and it will be priced at EUR 5,000. For more details, please visit www.bulgari.com.