Baselworld 2015: Diagono Magnesium - Three high technology materials for one high performance watch

Baselworld 2015: Diagono Magnesium - Three high technology materials for one high performance watch

Urban and pioneering, Diagono Magnesium plays on stylistic rupture, form and function, performance and design

Creating. Shaping matter, materials. Bringing them to life through fire or fusion. The entire jeweller’s art lies in sublimating the elements. Technical mastery. Avant-garde vision. Diagono Magnesium.

The watchmaker’s skill explores the complexity of the measuring of time. Building on more than 130 years of innovation and creativity, Bulgari remains constantly ahead of its time through its exceptional skills. A new milestone has now been set: Diagono Magnesium. A watchmaking piece with a well-defined character. Urban and contemporary, structured and high performance, Diagono has a knack of always turning up where you least expect it. As a sports watch, it has a particularly spicy and chic allure. As an elegant timepiece, Diagono fears nothing.

This duality which is not a sign of inconstancy, but, on the contrary, evidence of adaptability and inspiration. Like a tribute paid to its double culture: Swiss watchmaking precision and creative Italian genius. 

Rising to new challenges: such is the spirit that drives the Diagono range, inspired by the symbol of the Discobolus of Myron. The Discobolus is undoubtedly the most famous work by Myron d’Eleuthères, a Greek sculptor and bronze smith from Attica. It is thus hardly surprising that the very name of the Diagono watch is derived from the ancient Greek word “agon”. This classical term is the expression of competitiveness and efficiency. Qualities displayed to the exclusion of brute force or excess and in harmony with the rules of sport: in other words, through the elegance of well measured gestures. 

Diagono: a story of innovation. Ever more active and inventive. Ever more urban and more contemporary, Diagono Magnesium perpetuates a heritage of boldness and the unexpected. Launched in 1998, the Bulgari Diagono was one of the very first watches to use materials such as aluminium. This light and hard-wearing metal at the time a material of choice among aeronautical engineers. It represented a dramatic turn of events on the international watchmaking scene and sparked a complete upheaval in the design world. Celebrity figures adopted it. An airliner toured airports all around the world, bearing the Bulgari’s colours and the effigy of the Diagono watch. An incredibly daring world first. And then came the era of titanium in the Noughties. Further audacity, a new challenge, new success. The rubber strap was also a first. Who would have dared? All these were revolutions at the time in the sedate world of beautiful watchmaking. Significant tokens of daring for fans of style, fashion and design.

In 2015, it is once again through the unexpected pooling of their experiences that the engineers of the Manufacture Bulgari have succeeded in pushing the boundaries of innovation and efficiency a little further, by daring to work with resolutely contemporary materials: Magnesium, PEEK and ceramic.

Once again, Bulgari springs a surprise where it is least expected, combining state-of-the-art materials in the realm of watchmaking.

Magnesium: resistance and lightness. Renowned for its many properties, both organic and chemical, Magnesium is a silvery-white metal. It is very light and has strong properties in terms of structural and mechanical strength for a minimum weight. Hardly surprising that it is used in very cutting-edge high technologies, such as super-cars, aeronautics, space research or Formula 1 motor-racing.

All these are areas in which absolute performance is key and the valuable research and experiments conducted in these fields subsequently enables these discoveries to be applied to more accessible sectors such as cars or Fine Watchmaking.

PEEK: the polymer that revolutionised the space industry. Stepping things up a notch in terms of efficiency, Bulgari decided to design the pieces of the Diagono watch with an ultra-resistant, light polymer used to replace metal in aeroplane or space shuttle design.

Its technical name is polyetheretherketone. In the industrial world, it is known under the acronym PEEK (which stands for PolyEtherEtherKetone).

Its advantages? PEEK is exceptionally robust. Its rigidity and dimensional stability enable it to withstand high temperatures and hostile environments. It is easy to work with and light compared to steel, aluminium and titanium. Watchmakers appreciate its low coefficient of friction and its high resistance to wear without lubrication.

The Bulgari movement thus benefits from an unprecedented technological component, with the addition of ceramic. The latter material, known for its malleability before glazing and extreme resistance afterwards, enables the creation of mechanical elements that are highly resistant to scratching, hairline cracks and vibrations.

Motorlac: like a new skin. Alongside these three contemporary technological materials, Bulgari’s engineers used a unique lacquer inspired by car racing: «Motorlac», a very high quality protective coating. It both clothes and protects the competitive mechanics of the most beautiful sports cars. This is no mere adornment or decorative element, but instead an entirely technical component able to withstand extreme temperatures or variations in expansion of materials. Moreover, «Motorlac» makes it possible to create surprising grained textures and colours, and shimmering new light effects that guided the choices made by Bulgari’s designers. Boldly graphic and strongly contrasting, it represents an aesthetic element in its own right.

Functionality guides form. Entirely in line with its forebears’ identity, the new Diagono maintains the structured case and picks up the bezel with the double brand-name engraving. 

A slimmer bezel compared to the original model serves to achieve a more streamlined effect and provide a broader dial aperture to enhance information read-off. This is one of the highlights of this sporty timepiece: the perfect match between form and function.

A stylish element perfectly suited to an urban, modern, sporty and pleasure-seeking existence, the Diagono Magnesium is available in four chromatic dial versions, all naturally fitted with the Magnesium case and teamed with a rubber strap.

Diagono retains both its personality and its identity while reaffirming them with this new Magnesium interpretation. The 41mm dial of the Diagono Magnesium also benefits from innovative touches including the use of “Motorlac”.

The first version features a coppery brown lacquer as well as Superluminova-enhanced black hands and hour-markers. A second declination comes in anthracite grey with rhodium hands and hour-markers, while the third features a deep blue lacquer, rhodium hands and hour-markers. The collection is completed by a silver grey-lacquered variation with black hands and hour-markers.

Bulgari makes a strong statement of sporting intent with the new Diagono Magnesium, always with that little extra something in terms of style imbuing it with the very Italian notion of sprezzatura: chic born of studied nonchalance, a well-designed form of laid-back attitude imbuing urban elegance with an effortlessly supple, free-flowing charm.

Bulgari unlocks the future