Watches and cars go together like wine and cheese, and now these two objects of our mechanical desires have been blended like never before, thanks to this fresh collaboration between Bulgari and Gran Turismo. Announced at this year’s Gran Turismo World Series Final in Barcelona, Bulgari have debuted two new limited edition models from their Aluminium collection, both featuring a new movement and taking design inspiration from the legendary Italian grand tourers from the mid 20th century. The timepiece with the anthracite dial (ref. 103893) will be limited to 1,200 pieces, while the watch with the yellow dial (ref. 104006) is limited to just 500 units.
Now that the watches are out the way, we can focus on the virtual meat and potatoes of this story: the Bulgari Aluminium Vision Gran Turismo. Like the watches, they were designed by Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, senior director of the Bulgari Watch Design Center. The Aluminium VGT is the latest in a long line of truly wild and wonderful virtual concepts cars exclusively available to players of the Gran Turismo racing simulator. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Mr. Buonamassa is no stranger to car design, having previously worked at the Fiat Style Center before establishing his own design studio in 2005.
Visually, there’s a lot to like about the Aluminium VGT. The materials used in the body and cockpit are inspired by the case of the Aluminium Gran Turismo Limited Edition watches, featuring a mix of satin-finished aluminium for the upper body, while the lower body and technical sections are formed of carbon and black rubber.
Our favourite detail? It’s a toss up between that Aston Martin Bulldog-style front light bar and those turbofan wheels, which mimic the watches’ screw-fastened articulated bracelet to great effect. Speedsters seem to be the form factor of the moment, with everyone from Aston Martin, to Ferrari, to McLaren championing their own roofless wonders, but the Aluminium VGT incorporates a level of cyberpunk flair that has us wishing more watch makers would try their hand at car design.