Bulgari, also known as Bvlgari, is recognized for their luxury watches, handbags, fragrances, cosmetics, accessories and hotels.
Bulgari was founded in 1884 by Sotirios Voulgaris in his home village of Epirus, Greece where his first store can still be seen.
In 1877, Voulgaris moved to Corfu then to Naples and in 1881, he finally moved to Rome.
In 1884, Voulgaris opened his second store in via Sistina.
In 1905, the flagship store in via dei Condotti was opened by Bulgari with his two sons, Costanino (1889-1973) and Giorgio (1890-1966). The store was known for their unique luxury jewelry designs founded in Greek and Roman art and was frequented by the rich and famous.
During World War II, Constantio and his wife Laura hid three Jewish women in their home. In December 2003, they were given the Righteous among the Nations at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
On March 6, 2011, the Bulgari family sold 50.4 percent of their share of the Bulgari Spa to the French Luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A. in exchange for 3 percent of LVMH. This doubled the size of the “LVMH’s watches and jewelry unit” which included Tag Heuer watches and DeBeers diamond necklaces.
In the 1970’s, Bulgari opened stores in New York City, Paris, Geneva and Monte Carlo and owns more than 290 stores world-wide today.
Outside investors own 45 percent of the company stock and it grew 15 percent between 1997 and 2003.
Bulgari jewelry designs are distinctive and all necklaces, bracelets and earrings are known for their bold and bulky gold links with interlocking steel. Bugari is also recognized for using colored stones, mostly sapphires in their jewelry. Their watches have a unique serial number which is recorded with the company.
Some of their most well-known boutiques are found in Beverly Hills, Bal Harbour, Dallas, Houston, New York, Montreal, Palm Beach, Honolulu and Chicago. They also have boutiques in Lima, Bogata, Sao Paulo, Margarita Island and Quito.
The Swiss company, Bulgari Time S.A., was founded in 1980 and employs 500 people. Bulgari watches make up 29 percent of the company turnover. Some of their watch lines are “Bulgari-Bulgari, Sotirio-Bulgari, Assioma, Astrale, B. Zero 1, Daniel Roth, ReHangola, Ergon, Gerald Genta, Serpenti and Diagono”. They are also known for their tourbillion perpetual calendar and second time zone watch, the Assioma Multi Complication watch.