At the time of this writing, we are less than a week out from Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer. So you’ll forgive us if we’ve got summer watches on the brain. Looking ahead to the warmer months, vacations, travel, and relaxing purely for the sake of it is a good opportunity to consider watches that fit the bill. There’s something about the ultra formal that doesn’t exactly have us thinking about the beach, and cocktails with little umbrellas in them. Luckily for all of us, watch brands understand this, and we’ve seen an influx of cheerful and seasonally appropriate watches hit the landscape just in the last few weeks. One release from the Bulgari, a multi-watch update to their Aluminum collection, feels particularly ready for a tropical disposition.
The Aluminum is a throwback to a Bulgari style that was at its peak in the 90s. Longtime podcast listeners will remember that I have a particular fascination with the Diagono line that these watches are clearly meant to evoke. Being made from aluminum, they are ultra lightweight, and have unique integrated rubber bracelets that are not really exactly like anything else out there. But the feature that truly divides people with these watches is the bezel, made from rubber that matches that bracelet and stamped twice with the Bulgari wordmark, just in case you forget what brand you’re wearing, or have an inclination to see what the brand name looks like upside down. It’s a strange design choice, but you can count me in the group that’s in full support.
The standouts from this Aluminum update are the Capri Limited Editions, which consist of a chronograph as well as a time and date model (which Bulgari calls the Solotempo). These references have gradient blue dials that are a deep and dark shade of blue at the bottom, but get progressively lighter near the top. This type of ocean inspired gradient effect is not new, of course, but Bulgari has chosen a particularly attractive shade of blue as a base here, and the lightness inherent in it makes it work really well as a fun, summer piece. Both the chronograph and time and date versions are limited to 1,000 pieces.
Also new from Bulgari is a less summery but still fun chronograph in all black, which complements the panda dialed version released a few years ago. This version of the chronograph (but not the Capri) also utilizes an upgraded movement, Bulgari’s Caliber B381, which pushes the size of the case to 41mm.
All of the new Aluminum models are currently available directly from Bulgari. The Capri models retail for $3,350 for the Solotempo and $4,800 for the chronograph. The new black chronograph has a retail price of $4,640. Bulgari