Fragment Design is a titan of modern fashion. Since the ‘90s, Fragment Design has left its minimalist, streetwear-inspired imprint on everything from Nike sneakers to Starbucks coffee and even a custom luxury yacht, and collaborations with watch brands form a large part of its repertoire as well. Bulgari’s first pairing with the Japanese fashion powerhouse came about in 2020, and for 2021 the Italian marque returns to the partnership to deliver a sleekly minimal and surprisingly rebellious twist on its most elemental design. The new limited edition Bulgari Bulgari Fragment 2021 offers a punchy and pared-back look with a surprisingly casual bent, creating something far outside the brand’s typical wheelhouse in the process.
The case design of the Bulgari Bulgari series is by far its defining feature, and the Fragment 2021 keeps the clean and vocal spirit of this series intact while inserting an array of custom touches. Measuring in at 41mm, the polished stainless steel case of the Bulgari Bulgari Fragment 2021 blends minimalist form with vibrant Bulgari flourishes. The simple cylindrical mid-case, narrow straight lugs, and undersized pillbox crown all form a simple and inoffensive backdrop for the brand’s more characteristic touches in images. Like the rest of the line, the Fragment 2021’s natural focal point is its broad flat polished bezel, engraved with the bold Romanesque “BVLGARI” inscription that adorns many of the brand’s offerings. For the 6 o’clock half of the bezel, however, the traditional second “BVLGARI” script is replaced with “FRGMT” – an abbreviated version of Fragment Design. It’s a slickly integrated nod to the collaboration that keeps the ethos of the design alive, but also boldly announces itself in images. Fragment Design’s other custom case touches are comparatively subtler. The 3 o’clock crown is topped with a black ceramic insert stamped with the Fragment Design lightning bolt emblem, and around back the same lightning bolt logo makes an appearance printed atop the sapphire display caseback. Bulgari rates the Bulgari Fragment 2021 for only 50 meters of water resistance, but given the design’s lack of sporting pretensions this is understandable.
While the case of the Bulgari Bulgari Fragment 2021 dabbles in minimalism with bold accents, the dial fully commits to the minimal aesthetic with a nearly featureless design. There are no indices or scales of any kind to disrupt the simple matte black main dial surface, and dial text is limited to a bold Bulgari and Fragment Design co-signature at 12 o’clock along with a counterbalancing lightning bolt logo at 6 o’clock. Other than these printed features, the only other element to disrupt the dial surface is a simple cutout date window at 3 o’clock. The brightly polished stick handset maintains the elemental overall look, while providing stark contrast with the main dial surface for easy legibility in images.
Inside the Bulgari Bulgari Fragment 2021 beats the in-house BVL 191 Solotempo automatic movement. Cleanly and handsomely decorated with Côtes de Genève across the winding rotor and circular main bridge, the BVL 191 is a decent if unspectacular performer with a 42 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. The brand’s choice of straps for the Bulgari Bulgari Fragment 2021 is likely to be the most divisive element of the entire design, with a love-it-or-hate-it pair of nylon NATO straps. The bolder of the two features a multi-stripe pattern in black, medium gray, and royal blue, and wearers can also swap to a simple black NATO strap for a slightly more reserved look.
Bridging the gap between dressy minimalism and casual streetwear looks, the limited edition Bulgari Bulgari Fragment 2021 delivers a unique take on the brand’s most minimal series with impactful results. Only 600 examples of the Bulgari Bulgari Fragment 2021 will be made, and will be available through authorized dealers in mid-November 2021 at an MSRP of $4,900. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.