La dolce vita – the sweet life. The phrase, in its simplicity, can evoke a vast collection of thoughts and feelings. Luxury, excess, extravagance. Movies, a country, a wonderful book. For me, the phrase enlivens memories of a summer adventure.
Dolce Italia is an ice cream shop in Sant’Eufemia, Calabria, Italy. A quaint picturesque shop that served the best ice cream I had ever tasted. Ice cream is ice cream, and who doesn’t love it? But their flavors were exciting, the choices were numerous. How could I pick which one to try, let alone, a favorite? There were flavor combinations I had never even knew were possible, let alone, be scrumptious. Thankfully the culinary artisan chose three flavors to present: figs, red fruit (a mix of berries), and ginger cinnamon. I honestly thought the berries would be my favorite, with the figs being a good back-up, but I was pleasantly surprised when the ginger cinnamon was the winner. So delectable was it that I ordered it each time I went back to Dolce Italia (yes, it was often), and convinced my travel companions to taste it as well. And here I am, months later, dreaming of that ice cream. The exquisite creaminess, the explosive flavors, the wonderful company. That dolce vita.
The Italian phrase means luxury and ease, and it can mean different things to different people. For me, thanks to the Italian summer, the phrase means ice cream. But it also means luxurious choices in watches, evoking the high luxury life of movie stars from the golden era. Life in La Cite Eterna – Rome, the eternal city – was nothing if not fabulous and elegant. The divas of the past, the present, and I dare say, the future, have the perfect companions to join their extravagant lives in the Divas’ Dream.
While they can do classic designs, Bulgari really makes a statement in their watches with sparkle. Now, do I want a touch of sparkle, or do I want the full-on luxury of complete dazzle? How do I choose? Bulgari, jeweler and watchmaker extraordinaire, provides me with the decidedly-enticing challenge of selecting one that fits my own version of la dolce vita.
The Divas’ Dream series from the Italian Maison has a triple treat to choose from: the Lapis Lazuli, the Heart of Ruby, and the fantastic Divas’ Dream. Let’s take a look at them and see which one pleases you the most.
Divas’ Dream Lapis Lazuli
The first scrumptious offering is the Lapis Lazuli. Lapis lazuli is a deep blue gemstone, and was one of the first gemstones to be used in jewelery. The fascination with this gem dates back thousands of years ago, possibly to the fourth millennium BC. The name itself means ‘blue stone,’ and the ultramarine shade is breathtaking. A fitting choice for the white gold dial of the first watch in this series. The watchface itself is serene and mysterious, with light golden specks, possibly due to the pyrite in the original stone. It is like looking at a miniature galaxy, with the time marker diamonds to enhance the expanse. The Lapis Lazuli watch comes with a blue satin strap and a sapphire cabochon on the crown.
Heart of Ruby
The second delicious option is the Heart of Ruby. Rubies are a beauteous gemstone and among the highest-price colored stones. The deep red color of a ruby comes from the chromium that is found within the corundum. Corundum on its own is colorless, but the addition of the chromium gives us a brilliant red, worthy of royalty. In fact, ‘ruby’ in Sanskrit is ‘ratnaraj’ which means ‘king of gems.’ The dial looks textured yet smooth, allowing one to get lost in its depth. The Heart of Ruby watch is offered in pink gold with a burgundy satin strap. The crown this time is set with a rubellite cabochon.
The Lapis Lazuli and Heart of Ruby versions have a similar dial design. No stereotypical face here, the watch features an hours display at the 6 o’clock. Rather, where the 6 o’clock would be. In this case, the hour is displayed in a window, and the retrograde minutes hand is what you actually see on the dial. Only one hand, not two. And only seven diamond markers to show the minutes in increments of ten (starting at 00, and on up to 60). A different, beguiling way to show the time indeed. It reminds me of the sports car speedometers my brother always pointed out. Cars being another luxury and a parallel passion for some. But what can you expect from the sweet life? Certainly not mundane predictability.
Adding interest to these watches are the diamonds that accent the dials. Each 37mm-diameter bezel is set with more than 70 brilliant-cut diamonds. The case extends to cover part of the strap with a fan motif, also with diamonds. These two watches are powered by the Manufacture’s self-winding movement, the BVL Calibre 262, and are water-resistant to 30 meters.
The third delectable choice is the Divas’ Dream. A simple name for a very interesting watch. The dial is made from brown acetate of a natural cotton and wood fibre mix. I never thought cotton and wood would make wonderful companions, and certainly not in a wristwatch. But is it not luxury to be presented with the unexpected and end up loving it so? Slightly smaller than the other two, at just 30mm in diameter, this watch has a classic dial with two hands (hours and minutes) and 12 diamonds for hour markers. The bezel is also set with diamonds, and there is a rubellite cabochon on the crown. The strap is similar to the others, but this time in taupe satin although it can appear black under certain lighting. This watch is powered by a Quartz movement personalized for Bulgari, with their logo (B046).
“the sweet life”
Diamonds adorn these dreams, and the gemstone is indeed gorgeous. Interesting to note, a diamond is the only gem composed of one single element: carbon. The intense heat and even pressure from 100 miles beneath the surface of the planet create this strong stone, so strong it can only be scratched by another diamond. Just something to ponder as you live your sweet days filled with ice cream and luxury.
For the diva who wants a full-glittering option, the Divas’ Dream also comes in a full pave diamond dial, with the stones totalling just under a carat in weight. The hands are blue this time, and a wonderful partner to the all-diamond face.
The sweet life is luxurious and delicious, and Bulgari is here to help you live out your dream.