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ReviewTime Accelerated: The Bulgari X Gran Turismo Limited-Edition Chronographs

Giants of horology, Bulgari come together with one of the bestselling games of all time—the auto-racing simulation game ‘Gran Turismo'—to create a very special limited-edition timepiece and a virtual car

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The horological world’s connection with the motor world isn’t anything new. We’ve seen timepieces designed to emulate the shapes and aesthetics of iconic cars; we’ve seen the industry’s close connection with motorsports and events such as Formula One; and many other such projects in the past. Though each of them is great in its own right, the Bulgari Aluminium X Gran Turismo Special Edition is exceptional because it ties hands with an auto-racing simulation game.

Don’t get us wrong; Gran Turismo is a huge deal (more on that later). The collaboration is unexpected, but a very welcome one. Not only have Bulgari launched a timepiece; they’ve also launched the all-new Bulgari Aluminium Vision GT concept car, which gamers can race within the Gran Turismo game. Let’s take a closer look at the fascinating partnership and the resulting watch.

Bvlgari Gran Turismo Aluminium Watch Chronograph
Released in two special editions, one features a yellow dial and black counters and is limited to 500 pieces. The other features an anthracite dial with yellow indices and is a limited edition of 1,200

Making Inroads In The World Of Gaming: The Bulgari Aluminium X Gran Turismo

For the collaboration, Bulgari have picked the perfect template: a watch initially launched in 1998—the Bulgari Aluminium. The Italian sport-chic watch is a recognised design icon that also recently bagged the Red Dot Design Award. Twenty-five years after its launch, the watch has been given a makeover while retaining its original sleekness.

Released in two special editions, one features a yellow dial and black counters, and is limited to 500 pieces. The other features an anthracite dial with yellow indices, and is a limited edition of 1,200. Another notable aspect is that it is the first self-winding aluminium model to feature a tachymeter—a fitting homage to speed and motorsports. The watches are powered by the in-house calibre B381, which gives the watch a chronograph, and a date display, and can store a power reserve of 42 hours.

  • The Watch Guide

    For the collaboration, Bulgari have picked the perfect template: a watch initially launched in 1998—the Bulgari Aluminium. Twenty-five years after its launch, the watch has been given a makeover while retaining its original sleekness

  • The Watch Guide

    The watch features a juxtaposition of differing materials, as with the aluminium case offset by the rubber bezel, with Bulgari emblazoned on it

  • The Watch Guide

    The aluminium case gives the watch a diameter of 41mm

  • The Watch Guide

    Bvlgari's automatic calibre B381 features functions like centre seconds and a date at 4:30, with a chronograph. It gives the watch a power reserve of apporixmately 42 hours

  • The Watch Guide

    Gorgeously executed through and through, the watch personifies Bvlgari's commitment to excellence

The vibrant yellow is directly inspired by the dashboard dials of a legendary Italian gran turismo car from the 1990s. (Let’s save you a Google search. ‘Gran turismo’ is originally a term for a type of car that has been designed with high-speed and long-distance driving in mind.)

At first glance, you notice the juxtaposition of differing materials, as with the aluminium case offset by the rubber bezel, with Bulgari emblazoned on it. The interesting intersection continues to the strap, made of articulated rubber links connected by aluminium rods.

Forged from high-tech, extra-strong, and lightweight titanium with a black DLC treatment, the crown and caseback are emblazoned with the ‘10th Anniversary Vision GT’ logo.

The Watch Guide

The vibrant yellow is directly inspired by the dashboard dials of a legendary Italian gran turismo car from the 1990s

The Watch Guide

Forged from high-tech, extra-strong, and lightweight titanium with a black DLC treatment, the crown and caseback are emblazoned with the ‘10th Anniversary Vision GT’ logo

Beyond The Hardware: The Bulgari X Gran Turismo Collaboration

For the uninitiated, here’s a bit about the world of Gran Turismo: it’s big. It’s been around for more than two decades, and it’s one of the highest-selling game series of all time. It has been adapted into a movie, and at one point, it also had a GT academy through which the best Gran Turismo gamers were given the chance to become actual real-life racers. Some of them went so far as to become successful racers, even finishing third in the ‘24 hours of Le Mans’ race.

Keeping in tune with how big Gran Turismo is, Bulgari brought out their A-game for the launch. As we mentioned earlier, the Italian brand of Swiss watches also designed a concept car that racers can use within the game—the Bulgari Aluminium Vision GT concept car. At the Gran Turismo World Series Finals in Barcelona, Bulgari also managed to display the car as a life-sized version.

  • The Watch Guide

    The Italian brand of Swiss watches also designed a concept car that racers can use within the game—the Bulgari Aluminium Vision GT concept car

  • The Watch Guide

    At the Gran Turismo World Series Finals in Barcelona, Bulgari also managed to display the car as a life-sized version

  • The Watch Guide

    Every purchaser of a Bulgari Aluminium X Gran Turismo Special Edition will receive a code enabling them to race in the Bulgari ‘hypercar’ in the game

  • The Watch Guide

    As is evident, the car and the watches feature unmistakable similarities in design

  • The Watch Guide

    Both the watch and the concept car were designed by Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, senior director of the Bulgari Watch Design Center

Every purchaser of a Bulgari Aluminium X Gran Turismo Special Edition will receive a code enabling them to race in the Bulgari ‘hypercar’ in the game. Marrying the two worlds together in an innovative way, this added tie-in with Gran Turismo just makes these special editions that much more interesting for dedicated gamers.

Bvlgari Gran Turismo Watch Chronograph Special Edition
The Bulgari X Gran Turismo Limited Edition Chronographs combine the worlds of horology and gaming like we’ve never seen before

All in all, the Bulgari X Gran Turismo Limited Edition Chronographs combine the worlds of horology and gaming like we’ve never seen before. With the emergence of e-sports all over the world, tapping into this universe seems like a great opportunity for the watch industry—given its close ties with the world of motorsports particularly. And keeping it close to home by choosing to collaborate with the biggest auto sports simulation game out there is the cherry on top.

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