Bulgari Papillon Heure Sautante and Papillon Tourbillon Central Watch

By Jovan Krstevski

Usually when you combine fashion and function you get a certain degree of a device in-between. Well if you ask me what this in-between means, it is usually that horology nuisance between form and factor making the choice between dress watches and chronometers extremely trivial. How about just let the experts solve this dilemma? That brings us to the incredibly fashionable and sophisticated Bulgari Papillon Heure Sautante that was just unveiled during the SIAR (Salón Internacional Alta Relojería) in Mexico this year. To the uninitiated, this watch features the brand’s legendary minutes indication system.

Bulgari Papillon Heure Sautante 5

The design of the watches is typical of a flying butterfly at least if you look at the dial. However at 45 mm, the case that is available in either platinum or pink gold looks quite small considering the watch’s very nice engine underneath its crystal watch face. Personally, I find the uniformity of overall design very much amusing to the five senses. The lugs appear large at first look but once you pair it with the crown and the bezel, everything seems to be made in harmony with each other after all, Bulgari is a sophisticated watch and this Papillon Heure Sautante is a mere reinterpretation of the kickass mechanism that is the selling point of this beautiful watch.


That brings us to the dark anthracite dial framed in a somewhat unique manner. The square sides of the case pretty much give an illusion of a smaller size for the Papillon Heure Sautante. I like this design since it kind of makes the watch appear not just functional but absolutely mesmerizing on dressed occasions. It is quite hard not to look at it, trust me. This is not your typical watch though since you literally have to familiarize yourself with somehow complicated minutes indication system.


Basically how it works is quite simple. If you look at the dial, you will find two independent, retractable, diamond-shaped hands on a supporting disc. Each hand alternately sweeps over a graduated minutes scale spread over an 180-degree half circle. You can tell the minutes through these hands by simply looking at the first one that is positioned on the segment that signals the progression of the minutes. The second hand actually remains offline at least since, in a retracted position, it becomes simply invisible when the disc turns. The 55th minute on the display segment is indicated on the lower display with the date being at the 12 o’clock. Aside from this complication, everything is the same. There is the indication of the jumping hour and a seconds hand.


Power is provided by the mechanical self-winding manufacture movement, Calibre BVL 252 sporting a 42-hour power reserve. Part of the movement can be seen through the exhibition caseback where you can marvel with its elegant engineering rightfully presented through alternate circular graining and the Côtes de Genève motif.

Bulgari Papillon Tourbillon Central Pink Gold 1

Bulgari Papillon Tourbillon Central platinum

There is also a more exclusive version of this Papillon complication which is the Papillon Tourbillon Central sporting, of course, the tourbillon. This model sports a hand-wound Calibre BVL 266 with a power reserve of 60 hours. Being exclusive, it is also limited, with only 10 pieces in platinum and 30 in pink gold.

For more info, please visit bulgari.com


Watch collector, aficionado and an Event profile in the Swedish nightlife. He launched Watchgeek back in 2011, which is now known as WristReview and is one of the most widely read watch blogs on the Web. He quotes ’WristReview is a site to help people find, explore, discover and enjoy wristwatches.’  His passion for horology jump started in his early teens when he was given his first mid-range wristwatch which was an Omega Seamaster which he still has in his collection. Since then he has always been in love with wristwatches! Besides WristReview, he also writes for a number of publications. Read his articles here