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The Bulgari and Gran Turismo Collaboration
Bulgari’s elegance runs on the race track through a creative collaboration with Gran Turismo.
About Gran Turismo
The PlayStation Gran Turismo series is a realistic driving simulator that has continued to pursue realism for over 25 years since its debut in 1997. It is a title loved all over the world for its realistic graphics, sounds, and behavior that are almost indistinguishable from reality, and the series has sold over 90 million copies worldwide (as of November 16, 2022). Gran Turismo also hosts many e-motor sports competitions, including the official World Championship held every year, domestic competitions in the national polity and cultural programs, and corporate competitions.
The Bulgari Aluminium Gran Turismo Watches
Gran Turismo (software for PlayStation 5/PlayStation 4) released last year is a series that Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the title and president of Polyphony Digital, describes as “a complete version of the series’ origins.”
A special collaboration watch is being announced at the “Gran Turismo World Series (Gran Turismo official worldwide championship) World Final 2023” in Barcelona. The Italian luxury house Bulgari has teamed up with the game, introducing two limited edition Bulgari Aluminium Gran Turismo models.
The Bulgari Aluminium collection was released in 1998 as an innovative watch incorporating a combination of aluminum and rubber materials inspired by the automotive industry, using Bulgari’s signature graphic lines. This new collection is based on the Bvlgari aluminium chronograph equipped with a new movement and is inspired by the dashboard of the legendary Italian Gran Turismo car of yesteryear. The key color is bright yellow.
The ref. 103893, is limited to 1,200 pieces with an anthracite dial, and the ref. 104006 is limited to 500 pieces with a yellow dial and black subdials.
The shapes of the chronograph hands, including the hour and minute hands and totalizer, and the design of the subdials with concentric grooves are the same as the regular production models, but the typeface used for the indices on the dial was designed from scratch for this model.
It is the first self-winding Aluminium model to feature a tachymeter scale (this may come as a surprise, but it was also absent from previous Aluminium watches from Bulgari and Ducati), and is in line with Gran Turismo’s pursuit of speed. It is a specification suitable for collaboration.
Furthermore, there is no information that indicates Gran Turismo on the dial side, and it is only displayed on the titanium caseback with black DLC. From the top, the Bulgari logo, Vision Gran Turismo logo, and “10th Anniversary” are engraved for the anniversary of Vision Gran Turismo, which started in 2013.
The Bulgari Aluminium VGT Concept Car
But this collaboration is about more than just watches. The presentation at the Barcelona venue also includes the concept car Bulgari Aluminium Vision Gran Turismo.
The Bulgari Aluminium VGT reflects the materials and design elements of the Bulgari Aluminium Gran Turismo Limited Edition model. The body is made of satin-finished aluminium, the lower body and technical sections are made of carbon, and black rubber protects exposed areas, giving it the lightness and durability of an aluminium watch.
The lines that form the design of the cockpit and wheels are also taken from the straight and round aluminum case shape and the screw-fastened articulated bracelet.
A dashboard reminiscent of the “Bulgari Aluminium Gran Turismo Limited Edition.”
The bezel of the dashboard clock, the dial with Arabic numerals only at 12 o’clock and six o’clock, and the design of the hands are the same as the actual three-hand Aluminium watch.
Both the watch and the concept car were designed by Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, senior director of the Bulgari Watch Design Center. He joined Fiat in 1998 after graduating from the National University of Design in Rome, and previously worked as a car designer at the Fiat Style Center before establishing his own design studio in 2005.
Purchasers of the Bulgari Aluminium Gran Turismo Limited Edition will be able to obtain the Bulgari Aluminium VGT concept car, which can be test-driven in Gran Turismo 7 in advance through a software update that will be released at a later date.
Pricing and Availability
The Bulgari Aluminium Gran Turismo limited model is limited to 1,200 pieces of the anthracite dial Ref. 103893 and 500 pieces of the yellow dial Ref. 103893, both priced at $4,800 each. In addition, the 24-hour limited purchase application will begin on Bulgari’s official website.
My thoughts on the collaboration
The collaboration between Bulgari and Gran Turismo is a wonderful thing that makes sense when you see the result, but what was the impetus in the first place?
Details on the origin story from interviews with key players
Aluminium Gran Turismo Limited Edition With Grey Dial
What I felt was at the core of this collaboration was a strange coincidence of time and fate. It was in 1997 that the first-generation Gran Turismo made its name known around the world. Just one year later, in 1998, Bulgari introduced its revolutionary Bulgari Aluminium. This was also the year in which the young and talented Mr. Fabrizio began his career with Fiat. It feels like a twist of fate that, over time, these events naturally formed the path that ultimately led to this collaboration.
Closing thoughts on the significance of the collaboration
Lastly, as a fan of the Gran Turismo series and a watch enthusiast…
Key specs for the watch models
Model: Aluminium Gran Turismo Limited Edition
Details on movement, pricing, availability