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Some Thoughts On the New Bulgari Diagono Ceramic

Date: Apr 26, 2012,21:52 PM -  (view entire thread)

The New Bulgari Diagono Ceramic Watch

By Ping Tsai


Bulgari just released their new Diagono Ceramic watch at this year’s Baselworld.  Sifting through the press releases and mega-sized photos, I decided to take a more casual and personal approach to the sharing of the information.


The 2012 Diagono Ceramic pays tribute to classic Bulgari styling of one of their most popular signature watch lines.  The new model reinterprets the design with a bolder more refined look.  At first glance, the watch doesn’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary and could quickly be mistaken as theDiagono Chronograph with a rubber bezel. A closer look will reveal that the bezel is a dark, charcoal colored material with a satin metal-like finish; not exactly rubber at all but in fact ceramic.

It’s nice to see that ceramic is holding its popularity as case material for watches.  Watch designers at Bulgari have taken a more selective approach with its placement using it only for the bezel of the Diagono Ceramic as they did in the Octo Bi-Retro.  The Octo Bi-Retro’s bezel is studded with screws whereas the Diagono Ceramic carries the double BVLGARI logo inscription.  I think the use of ceramic for a portion of the case as opposed to the whole thing was a smart design choice. It creates a more dynamic appearance for the watch by having contrasting colors and finishes alongside one another and giving it an overall contemporary look and feel.

Narrowing of the bezel also modernizes the watches appearance.  It looks less bulky and more refined.  The older generation of Diagono Chronographs with logo bezels was a few steps away from resembling life preservers. The wider bezels now seem outdated with the introduction of the new DiagonoChrono and last year’s new BulgariBulgari watches. 

Both the men’s and ladies versions of the Diagono Ceramic are available in steel and ceramic or pink gold and ceramic. Even with the luxurious look of pink gold and diamonds and mother of pearl in the ladies model, the line still reflects a strong sense of sportiness and strength while at the same time retaining sophistication and modernity in style.  The watches would be a bit difficult to dress up due to the rubber strap. The ladies’ versions would be even more difficult to wear out in the evening with formal wear with the sporty white color being a factor.  It would probably work better on the wrist of a tennis player at Wimbledon than to a nice restaurant for dinner in a dress. Since the male Diagono Ceramic is black, men could get away with changing the strap to croc to have a more formal look. 

The shape of the Diagono 2012 case is pretty standard but its construction is not.  It bears a complex construction skillfully structured with flexible lugs that bend, allowing for a tighter more comfortable fit against the skin.At 42mm diameter for the mens and 37mm for the womens, I’d say the sizing is ideal for people with wrist sizes that fit in the median range.  AP has a 37mm Royal Oak Offshore but ladies with smaller wrists such as myself have a hard time wearing that watch due to the ends of the case which extend out pretty far before connecting with the lugs.  The Diagono Ceramic has a tighter case with lugs that have greater flexibility.  The complex screw-type lug system that connects the rubber strap with the case is skillfully constructed to guarantee an ergonomic fit. I’m willing to bet that the Bulgari watch achieves a much more comfortable and contoured fit than the AP Royal Oak Offshore for women in general. 

The chronograph pushers are crafted in black or white ceramic to match the bezel.  The detail completes the look but not absolutely necessary in my opinion.  I may have even preferred that the pushers were stainless steel or pink gold to match the case material in the ladies watch in order to increase its formality slightly.  White pushers are a unique and novel feature and quite playful but in the end, slightly juvenile for an adult lady. The black pushers on the mens watch don’t seem to have the same effect. 

The 2012 Diagono Ceramic is powered by the Calibre B130 mechanical self-winding movement equipped with a chronograph module.  The watches have hour, minute and seconds hands, 3 sub-dials and a date window at 4:30.  The men’s version has a deep black dial and the ladies a white mother of pearl dial.  The layout of the dial is pretty basic and simple with the BVLGARI logo being non-overbearing.  In the ladies model, the diamonds and mother of pearl add a much needed touch of femininity to an otherwise masculine shaped watch.  Mother-of-pearl dials on white female watches are ubiquitous.  However, the BulgariDiagono Ceramic with all its immaculate whiteness has an ethereal quality and radiance about it that could grab the attention of strangers passing by.  Depending on the particular woman, this could be a desire effect for some or a bit too much for others.

For me, I’d have a bit of fun with the piece, contrasting it with darker colored clothing and maybe even venturing out at night while sporting it on my wrist.  I’d enjoy and revel in the perfect ergonomic fit of a ladies chronograph watch…which is rare on my part.The press release states, “Clearly evolving in a sphere beyond the reach of ephemeral trends, Diagono Ceramic thus escapes the grasp of time in this model imbued with timeless values expressed through harmonious proportions, and vividly symbolizing refined equilibrium in terms of both form and substance.”  What a mindful statement to wrap one’s head around. I will simply say that it is a refined and modernizedupdate to a classic Bulgari watchthat looks to be reliable and easy to wear.

This message has been edited by pingtsai on 2012-04-26 21:53:54
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