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Thoughts on the Bulgari Daniel Roth Papillon

Date: Mar 31, 2012,22:53 PM -  (view entire thread)

How do you take an existing concept, reinvent it, and incorporate it into a design that is new but not too new and then put your own signature stamp on it so that you can at least take a tiny bit of the credit and a great deal of the reward?  It seems that the watchmakers and designers over at Bulgari are faced with this challenge all too often with each watch that is produced for the new Daniel Roth collection.  Whether the pieces are hits or misses in terms of how the public receives them, one thing remains for sure.  They are admirable works of superb technical craftsmanship.




In January Bulgari announced the release of the Bulgari Daniel Roth Papillon Voyageur.  My feelings toward the watch are somewhat torn.  This is because technically, it is incredibly interesting.  In fact, the technicality of the watch adds to its visual appeal.  The watch has a prominent central jumping hours function along with the Papillon® mechanism, a unique patented device that is partially visible on the dial and serves as the minute indicator for the watch.  Even the name of the watch, Papillon®, makes a visual reference by labeling it after the French word for butterfly, because the shape of the double pointed hands resembles butterfly wings. 




The Papillon® device is positioned at the center of the dial and displays the measured minutes by way of an ingenious device connected to the bearing disc. The disc performs a complete 360° rotation in two hours, and bears two independent retractable diamond-shaped hands running in turn over two 180-degree segments. Whereas the first marks off the 60 minutes in an hour, the second signals the minutes in tens rather than units.

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