Twenty years having gone by since the first piece was showcased in the Bvlgari boutique window, today the ring B.zero1 may be considered a metaphor for a city like Rome oriented towards the future
Twenty years having gone by since the first piece was showcased in the Bvlgari boutique window, today the ring B.zero1 may be considered a metaphor for a city like Rome oriented towards the future. «Being able to describe the idea that now more sothaneverremainsbehindthe design of this ring, means com- prehending the complexity of all Bvlgari creations» says Mauro Di Roberto, Jewellery Business Unit Managing Director at Bvlgari. It is an art wishing to run risks and take chances, to free itself from conventions, and marvel at the unexpected cuts. There is a phrase that describes the power and audacity of maison Bvlgari – larger than life – in the celebration of this anniversary, the B.zero1 ring is its precise epitome. Design, compactness, strong build, versatile symbolism, ambitious in the choice of materials and harmonious gold misthery.
The matrix of the first ring, created in 1999, was industrial design, combining the Tubogas mesh with the double logo Bvlgari Bvlgari. The Tubogas motif was conceived in the 1970s, inspired by the flexible piping that transported gas in the 1920s. The ring is made up of two gold bands with raised edges wrapped around a wood or copper centre – the edges, which lock together, ensure that the ring holds without welding: at this point the internal support is removed, either by sliding it off or dissolving it in acid. The 1999 B.zero1, in which the cylindrical body of the Tubogas is surrounded by two flat rings with engraved double logo, represents the first instance in which this workmanship was reinterpreted. The first models were in yellow and white gold, but the proportions soon underwent modifications: sometimes wider, sometimes thinner and with or without diamonds or other precious stones.
In 2010, on occasion of the ring’s 10th anniversary, Bvlgari announced that it had sold more than 1.400,000 models of the B.zero1. It’s now 2019. Over the past twenty years B.zero1 has been an object of interest for collectors and has been reinterpreted many times. Sculptor Anish Kapoor reinterpreted the ring with a concave shape and reflective surfaces – while other versions, over the years, have incorporated ceramic and marble. Ceramic and pink launched in 1994, its name the Sanskrit word for moon, the light of which was evoked by the porcelain. In 2017 the project with Zaha Hadid: a ring with four bands of pink gold, and its thinner version with three bands. «In the future titanium could provide new opportunities for avant-garde design and speculation in jewelry making,» says Mauro Di Roberto.
Rome in the past, present, and future. The helicoidal design is a metaphor for transition, a constant oscillation between the two extremes of start and end. The same shape as the B.zero1, the lines, based on the circular form of the Colosseum and its stature, and on its architecture, cornices, and circles, mimic the rings of the stadium. For its twentieth anniversary, Bvlgari relaunches the original model, only updating the goldsmithing, which appears in the right-side image opening this chronicle.