Since its revival in 2020, the Bulgari Aluminium line has been a solid success for the brand as a new entry-level platform with a unique personality. The late ‘90s design offers a dramatically different stylistic vision from most of the current vintage reissue field, bringing together an unorthodox material pairing with the brand’s signature flamboyant Italian aesthetic. With multiple dial colorways and a chronograph currently available, the next logical stage for expansion is a GMT model. With the Bulgari Aluminium GMT, however, the brand adds more than a simple complication, blending the distinctive neo-retro style of the Aluminium line with visual hallmarks from some of the most iconic GMT designs.
The case design of the Bulgari Aluminium line is its signature feature, and the Aluminium GMT keeps the distinctive style alive with only minor tweaks. As with the standard three-hand model, the Aluminium GMT’s aluminum case (Bulgari uses the British spelling of “aluminium” for its official model-naming) measures in at 40mm. The sleek attached cylindrical lug assembly remains a visual highlight, imbuing the relatively simple and industrial matte blasted form with a touch of modernist mechanical intricacy. The rubberized bezel with its prominent Bulgari branding abandons the stark black of previous models in favor of a softer, more elegant navy blue, giving the design a slightly more nautical feel in images. To improve durability, both the crown and the solid caseback are rendered in titanium. In keeping with the watch’s sporty overall character, the Bulgari Aluminium GMT is rated for 100 meters of water resistance.
For the dial of the Bulgari Aluminium GMT, the brand combines the clean base Aluminum design with a novel remix of perhaps the most iconic GMT design element. Rather than disrupting the Aluminium line’s signature rubber bezel, the Aluminium GMT incorporates its two-tone red and blue “Pepsi” 24-hour ring as a fixed inner bezel. While the red and blue color combination has a long and famous history in jet-setting GMT timepieces, Bulgari’s approach appears stylish and remarkably subdued in initial images. Other than the muted “Pepsi” bezel, the dial layout is near identical to the three-hand Aluminium with its pencil hands, bold lumed indices, and accenting printed Arabic numerals at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock. A deep red arrow-tipped GMT hand gives an extra splash of color to proceedings, while the dial takes on a new matte midnight blue color to complement the bezel and strap. Although the unframed cutout date window at 3 o’clock was a potentially disruptive element, here the problem is aggravated further by the mismatched white date wheel and the window’s more complex surroundings, including a marked cut into the 24-hour inner bezel.
Bulgari powers the Aluminium GMT with the B192 automatic GMT movement, which if Bulgari’s B-series movement nomenclature remains intact is likely based on the long-serving ETA 2893-2 movement. The B192 is a new powerplant for Bulgari, and the brand keeps technical details on the movement close to the vest. That said, the B192 is rated for a slightly improved 42 hours of power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate, as opposed to the standard 2893-2’s 38-hour reserve. However, some enthusiasts may potentially balk as the B192’s likely base movement offers a quickset 24 hour hand as opposed to the more desirable “true GMT” quickset local time hour hand. As with all other models in the Aluminium line, the Bulgari Aluminium GMT is paired with the series’ signature semi-integrated rubber and aluminum strap. Here, however, the brand opts for a dial-matching midnight blue.
By bringing a GMT movement to this newly revived series, the Bulgari Aluminium GMT showcases the brand’s commitment to expanding the (comparatively) entry-level side of its brand while handsomely updating the series’ core style. The Bulgari Aluminium GMT is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $3,500. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.