Bulgari‘s watch line just got a little racier.
The Italian house has teamed up with Grand Turismo, the popular gaming franchise, to create two new takes on the Bulgari Aluminum inspired by the world of motorsport. In addition, the duo has designed a new concept car for Gran Turismo 7.
For the unacquainted, Gran Turismo is a racing simulator game that debuted in 1997. Over the past 20 years, it has amassed millions of loyal followers for its sheer realism. (The series has sold more than 90 million copies worldwide to date.) Coincidentally, Bulgari released its Aluminum watch collection in the late ‘90s, and it too has garnered much acclaim.
Launched in 1998, the first Bulgari Aluminium proved that run-of-the-mill materials could, indeed, be luxurious. It combined aluminum and rubber as a nod to the automotive industry and was streamlined by design. The newcomers exude the same sleek style but are replete with references to Gran Turismo.
The limited editions feature a vibrant yellow hue that’s reminiscent of the dashboards in the Italian GTs of the ‘90s. They both sport automatic chronograph movements (Calibre B381) and are also the first self-winding Aluminium models to feature a tachymeter scale for timing races. One model (ref. 104006) sports a yellow dial with black subdials and is limited to 500 examples; the other has an anthracite dial with yellow indices (ref. 103893) and is limited to 1,200. Both are priced at $4,800.
Collectors who buy either watch will be able to obtain a Bulgari Aluminium VGT concept car that can be driven in Gran Turismo 7. The ride takes design cues from the wrist candy, with a svelte body made of satin-finished aluminum and a cockpit crafted from black rubber and anthracite Alcantara.
The hypercar and watches were penned by former design director of Pininfarina Fabio Filippini and senior director of Bulgari’s Watch Design Center Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani. (Stigliani previously worked as a car designer at Fiat before establishing his design studio in 2005.)
“I envisioned a different way of playing with Bulgari’s DNA, creating a concept car that speaks the same language as the Bulgari Aluminium watch,” Stigliani said in a statement. “Its design is based on geometric, pure, and angular forms inspired by the lines of legendary Italian Gran Turismo cars from the 1970s, featuring sporty three-spoke steering wheels and walnut dashboards.”
It appears Ref. 104006 has already sold out, but Ref. 103893 is still available at the time of writing.