September 21, 2014

Maserati and Bulgari launches limited edition chronograph, celebrates joint anniversary

Founded by Alfieri Maserati and two of his six brothers, Ettore and Ernesto, in Bologna on December 1, 1914, the eponymous car manufacturer now based in Modena is celebrating its centenary in 2014. A momentous year, that also sees Bulgari toast its 130th
anniversary. Reputed for their creativity and excellence, the two Italian firms have jointly decided to mark this milestone year with a distinctive and exceptional sports watch: the Octo Maserati chronograph, symbolising the encounter between Italian talents in two fields that appear very different, yet are extremely close.

Maserati, an Italian icon of automobile design, has forged its worldwide success through the world of competition - a school of rigorous discipline and performance that are essential prerequisites for mounting the winners' podium and achieving the best possible results. Human beings play a crucial role in such feats, be they the engineers, designers, mechanics who develop and fine-tune a racing car, or the driver who holds its fate in their hands. Due to this experience, Maserati is able to offer a demanding and refined clientele a number of particularly remarkable GT cars. Distinguished from mere sports cars that are fast but often somewhat restrictive, GT models are capable of whisking their occupants along on fine journeys at a brisk pace and in a manner that is both comfortable and elegant. Power and performance are thus dedicated to serving a way of life.

In keeping with this tradition, and to mark the centenary of the car manufacturer, Bulgari has conceived a timepiece evoking this art of living shared by the two Italian firms reputed for their boldness, creativity and style. For this exceptional partnership that began in 2012 with the launch of the Octo Quadri-Retro Chronograph bearing the colours of the Italian carmaker, the Manufacture Bulgari has chosen this year to drive its chronograph by means of a movement that lives up to its name. Nicknamed Velocissimo, meaning 'the fastest', the self-winding chronograph movement, chosen by the Swiss master-watchmakers to power this limited series, is fitted with 45 jewels and distinguished by its extremely high frequency, at 36,000 vibrations per hour. Equipped with a silicon escapement and an oscillating pinion operating as a clutch to ensure that the chronograph is activated as precisely as a sequential gearbox, Calibre BVL 328 has a 50-hour power reserve guaranteeing a blend of performance, precision and autonomy. This powerful mechanism is equally well prepared for sudden bursts of speed as for long-haul races, just like the cars offered by Maserati.

The evocative nature of this timepiece is not confined to its technical aspects, since everything about the Octo Maserati, from the singular case design right the way through to the case finishes, echoes the world of the car manufacturer. This is a fine example of fruitful cooperation and dialogue between the designers and engineers of the two Italian firms, amounting to far more than a mere partnership.

With its 41.5 mm diameter enabling comfortable dial read-off, the case of the Octo Maserati, which is water-resistant up to 100 m, resonates the generous proportions and comfort of both historical and modern Maseratis. The two chronograph buttons handling stop/start and reset functions, respectively placed at 2 and 4 o'clock, are perfectly integrated on the case middle within its 110 facets, so as to form a single, homogenous whole. They provide an eloquent reminder that the Octo range is inspired by brilliant Italian accomplishments in the fields of architecture and design - as well as performance, as confirmed by the tachometric bezel.

Octo Maserati provides readings as instantaneous as a car's speedometers, displayed on a champleve dial. Like the design and production of a Maserati, this production technique involves a long and complex process calling for perfect control, plenty of time, intense concentration and a large number of successive stages: from hollowing out the cavities that will hold the lacquer, to the firing phases and finishing of the shiny surfaces, as well as hand applying the varnish and polishing each surface. The final result is an elegant and eminently readable dial entirely in keeping with the spirit of the dashboards on the cars bearing the famous trident.

The latter emblem that has come to represent the car manufacturer was created by the artist in the family, Mario Maserati, and inspired by the famous Neptune fountain in Bologna. It tops the chronograph hand and discreetly appears on the semi-transparent blue case-back. The dial also features a luminous blue shade reflecting the carmaker's iconic colour.

The blue alligator leather strap, secured to the wrist by a double-blade steel folding clasp with a safety fastening, is as supple and refined as the upholstery of one of these desirable sports cars.

While each is exactly as its creators intended, each watch is as unique as each car. There will indeed be only 1,914 Octo Maserati chronographs, in tribute to the founding year of Maserati.

Proudly bearing its double signature, the Bulgari watch created for Maserati is a manifesto of a distinctive art of living, of kindred values and of a jointly upheld philosophy.

This timepiece is far more than just a commemorative limited-series watch for gentlemen drivers. The Octo Maserati expresses the quintessence of a vision of elegance fully shared by the two Italian Houses keen to provide an imaginative and perfect response to a desire for high standards and elegance.


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