The challenge faced by traditional luxury watch brands in adapting to the smart watch craze is how to rival the technological innovations of certain wearable technologies while at the same time keeping the intrinsic qualities of a luxury mechanical timepiece.

Bulgari has found the answer in a timepiece that is Swiss to its core but which nevertheless offers a ground-breaking new function for a watch. The "Wrist Vault" hidden in the watch is the result of a parntership between Bulgari and the Swiss company WISeKey, a specialist in digital security and data storage.

Thanks to an embedded cryptographic chip and a hidden NFC (Near Field Communication) antenna, the Bulgari Diagono Magnesium can be used to transmit a digital certificate to the Bulgari Vault applicaiton on a smartphone to authenticate the user. Unlike a smart watch that needs a smartphone to function, this is a smartphone application that needs a watch to function!

Bulgari Magnesium Wrist Vault

The "wise" version of the Bulgari Magnesium watch is initially available only in the brown case version and will retail for around €5,000 - around €1,000 more than the standard models. © Bulgari

In a scenario reminiscent of a James Bond film, any encrypted information saved using the Bulgari Vault application is stored in the WISeKey data centre that is "buried in a Swiss military bunker, somewhere in the Alps." In keeping with the James Bond film, Bulgari Magnesium watch owners could in future use their timepiece to open their car, set their domestic alarm installation and even make secure payments.

Bulgari has produced a suitably high-tech, yet unmistakably luxury, design for this new timepiece, using high-grade materials such as magnesium, PEEK and ceramic, as well as trendy metallic colours similar to those found on luxury cars, to house the mechanical self-winding movement that powers the watch, ensuring that no recharging is required.