Gold Dust: Into the weekend in a dolce vita mood – enjoying summer with the Bvlgari Diagono Scuba
Only the Italians manage to blend elegance with brutalist elements in such an effortless style - the Bvlgari Diagono Scuba, a perfect summer watch
It is a bit of an unusual watch to see at ‘the eclecticum’ that I’d like to feature in this post: the Bvlgari Diagono Scuba is at first view perhaps totally outside one’s radar – a pity I must say!
I was in search of a ‘beach watch’ (sounds strange as I rarely spend time there), a watch with well-considered stylish aesthetics, solid mechanics and a rugged enough ‘forget about it’ construction. A watch with character that I would wear comfortably while hiking, at a party as well as at vernissage, that I would not have to worry about but one that offered a bit more substance than a Swatch (which would fulfill above criteria as well).
My search ended with a Bvlgari Diagono Scuba, a watch that ticked all the boxes.
On paper, this is a rather mundane watch, but not totally without interest: I scored the older version SD38S, presented in 1994, which is a 38mm stainless steel diver’s version of the Diagono line of watches, water resistant to 200m, equipped with a COSC-certified ETA 2892A automatic movement.
In later versions, Bvlgari has revised case size, up to 41mm, and slightly tweaked the design, and they also have fitted their own, manufacture Cal. BVL 191 automatic movement. It has essentially the same specs as the ETA and a offers similar degree of finishing.
A Masterpiece of (Italian) Brutalism
I suggest that its essence is not what the spec sheets says, it is the complete package what counts – the specs are just the (functionally more than adequate) base. Let’s take a closer look: what immediately catches your attention are two, maybe three elements: the boldly notched unidirectional bezel (which surprisingly has 120 clicks), the pivoted tube lugs accepting only proprietary straps, and the rather strange looking rubber strap.
The case elements are a masterpiece in my view: very solid, extremely well machined down to the case back, yet with an air of elegance and well-composed arrangement. The beauty here really is in the detail as well, just take a close look at the finishing of a superficially quite utilitarian design.