I like to compare BVLGARI to Cartier (I can already hear the purists criticizing me and breaking my nuts, but no problem, I stand by it). Cartier has long been relegated to the status of a simple jeweler with a tendency to dabble in watchmaking. Whereas for me, it is clearly Cartier that has broken free from the confines of traditional watchmaking to offer a concept, a vision, and a storytelling that are uniquely its own. And it has influenced the world of watchmaking to the point of shaking its foundations. 

BVLGARI is somewhat the Italian Cartier, starting as a jeweler initially. The brand has managed to create its own horological identity and is now a central brand that has reinvented itself and made significant contributions to contemporary watchmaking.

Courtesy of Hodinkee

Whether it’s the Serpenti, its dual signatures, or its bold designs, BVLGARI cannot leave one indifferent. The brand quickly transcended traditional codes to offer more than just a watch. As you may have guessed, taking a bold approach is an integral part of the brand. In my opinion, there are too many misunderstood designs by the brand, which, beyond being perfectly legitimate, possess a construction and visual appeal that cannot be found elsewhere.

Even though the modern watch market is not my cup of tea, I must admit that if I were to buy a new watch today, it would most likely be an Octo Finissimo. Beyond its record-breaking slimness, it is one of the rare watches where, even without the signature at 12 o’clock, you would unmistakably recognize it as a BVLGARI.

All these praises to introduce to you a model that is very dear to me: the BULGARI DIAGONO.

Let’s provide a bit of context. In 1977, BVLGARI sought to establish its brand with a strong and distinctive design. Considering the founder’s Greek origins and the influence of Italy, where the brand had developed, there needed to be a nod to these origins.

By drawing inspiration from ancient coins, BVLGARI created the « BVLGARI BVLGARI. » A watch where the bezel would resemble the coins of Roman emperors. For the first time, a logo became the central piece of a watch! The watch was a success. Building on that, the establishment of a watchmaking division in Neuchâtel took place. And in 1988, one of my favorite collections made its appearance: the « DIAGONO » (meaning « competition » in ancient Greek).




The DIAGONO retains the lines of the « BVLGARI BVLGARI » but pushes them even further. With the introduction of the first chronograph, numerous variations quickly followed. Playing with materials and featuring incredibly well-thought-out bracelets and funky dials… The result was achieved!

Long considered tasteless and excessive, the Diagono, for me, is one of the most accessible « youngtimer » watches that offers a genuine balance between price and style.

It’s a true statement piece that one must proudly wear on their wrist!