By Neelima Agrawal
The big news from Baselworld 2015 is Bulgari’s new concept watch Diagono e-Magnesium, first of its kind in the rarefied sphere of haute horlogerie. Unveiled at Bulgari’s celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Bulgari Roma, the new Diagono e-Magnesium retains all the highs of a classic watch, and brings more value to the wearer by incorporating digital technology to secure data. A combination of two significant Swiss specialities – the Swiss watch and Swiss vaults, it is a veritable ‘vault on the wrist’. Bulgari confidently assures “100% Swiss, 100% security, 100% luxury, 0% gadget.”
Not ‘smart’ but intelligent
The Diagono e-Magnesium’s launch is all the more significant, since the new concept has been announced at a time when Apple has just launched its first smart Watch and is staking a claim to the ‘luxury’ tag. Taking a subtle shot at this, Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari Group said about the Diagono e-Magnesium, “It is not a smart watch, it is an intelligent watch.” He further elaborated upon this and said that the ‘smart’ watch offers several features, which are relaying mobile phone information. In contrast, Bulgari’s new concept watch is totally secure, like a Swiss vault, and one can save all private information like, banking data, travelling data, ID and more, without fear of anyone getting access to it.
The new Bulgari concept watch retains its fully mechanical, self winding mechanism, the Company manufactured movement, mechanicals, the cases, the dyes et all. The extra is the cryptographic micro chip, which is embedded into the watch. This chip has personal encryption, and each owner of this Bulgari watch has a unique acquisition number to open an application where all the data are stored.
The data can be backed up in the cloud, which is also encrypted and saved in military bunkers in the Alps. Bulgari has partnered with Wisekey, a Swiss company that is a leader in data protection and information technology storage. A downloadable app on the phone, gives access to the encrypted chip. Interestingly, the Diagono e-Magnesium does not require additional power, such as a battery to operate the micro-chip function of data storage and usage.
Roberto Marino, Watch Business Unit Marketing Director Bulgari explained, “The identity is stored in the watch through a cryptographic micro chip, which is encrypted with personal data and cannot be stolen or corrupted by anybody, thus underlying the security aspect. On top of that this technology does not need to have an additional source of power. It is 100% mechanical. There is no battery for power.”
The galloping pace of technological innovations lends a short shelf life to high tech products. Luxury is about timelessness. And Babin agrees, “Luxury is not comfortable with technology, which evolves very quickly.” But he quickly addresses this paradox about Bulgari’s high-on-tech new watch with the assurance that this watch was not going to be obsolete in a few years. “The beauty of Bulgari Magnesium watch is that they have removed the obsolescence part out of the watch. By that we mean that the micro chip and the memory it has is enough to last ten years. So in ten years when we have a better micro chip, this one will still do its job of encryption key. Conversely, the app we have launched will evolve, but the app in not in the watch, it is in the mobile.”