2014 marks the 130th year of Bulgari, a name emblematic of Italian excellence. Emboldened by 2700 years of Roman history, Bulgari honours its rich past within modern designs. Known for stylistic audacity and a penchant for colour, Bulgari pieces are immediately recognisable. Designing with the sensuality of volume, a love of linearity, and a reverence for the art and architecture of Bulgari’s Greek and Roman roots, these iconic features are found in each of Bulgari’s creations. Harmonised with Rome’s ancient history, Bulgari incorporates the city’s symbolism while innovating its design for the future. With an inimitable vision of luxury, Bulgari’s origins at the Via dei Condotti flagship store hosted an international elite of artists, writers and actors during the ‘Dolce Vita’ years – leading to Bulgari’s diversified presence today. Classic yet contemporary, Bulgari upholds its 130-year legacy with a timeless sense of exquisite beauty. Originating in Rome, Bulgari was founded as a jewellery shop in 1884 by Greek silversmith Sotirio Bulgari. With passionate skill and vision, he set the stage for Bulgari to become a permanent emblem of Italian excellence. For the 130 years thereafter, Bulgari’s ceaseless creativity, its formidable history of innovation, and a bold, pioneering spirit led the House to become a legend. 2014 marks the 130th anniversary of Bulgari, a name that has become a byword for artisanal craftsmanship, avant-garde materials and unrivalled design. The Eternal City’s architectural beauty has long inspired the Italian jeweller: Bulgari reinterprets the majestic symbols of Rome with extraordinary editions of jewellery, watches, accessories and perfumes.To honour its ancient Roman past, Bulgari integrated the original Latin “V” epigraphy of the family name, engraving it above its flagship store in the grand renovation of 1934. Bulgari’s Roman address on the prestigious Via dei Condotti, leading up to the Spanish Steps, became both its home and source of inspiration. Rome remains the aesthetic reference for Bulgari, as it boasts a spectacular architectural backdrop. The brand came to the attention of the global elite during the flourishing Dolce Vita years – the 1950s-60s – that featured such names as Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn engaged in passionate affairs with Bulgari jewels. Immediately recognisable for their powerful opulence, rich colours and sense of volume, Bulgari jewels soon gained renown among local bourgeois as well as the international high society set. The Bulgari Group developed an overseas presence in the 1970s. It also began to expand the company vision, diversifying into the world of watchmaking and launching the now-iconic “BVLGARI∙BVLGARI” watch in 1977. The coveted watch was just the first of many, and in 1980 Bulgari founded the company Bulgari Time, in the watchmaking heart of Switzerland. In 1992, Bulgari further diversified with the introduction of its first fragrance, Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, establishing Bulgari Parfums in Switzerland. In 1996, Bulgari launched its highly successful collections of cosmopolitan accessories. In 2000, Bulgari Time’s capacities grew with the acquisition of specialised luxury watchmakers; Bulgari had thus evolved into a world-class watch manufacturer. With its unmatched standard for luxury lifestyle, the Bulgari Group expanded its vision to hotels and resorts, featuring contemporary luxury in the prestigious locations of Milan, Bali, and London via exclusive design. In 2011, Bulgari was acquired by the luxury group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), only enriching its luxury potential. Bulgari designs are nourished by deep Roman roots, entrenched in an inspired past. Honouring history, refined Greek and Roman motifs recall the art and architecture of Bulgari’s origins. Proudly representing the exquisite nature that is Italy, the Bulgari name has become synonymous with brilliant colour, symbolic storytelling, and peerless craftsmanship for 130 years. In all things Bulgari, luxury is key. Colour is often one of the most recognisable and iconic features of a Bulgari creation. Bulgari has established itself as the master of coloured gemstones in its High Jewellery pieces. An established expert in diamond design, Bulgari creations have always featured the finest diamonds since the 1920s. Gradually Bulgari began to add precious, rare coloured gems to complement the pieces. In the 1950s, Italy became the design centre of Europe, and Bulgari took the colour revolution to the next level.Deviating from the traditional, diamond-based Parisian school of jewellery, Bulgari developed a bold and unprecedented style, exploring unusual colour combinations such as rubies and emeralds, and sapphires of the entire palette. Jewellery came alive in a rainbow of colour combinations. Further invention built upon the classic asymmetrical motif and traditional cut – Bulgari designed with symmetrical, compact shapes, and reintroduced the use of the cabochon cut for prominent, high-quality gemstones. This shape for large gemstones dates back to antiquity but since fell out of custom; today it has become a Bulgari trademark. A cabochon-cut gem gem is ideal to convey a sense of volume, luminosity and contrast with the surrounding faceted diamonds, and serves to highlight a stone’s aesthetic potential. With similar foresight, contemporary Bulgari designs have also featured the ancient mogul or takhti cut, allowing an egg-shaped luminescence that can be difficult to achieve, but has a dramatically smooth result. The beauty within the stone – what truly makes them one-of-a-kind – is at the heart of every Bulgari design.

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