Sophisticated combinations of the décorative arts: I Giardini di Bulgari
Stories on your wrist
Merging together watchmaking, art and craftsmanship, Bulgari recalls the most refined of paintings with the dials of its latest timepieces. Starting from 2013, when the Maison's feminine time complications only featured the exotic charm of tropical gardens and underwater Garden of Eden, Bulgari's collection has now blossomed to comprise of four enchanting gardens, yielding from two new inspirations to transform its dials into true embodiments of traditional art. Crafted in pink and white gold, the bezel is either engraved with the emblematic 'Bulgari Bulgari' motif or set with approximately 2.9 carats of iridescent diamonds.
Produced in limited quantities, the timepieces are created using five core decorative techniques of champlevé, miniature painting, mother-of-pearl marquetry, stone marquetry and gem-setting, alongside complicated mechanisms to imbue an avid sense of artistry. Aside from the intricate and eloquent designs of the dials, three of the four gardens house the BVL 263 Manufacture calibre, a mechanical self-wound tourbillon movement that can stay water-resistant for up to 30 metres, boasts a 64-hour power reserve and holds a cage with sapphire bridges.
Il Giardino Tropicale
This exotic garden features colourful accents ranging from purple to orange, dominated by the extravagance of a parrot. With its distinctive elements, the dial's foreground serves as a décor of a tropical jungle, harnessing champlevé engraving traced on gold. Set in pink mother-of-pearl with 61 diamonds or paved with 226 snow-set diamonds, the background effortlessly exudes vibrant luxuriance. Crafted by the delicate stroke of miniature painting, the parrot remains the highlight of the timepiece, revealing colours of unparalleled power that are reinforced by the surrounding floral and plant motifs.
Il Giardino Lariano
Reminiscing the charm of the Como Lake region, this romantic garden features an elegant white swan gliding across a sea of blue-grey Tahitian mother-of-pearl. Amidst a dazzling sky of 244 snow-set diamonds, the swan appears to be floating above the tourbillon's transparent bridges, gracefully crossing the diamond-accentuated waves. Together with the 5 layers of paint that compose the swan, the fine brush strokes of miniature painting achieve a purplish-pink shading, enabling the feathers to mirror the gradient effect of petals.
Il Giardino Marino
Featuring coral, starfish and fish, this underwater Garden of Eden centres on the vibrancy of marine life through its use of bright and lustrous colours. Glimmering in a glossy coat of blue lacquer, the dial adopts the champlevé technique to finely engrave its coral motifs before being set with 23 brilliant-cut diamonds. Although the coral and mother-of-pearl are carefully shaped and inlaid, the fish and starfish are reproduced in turquoise to display an eloquent depiction of the underwater vivacity.
Il Giardino Notturno
Shining under the clandestine night sky, this garden reveals the enigmatic beauty of a stylised moonflower, also known as the "beauty of the night". Although the design dates back to the 1970s, where it was used in mother-of-pearl marquetry to decorate a piece of jewellery, it now ornaments the face of an exquisite complication. Unravelling the four levels of its dial architecture reveals four elements; fire, earth, air and water. Fire is embodied through the spangled look of aventurine glass, which is enhanced with 8 diamond stars. Earth is represented by the moonflower motif, which has not only been engraved, gem-set, polished and rhodium-plated but also set with white Tahitian mother-of-pearl. The movement of air is encapsulated by the watch's moonphase, consisting of an aventurine disc adorned with two engraved and polished gold moons. Water is depicted through the wave effect, varying thickness and polished finish of the mother-of-pearl. Unlike the other gardens, the Il Giardino Nutturno operates on the solotempo BVL 210 Manufacture movement.
For more information about the collection, visit the website.
- Image: Bulgari
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