Here’s a pro tip on nailing 90s fashion. You can’t just go back to re-wearing those denim overalls and Air Jordans per se. You’ve got to temper them with 21st century vibes. When Virgil Abloh brought back wallet chains – the epitome of 90s street style – he updated them with either a little extra finesse or a touch of irony. Likewise, the Bulgari Aluminium might be a straight-up 90s classic, but the newly unveiled Bulgari Aluminium GMT stays perfectly in sync with today’s trends without losing a shred of its original spirit.
Cool Vibes Only
As the first luxury sports watch in the world made with an aluminium case and paired with a bezel that’s been moulded over with rubber, the Bulgari Aluminium was kind of a legend back in the day. Bulgari first introduced this watch in 1998 with the ambition to attract a young and vibrant, watch-loving clientele. The fact that it dared to make a luxury watch with materials like aluminium and rubber, both decidedly non-luxurious from the traditionalist’s point of view, expressed Bulgari’s distinctive flair for unique design. It also offered an avant-garde approach to luxury that was fresh, exciting, and progressive.
But the Bulgari Aluminium hadn’t always had a consistent presence. After a few good years, it fell off the radar for most of the 2000s until – in a surprise move that pleased more than a few millennials – Bulgari revived it in 2020. The new Bulgari Aluminium sported a more refined case, improved materials, modern dimensions, and a mechanical movement. All the things a good luxury timepiece should have, plus an accessible price tag to sweeten the deal. Now into its second season, the collection is finally ready for its first GMT model.
Clad in navy blue rubber, Bulgari Aluminium GMT mixes form and functionality with clever use of colour. Its single most outstanding feature is undoubtedly the blue-and-red 24-hour ring encircling the dial, where blue signifies night and red, day. You might wonder why this is necessary, since the disc already displays the second time zone in 24-hour format. But consider this: If a watch designer could make a watch more functional rather than less, why wouldn’t he (or she) do it?
Especially since the red-and-blue “Pepsi” aesthetic is such a trending feature nowadays. Yet rather than create another watch with a “Pepsi” bezel, Bulgari applied it to the inner flange, achieving two important effects. First, the manufacture found an elegant way to incorporate this design element, as opposed to shoehorning it into one of its watches. Second, it managed all that while keeping the most important design feature, the Bulgari-Bulgari bezel, completely intact. Thus, Bulgari Aluminium GMT ($4,890) offers watch lovers a different take on a familiar aesthetic.
Giving you the time for two separate time zones, Bulgari Aluminium GMT is indeed a traveller’s watch. More so than you might realise. When the watch debuted in 1998, it was unveiled to the world on board an Alitalia Boeing 747 jumbo jet. So if you’re wondering how the Bulgari Aluminium got so fly, well, there’s your answer right there.