Bulgari Sotirio Bulgari Retrograde Date Review
It’s time for BVLGARI’s watches to get a bit more complicated but in a good way!
A celebration of BVLGARI's 125th birthday, the Sotirio BVLGARI collection gets to flaunt a few of the neat horological tricks they picked up along the way. Remarkably, they only started their journey in watchmaking in 1980.
One of the first things that make this watch stand out is its unique grooved & flared dial design with lines emanating radially outward from the 6 o’clock position. This gives the impression that it was inspired by a picturesque sunrise. This dial pattern also pulls your eyes downwards as you follow the ray to its source; the retrograde date complication which sits just above the 6 o'clock position.
This complication shows the date differently than most watches with date windows which use a round disk in the movement. The retrograde date complication uses an arch with the regular numerals 1 through 31 for each day of the month. The small skeletonized hand travels from one side of the arch to the other. Then, after the end of each month, the hand bounces back to the day number 1 position.
The watch has applied polished hour markers which are multi-faceted for the hours 1 through 11 and uses a bold Roman numeral ‘XII’ for the 12 o’clock position. A finely printed second/minute track can be seen in between these hour markers and sit atop a ribbed texture chapter ring along the flange which is at the outer edge of the dial.
Most of their mainstream watches have the standard central hour and minute and second hands and not much more with the exception of their various Chronograph watches. Some other fascinating Bulgari watch models that have interesting complications are the GranLusso and GranSport which also feature a retrograde complication and were co-created by both BVLGARI and Maserati.
It would also be a disservice to forget to mention the various high complication watches such as the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon watches which featured the thinnest tourbillon complication known to man at only 1.95mm thick. As you can see BVLGARI has been stepping-up their watchmaking in very a big way. There are many watchmakers, even famous ones that don’t use high complications such as these.
For the sake of staying focused let’s discuss the Sotirio Bulgari Retrograde Date which is worth reviewing on its own despite all their other achievements. This is a classic watch with a sporty twist. The retrograde date gives it the impression of a speedometer and with its highly polished case with brushed side finish, it seems like the perfect watch for a sophisticated person with a small wild side.
The lugs (the horned part of the case that is attached to the strap shown in the above image) have a unique design. They flare out creating the illusion of a big Roman numeral ‘X’. These lugs are not actually part of the case itself but fit into grooves that are built into the case. These lugs are multifaceted with a polished finish and flare out while sloping slightly downwards at an angle. The part of the lugs that attach to the watch band with visible screws dips slightly below the case back which protects the transparent sapphire crystal keeping it slightly elevated when you lay the watch down face up on a flat surface such as a table.
The case itself is also striking with the combination of polished finishing. The side of the case has a brushed finish and a polished crown with a debossed Sotirio Bulgari insignia. The case is fitted with an alligator/crocodile leather strap and a classic pin buckle that has the company logo engraved on it. The video below will depict how the watch is constructed. The first 45 seconds of this video shows this model (Model #: 101707 sb42wsldr) but there is another model with a black dial which is equally as beautiful.
The video below also features a few other models in the Sotirio Bulgari collection as well. It gives you an inside look at what makes this watch move as well as how the dial is so intricately constructed.
This watch is powered by the Swiss made BVLGARI Caliber B89 automatic movement based on the self-winding ébauche known as the ETA 2892-A2. It is beautifully finished in-house and is fitted with an in-house retrograde module; designed and engineered by Bulgari. I hope that this is only the first of many such horological complications that BVLGARI intends to create moving forward. It beats at 28,800 VpH, contains 21 jewels and has an approximate power reserve of 42 hours on a single full wind. Even the packaging and box looks exquisite.
BVLGARI has been an interesting luxury watch brand to see evolve in their craft. This is definitely what I would consider a bold watch design; bold and beautiful, to say the least. You can see the passion and spirit of Sortirio Bulgari in this collection which commemorates the watch’s namesake; the founder of BVLGARI. It also salutes the company’s rich history in high-end fashion, jewelry and watchmaking.