Brand Histories

Forever Bvlgari

The Bvlgari Maison, a century of history

The Bulgari watches exquisitely merge the Swiss watchmaking precision with contemporary Italian design. From highly sophisticated mechanisms to the most precious materials, the Bulgari timepieces for men and women are a masterwork of craftsmanship, reflecting the distinctive style of the Roman Jeweller.

From the origins to the 1940s

The first silver creations by Sotirio Georgis Bulgari

The first silver creations by Sotirio Georgis Bulgari combined elements of the Byzantine and Islamic traditions with allegorical, floral and foliate motifs. Until the ‘50s Paris was the center for fashion and creative jewellery, thus influencing Sotirio’s production for years: jewels of the early ‘20s were characterised by Art Deco platinum mounts while those of the ‘30s are distinctive for dimensions and geometric motifs in diamonds or combined with a coloured gemstone.

Clip/Brooch in platinum with cabochon sapphire and diamonds, ca. 1938

Necklace/tiara combination in platinum with diamonds, 1935

Necklace, bracelet and triple clip brooch in platinum with rubies and diamonds, circa 1930 - 1935

Trombino ring in platinum with diamonds, 1932, Private Collection

Bracelet/Clip brooch in yellow gold with sapphires, rubies and diamonds, circa 1940

Bracelet in gold, circa 1942

Convertible jewels were also fashionable but one of Bulgari’s greatest and long-standing successes of these years is the TROMBINO, the small trumpet ring. During the Second World War, jewellery creations were produced in gold with sparing use of precious gemstones and design became softer and more naturalistic.

Buckle in gilded silver with green paste, Georgis Boulgaris, circa 1870-1880

Tubogas wristwatch-bracelet in gold, 1949, Private Collection

Bracelet in platinum with emeralds, onyx and diamonds, 1925

Necklace/tiara combination in platinum with diamonds, circa 1935

At the end of the ‘40s Bulgari introduced SERPENTI bracelet-watches: still highly stylised with coils in tubogas or in gold mesh, this watch was subsequently made in varied versions and shapes.

1950s-1960s – The colour revolution

The post-war boom led to a return to precious white metal covered with diamonds, the most fashionable stones. High jewellery was still “Parisian”, but with more sinuous motifs and softer lines.

Necklace and earrings in gold and platinum with rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds, 1959

“Tremblant” brooch in platinum with fancy yellow diamonds and diamonds, 1962

Necklace and earrings in gold and platinum with turquoise, rubies and diamonds, circa 1957 - 1958

Brooches in gold and platinum with multicolour sapphires, rubies and diamonds, circa 1953

Necklace and pendent earrings in platinum with sapphires and diamonds, 1955

Bracelet in platinum with rubies and diamonds, circa 1950

Between the ‘50s and ‘60s Bulgari created extraordinary floral brooches called TREMBLANT, with corollas attached by springs allowing the flower-head to quiver.

Brooch in gold with emeralds, sapphires and diamonds, 1958

Necklace, bracelet and earrings in gold with diamonds, 1954 - 1955

Necklace in gold with Roman Imperial coins in gold, silver and bronze and diamonds, circa 1978

Brooch in gold and platinum with turquoise, sapphires and diamonds, 1969

At the end of the ‘50s, Bulgari started its own style: more structured, symmetrical and compact shapes in yellow gold. Gems used for their chromatic effects, creations turned in multicolour while the combinations became more daring. Cabochon gemstones were a further innovation as this cut was reserved for gemstones of lesser value. An “Italian School” of jewellery was born and the Bulgari style became fully affirmed.

Les années 70 – La créativité éclectique

The ‘70s brought a variety of motifs to Bulgari’s design: angular forms, vibrant colours, oval elements with cabochons, gold settings with diamonds and chains with rounded flattened links.

“Mount Fuji” brooch in gold and platinum with mother-of-pearl, polychrome enamel and diamonds, 1971

“Playing Card” pendant and brooch in gold with mother-of pearl, coral, onyx and diamonds, 1972 - 1975

“Daisy” brooch in platinum with emerald, colourless and fancy yellow diamonds, 1969

Brooch in gold with American silver coin and diamonds, 1973

All forms of jewellery were deployed, in particular sautoirs, the maxi fashion of the time.

Bulgari turned to different inspiration: large cabochon or carved emeralds from 17th-century Indian tradition, the lotus flower motif, from Egyptian art, reinterpreted in coloured creations, a brooch with a view of Mount Fuji and sautoirs with a miniature Buddha pendant from the Far East.

“Buddha” sautoir in gold with malachite, amethysts, emeralds, sapphires, lapis lazuli, rubies and diamonds, 1971

“Star Spangled Banner” brooch in gold with coral, lapis lazuli and diamonds, circa 1975

Tubogas choker in two-colour gold with Greek silver coins, 1974

Sautoir in gold with yellow and blue sapphires, agate, citrines and diamonds, circa 1972

In tune with the Pop Art spirit, everyday objects like playing cards or ice creams became playful jewels meanwhile, following the Company expansion in the U.S.A. in 1973, the Star Spangled Banner line evoked the colours of the American flag.

“Ice Cream Cone” brooches in gold with amethyst, pink coral, yellow and green chalcedony and diamonds, circa 1986

Necklace in gold with emerald, rubies and diamonds, 1969

“Optical” jewels used to repeat geometrical motifs alternating two or three shades. Yellow gold conveyed the concept of wearable jewelry, becoming a Bulgari hallmark. It allowed even the most valuable jewels to be worn also in an informal manner.

1980s – 1990s Opulence and colour

Bulgari design crystalized into a recognizable image of gold, volume, colours, clean shapes and stylized motifs, precious gemstones combined with others of minor value.

Necklace in gold, polychrome gemstone and diamonds, 1988

“Kilim” bracelet in gold with emeralds, amethysts, rubies, cultured pearls and diamonds, 1988

Tubogas choker in gold with sapphires and diamonds, 1979

“Naturalia Marina” brooch in gold with sapphires, coral, cabochon emerald and diamonds, 1991

With Bulgari, jewels became “wearable”: less conventional, more precious, but suitable for any occasion. This concept was developed through modular jewels, where repeated elements featured a strong, recognizable design as in PARENTESI, inspired by the travertine junctions of the streets of Rome. Chokers and rigid necklaces were integrated with decorative elements, ranging from diamonds or emeralds to sapphires. In 1980 Bulgari also introduced a new way of mounting gemstones using coloured silk cords to complement outfits.

Necklace in gold with emeralds and diamonds, circa 1984

“Naturalia Marina” necklace in gold with pink tourmalines, peridots, blue topazes, citrines and diamonds, 1991

Necklace in gold with diamonds, 1994

Parentesi necklace and ring in gold with coloured gemstones, 1992 – 1998

The ’90s jewels have more subtle chromatic combinations and motifs and necklaces became less structured. Fringes of diamonds sunbursts replace the rigid collars of the ’80s. Yellow gold continued to be preferred.

Carré brooch in gold with natural pearl, amethysts, emeralds and diamonds, 1989

Chandra necklace in gold with porcelain and coloured gemstones, 1995

Collections were also inspired by Nature or unconventional materials: the Naturalia collection suggests a fish or shell pattern while the Chandra had spherical white porcelain components all decorated in relief.

Bulgari High Jewellery of the 21st century

The new millennium has seen a radical change in Bulgari design.

Necklace in gold with blue and multicolour sapphires, mandarin garnets, emeralds and diamonds, 2009

Allegra bracelet in gold with coloured gemstones, 2003

Magnifiche Creazioni earrings in yellow gold with cushion shaped Zambian emeralds and diamonds

Serpenti "Seduttori" necklace in white gold with one oval cabochon cut tanzanite, pear shaped emeralds and diamonds, 2016

Colour Treasures necklace in pink gold with pink tourmalines, amethysts, emerald beads, tourmaline beads, spinels and diamonds

Necklace in gold with multicolour sapphires and diamonds, 2005

The brand’s distinctive creations became more two-dimensional, the new style saw a return to white gold and platinum and a tendency to chrome-coloured metals. The first collection with these new characteristics was Lucea series in 2001, made up of tiny square and circular elements joined in a highly flexible, articulated, precious “textile” of sorts.

Necklace in gold with colored stones, emerald, diamonds and cultured pearls, circa 1991

Divas' Dream necklace in white gold with emeralds, sapphires and diamonds

Bulgari High Jewellery Necklace

Lucea necklace in white gold with diamonds, 2001

Nonetheless, Bulgari has remained faithful to its traditional style: cabochons, yellow gold, an understated wearability for rare and precious stones, a predilection for sapphires and uninhibited use of both transparent and opaque gems of every imaginable kind.

From Daytona
to the Cosmograph Daytona

a lot
very much indeed
not at all

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