Since its founding in Rome in 1884, Bulgari has always known how to surprise, innovate and reinvent itself. These high standards have contributed to its ascent in watchmaking, making Bulgari one of the few houses today with a Manufacture that allows control over the entire creative process, end to end. Here’s a close-up look at Bulgari’s high-precision production mechanism.
Divided among four sites located in Switzerland’s Jura region, the Bulgari Manufacture covers all the stages in the creation of the most outstanding contemporary watches. From horological mechanisms and casings to metal watchbands and high-end dials, all watch components are produced in-house. Some 350 employees meticulously execute the design and development processes, from the initial design sketch to final quality control. Several dozen métiers are represented, spanning both traditional expertise and state-of-the-art technologies.
The Sentier facility produces and assembles the Solotempo self-winding watch, the collection of grand complications, and the Finissimo extra-thin watches. Advanced technologies and highly qualified technicians ensure flawless design of miniature functional components, demanding incredible technical dexterity.
At the Saignelégier facility, production focuses on casings and gold and steel bands for some of Bulgari’s most high-profile models. This unit brings together an array of highly-specialized métiers to ensure the various production stages, including numerical control milling machines that shape blocks of gold or steel, lubricated by oil sprays, and an imposing polishing chamber where all components are processed by hand, down to the smallest links in a watchband.
The Chaux-de-Fonds facility makes high-end dials, whose elaborate design requires a wealth of expertise, as well as extensive experience. Impeccable quality is imperative at each stage in the manufacturing process to ensure that the product complies with the highest standards of excellence.
Neuchâtel, Bulgari’s fourth production site, is the operational nerve center, where final assembly, mechanism casings and the ultimate quality controls are carried out. This is also where jewelry and watchmaking come together to finalize high jewelry watches designed in close cooperation with Bulgari Jewelry teams. For each piece, the precious components are crafted at one of two Bulgari facilities, either the Valenza Manufacture or the Haute Joaillerie workshop in Rome. Watches are made using a traditional technique called lost-wax casting. Specialized goldsmiths clean, assembly and finish all precious metal parts to give shape to bands and casings set with precious gems, following the natural movement of the wrist.
Bulgari’s watchmaking operations take advantage of natural synergies, making the Italian House a benchmark in terms of quality and precision in the demanding world of high-end watch manufacturers.