Bvlgari, err… Bulgari always looks better in all caps right? While I have been seeing lots of confused designs from Bulgari as of late, this Diagono X-Pro is something I am not at all confused about liking (which is to say that I do like it). The cool masculine watch takes a few lessons from the polished looks of the Bulgari design play book, and adds a testosterone powered stamp of approval on it. When it comes down to it, while this is a great watch in and of itself, it feels like Bulgari’s answer to the Hublot Big Bang. Not only in design, but also when it comes to the “fusion” of materials. Bulgari knows that with its performance over the last few years and the current economy, it can’t dick around. It needs to give people what they want – which is apparently still luxury sport watches.
One thing that is hard to tell is that the middle section of the case is actually all black – all DLC black for that matter. Now even Bulgari is on the DLC bandwagon. Another wave goodbye to PVD. Just part of this complex case. Below you will see an “explosion” image of the case – which is made out of 104 parts. I love it that some watch cases are 2 or 3 parts, and some are over 100 parts. The most complex case winner is still the Nubeo Black Mamba. The Diagono X-Pro is 45mm wide, with a case made out of steel, DLC coated steel, and titanium. There is also rubber coatings on the crown and chronograph pushers (in addition to the rubber strap). The front and back of the watch have sapphire crystals (front crystal is highly AR coated).
Now things get interesting with sapphire… the dial is sapphire as well. Black colored sapphire with three levels of superimposed elements on it. It should have glass-like finish to it, without too much glare, and the white numerals and hour indicators should “pop” really nicely. Hints of red color add to the sporty appeal. In addition to elements from other Bulgari designs, and Hublot, there is a little bit of Richard Mille influence in the mix.I have a feeling the dial will turn out to be quite great looking.
Aside from the fancy case and design, the movement is quite interesting. A hybrid of in-house elements and use of ‘ol reliable – the Valjoux 7750. What Bulgari does is build on the Valjoux 7750 to create the Calibre BVL 312. Lots of stock ETA parts from the 7750 are replaced, and a special module is built on the movement giving it a GMT hand. The modifications also serve to include a column wheel transfer in the movement for the chronograph. Plus, the movement is COSC Chronometer certified. Set in a tri-compax array, the chronograph is easy to see with a red hand for the subsidiary seconds dial for the main time. The GMT hand is attracting and easy to read. I like the large lume covered hour and minute hands, but feel that they are just shy of being long enough. Design wise, the watch and dial look like a mix of diver, pilot, and military style – all with that Bulgari twist.
You can see that the rotating GMT bezel offers the ability to track a third timezone, and is also two-toned, giving the night hours a dark color, and the daylight hours a lighters color. I also like the movable lug structures that attach to the rubber strap. Overall the Bulgari Diagono X-Pro is a great watch with a neat character, and appeal for me that I haven’t seen lately from Bulgari. Price isn’t going to be very kind I am sure. I am going to guess between $10,000 – $20,000.
CALIBRE BVL 312 (Based on Valjoux 7750) tech specs from Bulgari:
Description BVL 312, mechanical self-winding chronograph caliber
Diameter 13 ¼ lignes
Display Hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock; central chronograph seconds hand;
central GMT hand; minutes counter at 3 o’clock and hours counter at 6 o’clock;
notched GMT bezel; date window at 4.30.
Dimensions Casing diameter: 30.00mm — Total thickness: 8.33mm
Jewelling 27 jewels
Power Reserve 48 hours
Frequency 4 Hz — 28,800 vibrations/hour
Winding Via a unidirectional oscillating weight mounted on ball bearings
Balance Glucydur — 3 spokes
Adjustment Omegametric for chronometer-worthy precision
Bridges Barrel & gear train: all of a piece (3/4 bridge)
Mainplate & bridges Brass
Oscillating weight Monometallic, in tungsten
¾ bridge Circular-grained
Automatic bridge Circular Cotes de Geneve
Chronograph bridge Circular-grained
Bridge Hand-polished beveling
Bridge chamfers Sunburst decoration
Oscillating weight Dedicated Sotirio Bulgari cut-out; snailed decoration
Column wheel Black PVD coating
Jewel surround Diamond-polished, tone-on-tone
Finishing of the visible Hand-drawn file strokes, beveled and polished rims
steel chronograph parts
Engravings Matte black-lacquered engraving backgrounds
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