We follow up on our look inside Bulgari Hotel in London with a trip to one of their most prized watchmaking facilities in Le Sentier, Switzerland where more than 300 horological specialists work on hand assembling each and every Bulgari timepiece including the most grand of complications. We offer this behind-the-scenes look inside Bulgari’s Le Sentier to better understand the detailed and time consuming work required in assembling timepieces.
Le Sentier, a quiet town located not far from Bern, Switzerland is home to many of the finest Swiss watchmakers including Bulgari Haute Horlogerie SA. A visit to their facility is a reinforcement of the talent and requirements necessary for assembling their mechanical movements which sit inside such beautiful silhouettes as the Serpenti snake-wrap for women, to the modern Bulgari Octo: a watch that fuses forward elegance and design with the brand’s luxury roots – quite possibly superseding the “Bulgari Bulgari” editions of the late ’70s and ’80s as the “new standard” for the brand.
Throughout the long walkthrough required in understanding every stage of Bulgari watch and movement assembly, one is left with a sense of strong pride from their team of employees. Be it the men guiding lasers in their cutting facilities, to the women who hand stamp adornments on the facings of various timepieces, they all shared their work with exceptional pride. We observed as they used learned skills (those that come with years of working through the assembly process) to share with us their processes.
Take for example the work required in building the various Bulgari grand complications including their chiming watches. More than time keepers, chiming watches are pure works of art and engineering with some models housing as many as four independently tuned hammers and gongs. The manual labor involved in these complications alone requires its own team of specialists to produce. As the man hours required to assemble their grand complications is well above the normal assembly, this specialized team at Bulgari work in their own private environment outputting a very small number of timepieces annually.
While this read is only a brief overview of the work required to produce Bulgari timepieces, our gallery look inside their Le Sentier facility may help impress upon readers the details of the process.