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Introducing The Bulgari Diva's Dream Peacock Tourbillon Lumière
2021/03/14 19:27

Bulgaris Diva series of watches stand out for a number of reasons, especially in the world of complicated watches produced for what the industry sometimes archly refers to as "the feminine client." watches replicas

Theyre as design-forward as youd expect from Bulgari, with graceful but strongly geometric lines, and they radiate opulence – as you might guess, Bulgari doesnt stint on gem quantity or quality in its high-end watches. And theyre often showcases for some of fine watchmakings most demanding decorative arts as well. On top of all that, they are, quite often, extraordinary timepieces from a watchmaking perspective – the 2018 Diva Finissima Minute Repeater is a great example – and for LVMH Watch Week 2021, we have a threesome of new Divas that show off fine watchmaking, high craft, and design excellence in equal measure. One of the three is the Divas Dream Peacock Tourbillon Lumière.

The Divas Dream Peacock Tourbillon Lumière is one of two of the new Diva watches to use peacock feather marquetry. But while the feather marquetry is the unchallenged star of the show in the Divas Dream Peacock Dischi, it plays more of a supporting role here. Make no mistake, the Tourbillon Lumiere is as deliciously decorative a watch as you could want. Its just that the Peacock Dischi has the mechanism in a more or less backstage role relative to the pyrotechnics on the dial, whereas the Tourbillon Lumière dresses the movement up for the ball and puts it squarely in the limelight.

I use the word "limelight" advisedly. This is an exercise in openworking, which traditionally is done by taking a watch movement and removing as much material as you can without fatally compromising the watch mechanically. Transparency is one of the most basic criteria by which connoisseurs judge openworked watches. A great example of this approach (to pick just one) is Jaeger-LeCoultres Master Ultra-Thin Squelette, which takes the ultra-thin caliber 849 (which is not exactly a takes-a-licking-and-keeps-on-ticking movement to begin with) and eliminates so much metal that what youre left with is not so much a machine as a mirage of one. 

The second approach, which has become increasingly common in the last decade, is to create a movement which has an openwork configuration from the very beginning. This doesnt have quite the mesmerizing high-wire-act fascination of the traditional approach, but what you gain is much better control over the final design, as well as better reliability and, often, a broader canvas on which to deploy decorative techniques.

The Bulgari tourbillon caliber 208 falls into the second category. This isnt a brand new movement – Bulgaris used it in a previous Divas Dream model as well as in the Serpenti Incanti – but of all their haute horlogerie calibers, it seems pretty rarely used and generally travels along with both gem-setting and other decorative crafts. Thats the case here, but the movement itself has quite a bit of craft lavished on it as well.

Hand-finishing of movements, especially to a particular design brief, is rarer than you might think. The hierarchy of movement finishing begins with mass-produced movements which have little to no decorative finish, and which exhibit only the surfaces produced by the machine processes that made them. In a middle tier, mechanically applied decoration gives way to hand-applied decorative techniques. The king of the hill is full hand-decoration of every part, which is simply unavailable in most watches – Ive seen folks comment that a $10,000 watch has a hand-finished movement, and its just not the case. For that price, you often get extremely high-quality industrial finish, but hand finishing is a different animal.Cartier replica

For a company whose brand strength could, in the hands of someone who wanted to abuse it, be nothing more than a license to print money, Bulgari has put an incredible amount of time, energy, and effort into making its watchmaking – over the past 20 or so years – some of the most impeccable on the planet and across a range of watches rarely equaled by its competitors. 

The Peacock Tourbillon Lumière is another example of the excellence found in different forms of a single watch. I think the new Divas Dream watches show Bulgari at its strongest – not just a purveyor of go-to-hell high jewelry, but increasingly a force to be reckoned with in both decorative crafts and hardcore horology.