The Bvlgari’s descend from an ancient family of Greek silversmiths whose activity began in the small village of Epirus, where Sotirio, the founder of the family, made precious objects in silver. In the mid 19th century Sotirio emigrated to Italy where in 1884 he opened his first shop in via Sistina in Rome. With the help of his sons Costantino and Giorgio, in 1905 he inaugurated the shop in via Condotti, which still today is Bvlgari’s flagship store.
During the first decades of the 20th century, the two brothers developed a passionate interest in precious stones and jewels, gradually taking over their father’s role. The period following the second World War marked an important turning point in Bvlgari history. In fact, it is during this period that Bvlgari moves away from the strict disciplines of the dominant French school to create its own unique style inspired by Greek and Roman classicism, the Italian Renaissance, and the 19th century Roman school of goldsmiths.
The 1970’s mark the beginning of Bvlgari’s international expansion with the opening of shops in New York (their first overseas), Paris, Geneva, and Monte Carlo, building towards the 50 shops Bvlgari has today. In 1977, the Bvlgari-Bvlgari watch is created, a design that is now considered a classic and is still Bvlgari’s best selling watch. In the early 1980’s, Bvlgari Time is founded in Switzerland to manage the creation and production of all Bvlgari watches.
The 1980’s mark the continuation of significant events such as the opening of the flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue as well as shops in the heart of Europe (London, Milan, Munich, and St. Moritz) and in the Far East (Hong Kong, Singapore, Osaka, Tokyo). In 1989, Bvlgari signs an important joint-venture agreement with Girard-Perregaux, the renowned Swiss watchmaker company, for the production of the movement of Bvlgari watches.
In the early 1990’s, Bvlgari Parfums is established in Switzerland marking the Group’s entry in the perfume world with the launch of Eau ParfumÃ©e, Cologne au thÃ© vert, and, Bvlgari pour Femme in February 1994.
In 1994, the company introduces Chandra, the new line of jewels in gold, fine porcelain, and multi-coloured stones, during the fashion week in Paris. Bvlgari hosts a glamorous party which is filmed by the American director Robert Altman, who later incorporates it as an important scene in his film PrÃªt-Ã -porter.
In 1995 Bvlgari introduces a series of watches characterized by a classic design and enriched by precious stones. Trika, a new bijou-watch with a flexible bracelet is also introduced. In September, Celtica is launched, a line in gold characterized by the use of multi-coloured stones with a cabochon cut.
On July 17th ,1995 the Holding Company Bvlgari S.P.A. is quoted on the Italian Stock Exchange Telematic system and the International SEAQ in London. Today, Paolo Bulgari, the Chairman and Nicola Bulgari, Vice-Chairman, with their nephew Francesco Trapani, Chief Executive Officer, manage the company’s development with the intent of better serving an international market, while remaining fine and prestigious jewellers.