The house of Bulgari is on something of a roll. Last November, its watch division picked up two gongs at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève awards, the Oscars of horology. And its latest high-jewellery collection, Wild Pop, was a creative success story in terms of exploring irreverent themes, from cats and space droids to LP players and marijuana (yes, really). Its parent company LVMH singled Bulgari out as having had an “excellent year” in its 2017 financial results. On Monday September 17 it will open a newly expanded Harrods boutique, with exclusive creations to mark the occasion.
Three times larger than the previous space, the 178sq m shop is spread over two floors, with the department store’s only in-boutique lift. Visitors can expect a visual feast, especially as the interiors take their cue from the Peter Marino-designed Bulgari flagships in Rome and Bond Street – an eclectic ode to Italian craftsmanship and history, where Pantheon-inspired bronze lattice screens and parquet floors mix with plush 1960s velvet furniture. The latter in particular recalls the visits that Elizabeth Taylor made to the Via Condotti shop while filming Cleopatra in Rome and, indeed, a special VIP lounge bearing her name can be found in the Harrods boutique.
Ten new jewels – eight of which are one-offs – have been created for the launch, and all pay homage to Harrods’ green livery in some way. A platinum ring (price on request) sees a 4.25ct emerald flanked by two square step-cut diamonds and surrounded by additional pavé diamonds, while the glamorous Divas’ Dream necklace and matching drop earrings (both price on request) feature malachite and gold trimmed with diamonds.
Malachite also appears in a rose-gold Parentesi bracelet and necklace (both price on request) with chunky interlocking motifs, which are bursting with personality, as well as the beautifully articulated Serpenti necklace (£65,000), a coiled bracelet (£60,000) and ring (£8,700), which have malachite, rose gold and diamond scales.
A special limited edition model of 10 of Bulgari’s award-winning Octo Finissimo Automatic – one of the world’s slimmest self-winding watches, at 5.15mm – has a unique green dial, complemented by a green alligator strap. “Green matches perfectly with our history,” says Fabrizio Buonamassa, director of Bulgari Watches Design Centre. “As a Roman jeweller, we’ve always worked with precious stones and more specifically with emeralds. This watch is the perfect example of sobriety and Italian elegance.”