A few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine a top luxury watch brand partnering with a video game license. The fact is that the perception of the gaming culture has changed radically over the years. Drastically. Once considered geeky and a teenager’s hobby, gaming is now cool and talks to a much wider audience. Thanks to Bulgari and Gran Turismo, you can now display your love for gaming culture on your wrist. On the occasion of the 2023 Gran Turismo World Series Finals in Barcelona, Bulgari launches an Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition. The brand also unveils the Bulgari Aluminium Vision GT concept car in full scale, a spectacular hypercar designed for racing in the Gran Turismo game.
Let’s begin with some basic information about the Gran Turismo racing simulation video games. Released by Sony in 1997, it is the brainchild of Kazunori Yamauchi. Gran Turismo was an instant hit, and its monumental popularity never decreased. With its true-to-life graphics and licensed cars, this realistic driving simulation game is simply one of the greatest and most influential racing games of all time. Its influence expanded beyond video games with partnerships (including TAG Heuer in the watch industry), merchandise, events and collaborations. And even on the silver screen with a movie that portrayed the life of a sim racer turned pro racer.
The Bulgari Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition channels the Gran Turismo universe through the bold character of the Bulgari Aluminium. Launched in 1998, this hit-watch requires little introduction. Back then, the big novelty of this eye-catching sports watch was the use of aluminium and rubber, materials not usually associated with luxury watches. With this new collab, two different GT limited edition versions are being released: one with a yellow dial and black counters (500 pieces) and one with an anthracite dial featuring yellow indices (1,200 pieces). In coherence with the racing background of the model, the dial is framed by a tachymetric scale, which is a first for the Aluminum collection. And if you are not into gaming or the GT universe, that’s fine, too. These are some of the coolest Aluminium special editions so far.
Based on the 2023 update of the Aluminium chronograph, the watch has a 41mm diameter. Its design combines a matte-finished aluminium mid-case, a black rubber bezel and a titanium caseback, treated with DLC and emblazoned with a GT Vision 10th-anniversary logo. The crown and pushers are in DLC-coated titanium. The water-resistance rating is 100m. The movement inside is the calibre B381 – an automatic Sellita SW300 base (the Sellita version of the ETA 2892) with a Dubois-Depraz module on top. And, of course, the watch comes with the collection’s distinctive and comfortable rubber strap, with its articulated rubber links connected by aluminium rods.
As we mentioned, there’s also a car, the Bulgari Aluminium Vision GT, whose design and materials echo the codes of special edition watches. This impressive hypercar stems from the collaboration between Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Product Creation Executive Director at Bulgari and Fabio Filippini, car designer & design strategy advisor and founder of ACCAEFFE Creative Consulting Ltd. This partnership will come as no surprise to those who have had the opportunity to meet Buonamassa and know about his deep passion for automotive design. In Buonamassa’s words: “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. It is 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.”
The limited edition Bulgari Aluminium x Gran Turismo retails for EUR 5,200. The first 50 pieces of the yellow model edition will be available during a flash online sale for just 24 hours here (bulgari.runfair.com). These 50 pieces come with exclusive packaging, including a miniature replica of the Bulgari GT Car. Last but not least, every purchaser of a Bulgari Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition will receive a code enabling them to race in the Bulgari hypercar in the game.
For more information, please visit www.bulgari.com.