You have made a big statement with the Diagono Magnesium models at Baselworld. Besides the technological feat of the Bulgari Vault, the use of magnesium is itself unusual, since it is difficult to machine. And yet the price is a very competitive 4,000 Swiss francs. How did you manage this?
Our products have to be sustainable. We have an obligation to be profitable, after all. The technology and the development that is behind the Magnesium are very complicated but it is also part of the intellectual challenge to find developments that can cope with cost control. For example with the Diagono Magnesium, the case middle is injected, which is a much more cost-effective way of producing the component. This allowed us to invest more in the special coatings, the PEEK and the ceramic.
How would you like to see this new line evolve? Perhaps a chronograph next?
It is calling for a chronograph so this is already in our minds but it’s nice to start like we did with the aluminium watch with a simple hour, minute and second model. I think that the black and colour combinations with blue and brown as the “hot” items (even though we will probably sell more of the silver and anthracite models because they are easier to wear) give the collection an eye-catching look.
Is that why you chose the brown model for the Magnesium model that incorporates the Bulgari vault?
Men are looking for something “hot” and something that is different. Maybe not everyone would like the blue or brown models but these are colours that are very masculine and very sophisticated because they are not fashion colours. They are colours that you find on high-end cars. In fact the paint supplier is a supplier to the automobile industry and they did an enormous amount of research into the colours and finishes that appeal to men.
"Maybe logomania would never have existed without the Bulgari Roma"
What else stands out for you in this 2015 collection from Bulgari?
The Octo Finissimo is one of my favourites. I am wearing the red gold model with the black dial, which is the perfect chromatic combination for Bulgari and I love this watch. But it is also the 40th anniversary of the Bulgari Roma, which marked the entrance of Bulgari into watchmaking and it is an incredibly powerful statement because it was the first time ever that anyone used a family name as their logo. Maybe the trend that we now know as logomania would never have existed without the Bulgari Roma. It is not a fashion item at all but a luxury item because the idea behind it is a noble one that dates back to the Roman emperors who used to emboss their names on coins. For its 40th anniversary we have maintained its original proportions while increasing the case size to a more contemporary 40mm, which allows us to use the Finissimo movement.
You have a new tagline that refers to 2600 years of inspiration. Do you plan to go back this far in your inspiration for new products?
The inspiration is the power of Rome itself. Rome was once the capital of the world. It is the Eternal City. The city is majestic and its architecture is about power. So our inspiration is nourished by this power. If you take the Octo, for instance, you can see that its design has been influenced by the architecture of Rome. The snake symbolism of the Serpenti models dates back to Cleopatra and is a symbol of femininity. So there are powerful means of inspiration but they are not literal.