The Bulgari Aluminium Sorayama Special Edition watch is a composition reflecting the imagination and flair for details of the Japanese hyper-realism artist. Mirroring both past and future, Sorayama’s work reflects a fascination with the classicism of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as the exciting mechanical advances in the fields of aviation and automobiles. The legendary Japanese artist Sorayama blurs lines to inaugurate a gleaming, sensual, all- conquering ideal. Bulgari captures this radical yet poetic and charming aspiration in a new model that plays with the gleam of aluminium.
Let’s rewind to the 1990s: Already, Bulgari was pushing the boundaries of traditional watchmaking and venturing into unknown creative territory with its unconventional approach to Swiss mechanical watchmaking. Then, in 1998, came the Bulgari Aluminium. It immediately asserted itself as the urban watch par excellence: the perfect merger between sport chic and Italian elegance, luxury and audacity.
Since 2020, the Bulgari Aluminium has been equipped with a self-winding mechanical movement, brilliantly matching a sensibility for design with technical sophistication. If the Bulgari Aluminium’s main hallmarks have always been the aluminium-rubber pairing that concretises its pure aesthetic and the bold black and white graphics that define its sport chicness, the aluminium case and titanium case back with DLC coating, together with the rubber strap with aluminium links and pin buckle, follow through on the original design cues.
The Bulgari Aluminium Sorayama Special Edition resonates with a more urban, vibrant and sensual vibe
In 2022, Bulgari launches a saga of three special editions on the theme of travel and adventure, combining sportiness, comfort and elegance in a contemporary watch with a style all its own. Creative! Singular! Daring! The famous Italian motorbike manufacturer Ducati, the fabled Italian training vessel Amerigo Vespucci, and the legendary Japanese artist Sorayama – all three true icons in their own universe, they joined with Bulgari to each open a new chapter with a unique special edition. Three symbolic collaborations to create exclusive limited editions, in keeping with the tradition of the Roman Maison. Three different worlds that reflect the Bulgari Aluminium attitude: chic and dynamic, precise, elegant, versatile…
The design of each of the three Bulgari Aluminium models becomes unique with the colours, style and specific functions that express the distinctive DNA of each partner.
The Bulgari Aluminium Chronograph Ducati thus interprets the sporty visual elements that define the Italian motorbike manufacturer, the red dial and a chronograph function – cues for high performance and the adrenaline rush only speed can give – that recall the cockpit of the Italian firm’s ultra-sleek racing machines.
The Bulgari Aluminium Amerigo Vespucci then pays tribute to the magnificent and majestic Italian sailing vessel named after the famous Florentine mariner and explorer. The watch does not just echo the ship’s emblematic colours with a black, white and yellow gold dial, but also its legendary purpose and the idea of travel with a second time zone indication. The GMT complication, a must for those who love to discover the world, captures the very essence of a taste for adventure.
Finally, the Bulgari Aluminium Sorayama Special Edition resonates with a more urban, vibrant and sensual vibe. Hours, minutes, seconds in the centre and a date window: the art of watchmaking, distilled into its purest expression. With sober galvanised textures and details that conjure up the canonical beauty of the flying and driving machines of the 1930s and 1940s, the silver dial and its pearlescent reflections evoke dazzling car bodies and airframes. The hour markers and hands treated with Super-LumiNova® ensure both optimum legibility and absolute legitimacy.
This limited-edition model with its aluminium case and rubber bezel has a diameter of 40 mm
The watch opts for the restrained look of galvanised textures and details recalling the aesthetics of 1930s and 1940s cars and planes. On the silver-toned dial with its shimmering pearlescent swirls evoking the light playing across gleaming bodywork, the propeller-shaped hour-markers and hands are enhanced with Super-LumiNova®. The only numeral visible is the 2, thereby honouring the artist’s lucky number and representing more than a nod and instead a deliberate reference.
This limited-edition model with its aluminium case and rubber bezel has a diameter of 40 mm and is water-resistant to a depth of 100 metres. The crown is made of reinforced black titanium. The same goes for the caseback bearing Sorayama’s signature in deep black. The iconic rubber strap picks up the metallic accents of aluminium on its links and pin buckle. Beating inside the case is a mechanical self-winding movement with a 42-hour power reserve.
Sorayama plays with metal in a vibrant and sensual way. From aeroplanes to pin-ups, his quest for an aesthetic delves into the fantasy world of the 30s and 40s, while embedding it in the here and now. As the artist explains: “When I was asked to be part of this collaboration, I developed three main design elements. The first consists of circular pattern swirls on a dial inspired by the surface of Spirit of St. Louis which made the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
The second was to put an actual number 2 at 2 o’clock only, because two is my lucky number: I was born on 22 February in the 22nd year of the Japanese Shōwa era. The third is my SORAYAMA logo. I entrusted Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, who has always professed to love my work, with the mechanical side of things. It is my wish that those who see the watch will experience the same joy as me in the beauty of its metal finishes and the curves that are prominent in its design.”
The Bulgari Aluminium Special Edition Sorayama is at once classy and iconoclastic
Within the space of two generations, Bulgari Aluminium has imposed its unconventional approach: a vision born in 1998 involving an alliance of aluminium and rubber that gives shape to a pure design based on black & white graphics and defined by its sporty-chic nature. Since 2020, the case had been fitted with a mechanical self-winding movement. Bulgari thereby orchestrates an encounter between excellence and brilliance for a model that is resolutely in tune with its time. The Italian spirit of the watch does not succumb to fashion or nostalgia, but instead celebrates the timeless beauty of form.
Mirroring both past and present, the Bulgari Aluminium Special Edition Sorayama is at once classy and iconoclastic. Its dial epitomising the heritage of the golden age of aviation and the automobile bears the promise of new ideals to conquer.