Bulgari has just launched two new luxurious ‘secret’ watches – the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Monete and the Bulgari Monete Pendant Watch. Two new “antique” timepieces hide their formidable mechanical hearts behind ancient Roman and Greek coins, reflecting a period nearly two millennia ago.
The Octo Monete wristwatch employs a very rare 4th century Roman coin struck to mark the 20-year reign of Constantinus Augustus (301-336 BC). The silver coin is fitted onto a 44mm octagonal case struck in 18kt pink gold.
On its front, the coin bears the portrait of Emperor Constantine Augustus wearing a diadem, accompanied by the inscription “AVGVSTVS”, while the back features a laurel branch and the inscription “CAESAR”.
By pressing on the crown, the watch opens and we uncover the “secret” of the timepiece: the very thin and open-worked Finissimo Tourbillon Calibre BVL 268. The hand-wound movement with hour and minute indications delivers up to 52-hour power reserve. It’s a hair under 2mm thick, giving the watch a fine profile.
The second timepiece is the similarly octagonal-shaped Monete pendant watch that also hides an entirely skeletonized gold tourbillon movement. The cover of this secret watch is topped by a tetradrachm depicting Alexander the Great (336-326 B.C), the King of ancient Macedonia and one of the greatest conquerors of all time. With opulence befitting a king, the 41mm case is set with brilliant-cut diamonds and rubies, and it hangs from a pink gold chain set with an additional 1,270 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Like the famous rulers depicted on the coins, Bulgari’s Monete Secret watches are unique, one-off creations that will be admired for time immemorial.