Bulgari has revealed an updated version of its highly successful Diagono Caliber 303 Chronograph. Now coming as ref. DG42C3SWGLDCH, it looks even more spectacular than ever.
Sporting the same unisexual yet sporty appearance, the new Bvlgari Diagono Caliber 303 is nevertheless 2 mm smaller in diameter sporting a 40 mm case made of stainless steel. Two of its chronograph sub-dials at 9 and 3 o’clock are also made of steel with golden outer and inner rims while the original had them fully gold-plated.
Its prominent bezel with a pair of traditional “BVLGARI” logos incised on it is still made of 18-karat white gold and the 3-dimensional dial still sports the gorgeous Satine Soleil decor.
The Diagono is powered by a 303-parts Caliber BVL 303 automatic movement, which is based on the well-known Piguet 1185 ebauche and widely used by major brands (it, for example, powers the current generation of the Audemars Piguet Millenary Chronograph, as well as the chronograph versions of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas.)
Known for its reliability and accuracy, the movement is only 5.5 millimeters in height however the case is rather thick measuring not so healthy 13 millimeters from top to bottom. I mean, if you are more used to professional divers with their case thickness often starting from 16 millimeters, you will probably find this Diagono Cal. 303 deliciously slim, but if you are more of a “dress watch” guy, the gadget may feel too massive for a daily driver.
Surprisingly enough, the mechanism’s finish is very subdued in its monochromatic exterior that is accented by a couple of inscriptions in yellow gold. The rest, unlike the glossy front, is deliberately matted-out and decorated with vertical Geneva Stripes on the oscillating weight and some basic perlage (aka circular-graining) on the baseplate and bridges. I find the combination of finishes sort of classy, although keeping the back scratch-free may pose a problem in the longer run.
The Diagono offers a fairly average ergonomics: the dial features a high-contrast color scheme with enough Superluminova on hands and hour markers for good legibility at night; both chronograph pushers are on their standard positions; and the winding/setting crown’s length looks carefully calculated to offer the most satisfying, um, setting experience, but that’s about all. The calendar aperture is small, but so are most timekeepers that are not equipped with their variety of a “Big Date” complication, no problem for me either.
The recommended pricing for the refreshed model is still unknown but I can guess that it is going to be close to that of the original version. Something around $10,000, I suppose*.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: At this time, the ref. DG42C3SWGLDCH is offered at a fairly impressive price of $13,000. From where I stand, that’s a bit too much for a two-tone watch, even for one powered by such a great movement as the FP 1185.
Bvlgari Diagono Caliber 303 chronograph (ref. DG42C3SWGLDCH) specification
Price range: $13,100 USD (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber BVL 303, automatic, 21,600 vph, 37 jewels, 303 parts, 25.60 mm in diameter, 5.50 mm in height, Swiss Made
Complications: Column wheel chronograph, date
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Bezel: 18-karat white gold
Transparent back: Yes, sapphire
Size: 40.00 mm
Case height: 13.00 mm
Dial: Anthracite, gray, gold
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with black stitching, 3-prong stainless steel folding buckle, and safety system
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-coated
Water resistance: 100 meters