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What do you think of Bulgari now?

Date: Mar 20, 2012,10:29 AM -  (view entire thread)

Bulgari Daniel Roth Grande Sonnerie Quantieme Perpetual



Just a little over two years ago Bulgari announced that Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta would be integrated into the longstanding Italian luxury brand.  Not too long after we began seeing modernized, cleaner looking Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta watches with the BVLGARI logo on the dials.  At the time some members of the community thought the change to be a complete travesty.  Others were more open to the idea, understanding the struggles of smaller brands to survive in today’s mega marketing budget watch world. 


Bulgari Daniel Roth Endurer All Blacks


Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta had all the technical and artistic assets to produce exceptional watches but lacked a large enough base clientele to survive on their own.  What they needed more than anything was a few “bread and butter” type models that appealed more to a mainstream audience, sell a lot and fund the “niche” side of the brands.  Companies that are more specialized and sustain longevity do well with straddling the line between artistic self loyalty and expression and a keen business sense.  Perhaps this is true in any industry that deals in products with some sort of creative input. 


 Bulgari Gerald Genta Octo Bi-Retro


There was a consensus, begrudgingly accepted by some that the partnership between Bulgari and Daniel Roth, Gerald Genta would at least ensure the survival of the two brands for the time being.  Bulgari had the large base clientele and international exposure that they could greatly benefit from.  Couple that with over 150 years of history, vast resources to design, develop and produce, hundreds of established sales outlets and you had the makings of a guaranteed path of continuance.  The only thing that wasn’t an absolute was assurance of the same in terms of design.  This was perhaps the hardest part for some of the original fans to swallow.  The loss of DR and GG’s original “DNA” and also the staff that helped to create it.  It wasn’t going to be likely that everyone from the original manufactures would be able to keep their jobs but I do believe that a number of them did remain.


Bulgari Gerald Genta Magsonic Grande Sonnerie


Variance in the actual watches was a likely occurrence because Bulgari had to get something out of it for itself as well.  The extraordinary watches that DR and GG produced early on, while still under Bulgari’s financial backing did not translate into the sales volume perhaps that the supporters would have liked to see.  I would venture and guess that the profits alone frankly did not amount to much alongside the global luxury brand’s wide portfolio of products from accessories to jewelry, watches, fragrances and even hotels.  Bulgari eventually took initiative saving the two brands while at the same time making sure there was growth opportunity in it for the company as well.  What they sought was entrance into the world of haute horology as a serious contender.  This was evident early on as they strategically placed themselves for vertical integration with acquisitions of Cadrans Design (a dial maker) and Prestige D’Or (a watch bracelet maker); and then of the Swiss casemaker, Finger in 2008.  It seemed that absorbing Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta and all their technical watchmaking genius was the next logical step.


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