Bulgari has just launched two new luxurious ‘secret’ watches. The two new luxury watches named the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Monete and the Bulgari Monete Pendant Watch sublimate the antiquity of Mother Rome herself and the provenance of Bulgari.
Bulgari’s latest ‘Secret’ watches, so known for their hidden time display, are part of the Monete collection, a heritage series for the brand – Monete refers to ancient coins used for unique creations and thus, given the brand’s affinity for classical Greek tradition and ancient Roman culture, the the Roman denarius or plural, denarii or Greek Athenian drachma and the Corinthian stater are often used to great artistic and dramatic embellishment in Bulgari’s high jewellery collection.
Today, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Monete transcends time, straddling almost two millennia of history: mankind’s Antiquity to our pre-industrial age – an ancient Roman coin bearing the visage of Constantine the Great, also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, Roman Emperor from 306 to 337 AD, covering the intricate mechanisms of contemporary fine watchmaking.
In another extraordinary Bulgari creation, high jewellery and the rare Imperator Constantius Augustus denarius joins to create an exquisite High Jewellery pendant watch – interpreting Bulgari’s cherished Monete theme. Together, each new luxury watch distills and conveys both the weight and history of Rome and the storied artisanal crafts of Bulgari.
High jewellery accessories and watches bearing coins and motifs of Greek and Roman leaders is not just iconic to the brand but in essence, imbues each individual creation with its own history, distinctive affirmations of power and authority,in essence, they become unique narrative objects by virtue of association with something extremely rare and downright exclusive. As an object, it is unique, in retracing entire chapters of ancient human history, the creations transcend their original raison d’etre. Each conveys historical meaning and recounts an epic saga. From an artistic standpoint, the patina of the ages carries with it and transfers the weight of time and adds to the provenance of whatever object it has been joined to, watch or jewellery.
For Bulgari, the sum of modern jewellery techniques and classical watchmaking crafts are enhanced by the antique currency and the end result are symbols of magnificence and opulence.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Monete is covered by an ultra-rare 4th century Roman coin struck to mark the 20-year reign of Constantinus Augustus (307 to 337 AD). Upon pressing the innovative opening system hidden in the crown, the watch face opens to reveal the world’s thinnest tourbillon movement, skeletonised to expose the fine craftsmanship and finishing that has come to exemplify Bulgari watchmaking. Beyond the extraordinary fine mechanisms and the ingenious opening system also lies the challenging task of setting coin onto the watch bezel itself.
Fittingly, the Octo Monete draws a symbolic line between the power of an octagonal design and the architectural heritage inspired by the emperor Constantine the Great himself, to whom we owe the distinctive construction of the the Basilica of Maxentius in Rome with its octagonal ceiling coffers.
The Octo Monete’s feminine companion is the similarly octagonal-shaped Monete pendant watch, following the philosophical and aesthetic spirit of the Octo Monete. Instead of Constantine the Great, the cover of this “secret” watch is topped by a tetradrachm depicting Alexander Magnus (336-326 B.C), King of Macedonia and conqueror of the Persian Empire. More commonly recognised as Alexander the Great, one of history’s most successful military commanders, rumoured to have fallen to his knees in tears when he could no longer find new lands to conquer; the face of the Bulgari Monete Pendant watch opens to reveal an entirely skeletonised gold tourbillon movement