BVLGARI BERRIES The Non-Forbidden Fruit Giving in to temptation is delicious. This is especially so when devotees of Bulgari’s fine watchmaking and lovers of its elegant high jewellery line never know what is in store for them. After springing a surprise in 2013 with two complex and sophisticated timepieces – the Berries Tourbillon Retrograde Hours and the Berries Jumping Hours and Retrograde Minutes models – Bulgari once again wows observers this year with brand new colour variations. The Berries Jumping Hours and Retrograde Minutes now comes dressed in emeralds, while the Berries Tourbillon appears clad in emeralds or rubies, with both versions retaining the delightful stones of the Berries collection. A highlight is the opulent coil of brilliant-cut diamonds that winds voluptuously over a white mother-of-pearl dial. Each of these rare watches embodies a refined association between the technically unrivalled watchmaking complications and exquisite gemstone craftsmanship. This creates a cocktail of creativity that is as much about watchmaking as it is about jewellery, the sum of the parts rendered possible by the rich legacy within Bulgari. The jeweller’s art lends colour to the watchmaker’s technique. Both the visually harmonious Berries Jumping Hours and Retrograde Minutes celebrate the marriage of mineral purity and mechanical sophistication. In particular, the emerald – whose Persian name, zamarat, means “heart of stone” – is truly fascinating. Its naturally green colour was an enduring symbol of luxury and power, of pageantry and distinction from the Middle Ages through to the Enlightenment. The colour of the Empire and Napoleon’s favourite shade, it was also one of the tokens of authority. Green is the colour of luck and daring. Whether on a game mat or in ornaments and jewellery, it indicates hope and joie de vivre. For a long time this shade was hard to reproduce and to stabilise, especially when used for tanning and fabrics. Often used in Bulgaris’s high jewellery creations, the gem is prized as much for its luminosity and gaiety as for its exoticism and exclusivity. So much so that in the Berries watches, emeralds appear seven times on the 40 mm case in 18K white gold: a 1.63-carat treasure flanked by 129 cut diamonds. The result is a colourful burst that lends a bright touch to the surprising architecture of the jumping hours movement. The spherical motif, the signature of the Berries collection, provides a display window for the Jumping Hours at 12 o’clock on the one, and embraces the Tourbillon at 6 o’clock on the other. This surprising system, invented by the French watchmaker Blondeau around 1830, does not display the hours with a hand. Instead, the watch dial features a small aperture through which the hour numeral appears. With each change of hour, the displayed number gives way to the following one. Jumping hours watches are often of a mixed time, with the hours being displayed by a numeral, while minutes and seconds are indicated by classic hands. Meanwhile, the precious Berries Tourbillon Retrograde Hours model, also adorned with emeralds, shifts colour palettes to vivid red.