The main horological highlight for Bulgari at the 2014 Baselworld annual watch fair is the L’Ammiraglio del Tempo, otherwise known as “The Admiral of Time” when translated to English.
This high horology timepiece features the detent escapement with a cylindrical hairspring, a constant force mechanism and a minute repeater.
The use of the detent escapement is inspired by the marine chronometer. In horological history, the marine chronometer, as we are told, can be deemed as one of the earliest timekeepers with high precision. One reason for the high precision is the use of the detent escapement.
This explains the name: L’Ammiraglio del Tempo or “The Admiral of Time”.
During the official opening of Bulgari’s new boutique at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, the prototype of the L’Ammiraglio del Tempo was sighted within the store, under the watchful eyes of Bulgari’s Director of High-End Watches, Andrea Granalli.
Bulgari’s Admiral of Time minute repeater features the Westminster chime. On the dial side, the hammers, Cathedral gongs and even the cylindrical hairspring of the detent escapement are visible.
However, activation of the minute repeating function is a mystery as no sliding mechanism can be seen. The minute repeater cannot be activated by the crown.
The Admiral of Time has what is termed the “mysterious actuating system” whereby the minute repeater only sounds after the left lug at between the seven and eight o’clock positions is pushed sideways and “lifted” upwards.
Interestingly, the case back also pivots upwards in tandem.
As such, the “visible” features of the L’Ammiraglio del Tempo are the hammers, the cylindrical hairspring and Cathedral gongs while the “invisible” is its activating mechanism for the minute repeater.
It was an enlightening visit to the new Bulgari store at Marina Bay Sands, the largest for the brand in the region where jewellery, leather products, accessories, perfumes and timepieces from the brand can be found.