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I have been at the watch game for more than half my life. To be precise, I started my career in 1991 with Swatch. How time flies! Now, I’m nearing 50 and the market has never been so insane, new brands popping up virtually every other day and dare I say, it has become more mainstream than ever before!

I was only 22 when the Bulgari Aluminum was first released back in 1998 and I remember selling them at the retail store that launched my career on the East coast. This model was new, different and very specific from anything else out there at the time and even though it did well, not even close to what it does today! Back then, we didn’t have the digital revolution at our fingertips, we needed trainings and expensive quarterly magazines to know what was going to be the hot new thing!

Those of you unfamiliar, Sony and Kazunori Yamauchi created an innovative racing simulation video game in 1997 called Gran Turismo which revolutionised gaming culture upon release. Gran Turismo stands as an icon in the racing genre, famed for its incredible graphics and vast library of licensed cars. Considered one of the most influential and celebrated racing games ever! Gaming’s influence extends far beyond gaming itself; its reach stretches into partnerships (notable among them being with TAG Heuer in watch industry), merchandise sales, events and collaborative projects. Even movie industry took notice: A film chronicling how an amateur virtual racer transformed into professional driver was released as well!

At the “Gran Turismo World Series (Gran Turismo official worldwide championship) World Final 2023” in Barcelona, an exclusive partnership  was unveiled. Bulgari, the renowned Italian luxury brand, has joined forces with the game to launch two unique limited edition Bulgari Aluminium Gran Turismo models.The standout hue for these watches is a vivid yellow the reference 104006, presenting a striking yellow dial complemented by black subdials, limited to just 500 pieces while the reference 103893, featuring an anthracite dial, is exclusive with only 1,200 pieces available. The first 50 of the vivid yellow were available exclusively online for 24 hours. Both models retail for $4,800.

This model follows regular production models with regards to its chronograph hands (hour and minute hands, totalizer), subdial design with concentric grooves and typeface design for dial indices – however its dial typeface design was custom created just for this special edition model. It’s amazing to witness how dramatically an expression of timepiece changes depending on colors used on dial, typeface design choices used on indexes on dial or even changes like this can drastically change its expression!

It is the first self-winding Aluminium model with a tachymeter scale – something missing in previous Aluminium watches from Bulgari and Ducati). This innovation fits with Gran Turismo’s focus on speed. Furthermore, this specification makes for ideal collaboration opportunities.

Bulgari’s watch does not display information related to Gran Turismo on its dial side; rather it only mentions it on its titanium caseback with black DLC coating and top, where an engraving features both Bulgari logo, Vision Gran Turismo logo, and “10th Anniversary.” Vision Gran Turismo started operating back in 2013 so this commemorates that event by marking 10 years since then.

But this collaboration goes far beyond watches; at Barcelona venue it also included the concept car Bulgari Aluminium Vision Gran Turismo.

The brand also showcased the full-scale Bulgari Aluminium Vision GT concept car, an impressive hypercar specifically crafted for racing in the Gran Turismo game. Customers of the Bulgari Aluminium Gran Turismo Limited Edition will have an early opportunity to test-drive this concept car via a software update released in the very near future.

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Product Creation Executive Director for Bulgari, was responsible for designing this stunning hypercar and incredibly cool watch. He started his career with Fiat the same year that  Bulgari released the first gen Aluminium in 1998. When you step back and look at the chronology, you may ask yourself was this meant to happen for all these elements to come together, crazy coincidences or just impeccable timing!



Due to the unpredictable and volatile market on certain Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet watches, prices are subject to change.