Bulgari are really making their mark on the watch world for a few reasons, one being their innovative technology and the other, more relevant reason, is their successful implementation of high jewellery on their timepieces. The Octo Roma Mediterranea and Cameo Imperiale take what Bulgari have done on the Serpenti Misteriosi and implement it into a new form.
These aren’t meant to function as pure watches, but pieces of jewellery art and that is reflected in their one-of-a-kind status and exclusive on-demand pricing.
The Cameo Imperiale
Did we mention that Bulgari is Italian? No? How did you know? Is it all the Roman references? Let’s say that’s why and they couldn’t be clearer with the Cameo Imperiale.
Adorning the hinged cover is Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome. Why is it called a Cameo? A cameo isn’t just a surprise guest in a movie, it’s an ancient method of carving be it on a gem, piece of jewellery, or some other vessel. This watch takes inspiration from the many real cameos of Augustus but far more extra. To recreate this ancient technique, Bulgari collaborated with skilled cameo artists from Torre del Greco outside of Naples.
Augustus’ head is graced with a diamond laurel wealth, lapis lazuli toga, and diamond spaulders. Framing Augustus is a diamond set meander, a historic decorative motif from Greece often used in Roman art.
The 44mm platinum is covered in baguette-cut diamonds and behind the hinged cover is the BVL 268 SK calibre, also framed by a diamond bezel. The crown is white gold with a DLC titanium insert that matches the black alligator strap.
This is perhaps the less interesting of the pair, but the Mediterranea has a “Octopus’s Garden” kind of charm to it. The case still takes the Octo Roma’s inspiration of Roman architecture but adorns it in precious stones.
The octopus on the hinged cover is crafted from white gold and it guards several diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and Paraiba tourmalines. Opening the cover reveals the garden: an octagonal bezel set with brilliant-cut diamonds and the ultra-thing BVL 268 SK calibre with a flying tourbillon. This movement beats at 21,600vph with a 52 hour power reserve.
The 44mm rose gold case is also set in baguette-cut diamonds as well as the same DLC titanium insert on the rose gold crown. The alligator strap is blue this time around but still features a folding buckle set with baguette-cuts diamonds.