It’s in the watch realm where Bulgari has seen an impressive amount of activity in recent years, thanks to the Octo Finissimo collection. The critically acclaimed line has established new benchmarks in the genre of ultra-thin watchmaking since 2014, including the thinnest automatic watch, thinnest minute repeater, thinnest tourbillon, and thinnest chronograph. With all these world firsts, Bulgari can no longer be looked at as a luxury goods brand dipping its toes into the world of watchmaking, they are now a respected watchmaker. Many of the designs in the Bulgari catalog can be traced back to legendary watch designer Gerald Genta, who designed the original Octo and the Bulgari Aluminum.
Offered here today is not the Octo Finnisimo nor the Aluminium, in fact, it is somewhat of an outlier – a reference that we don’t often hear about nor see on the site. This is the Rettangolo Reserve de Marche, but not just any generic one, this particular example comes configured with a platinum case and a salmon dial, and it is a limited edition of 99 pieces worldwide.
The Rettangolo Reserve de Marche features a hefty 29mm x 48mm platinum case which is polished to a nice shine and is complemented by a fixed smooth bezel. The front of the case features grooves running down the sides which can be felt when you brush your fingers over the case. The watch is operated via a sizable crown located on the right side. When it comes to case design, the Rettangolo’s rectangular case is both simple yet intricate in design, and in some ways, I believe resembles the Patek Philippe Gondolo 5200G which we have offered here in the past.
As far as dial design goes, the salmon-colored dial on this watch has a very distinct and unique aesthetic to it; with an almost art-deco-like flavor being very apparent here, which is attributed to the symmetrically “exploded” arrangements of the 9 and 3 numerals at each side of the dial. The dial is also adorned with a power reserve indicator at 12 o ‘clock, a running seconds sub-dial at 6 with guilloche and a discreet date window aperture inside of it, as well as a set of white gold sword hands. When combined, these design elements create an elaborate and sophisticated dial.
Encased within its polished platinum case and proudly displayed behind the Rettangolo’s exhibition caseback is, what I think, is the star of the show: the Bulgari Cal. 115; a unique movement that was actually made by legendary watchmaker Michael Parmigiani on commission for Bulgari. For those who do not know, Michael Parmigiani is one of the most celebrated independent watchmakers of all time, responsible for not only his eponymous brand but also for working and a myriad of calibers throughout the industry. This Cal. 115 is not only visually pleasing to look at, but also boasts impressive technical features, such as a variety of finishing techniques and an outstanding 8-day power reserve.
For some reason, I find rectangular watches with well-crafted movements on display to be particularly captivating, although I can't quite pinpoint what exactly draws me to them. That being said, this Bulgari Rettangolo Reserve de Marche limited edition is an intriguing piece with an impressive movement to boot. It's not often that you come across an earlier work of the acclaimed Michael Parmigiani featured in a watch like this.