Bulgari celebrates its Roman heritage once again with a new secret watch. The brand’s latest ‘Secret’ watches, so known for their hidden time display, are part of the Monete collection, a heritage series for the brand – Monete refers to ancient coins used for unique creations and thus, given the brand’s affinity for classical Greek tradition and ancient Roman culture, the the Roman denarius or plural, denarii or Greek Athenian drachma and the Corinthian stater are often used to great artistic and dramatic embellishment in Bulgari’s high jewellery collection.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Monete is covered by an ultra-rare 4th century Roman coin struck to mark the 20-year reign of Constantinus Augustus (307 to 337 AD). Upon pressing the innovative opening system hidden in the crown, the watch face opens to reveal the world’s thinnest tourbillon movement, skeletonised to expose the fine craftsmanship and finishing that has come to exemplify Bulgari watchmaking. Beyond the extraordinary fine mechanisms and the ingenious opening system also lies the challenging task of setting coin onto the watch bezel itself.
Fittingly, the Octo Monete draws a symbolic line between the power of an octagonal design and the architectural heritage inspired by the emperor Constantine the Great himself, to whom we owe the distinctive construction of the the Basilica of Maxentius in Rome with its octagonal ceiling coffers.
The contrast of the modern design with the antique coin tells a singular story. It is a compendium of the Bulgari style and expertise. Like two sides of the same coin if I may say so.
At 40mm in diameter, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Monete is crafted in 18k pink gold. The hinged opening system is activated by pushing the crown. It is worn on an alligator strap closed by a pink gold pin buckle.