Fresh Looks and Record Books
Bulgari expands the visual vocabulary of its Octo Finissimo Automatic collection and sets another record for thinness with its new Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic.
The introductions began this summer when the Roman jeweler revisited its popular steel Octo Finissimo Automatic. The sandblasted-finish that gave the previous version its signature frosty look has been replaced with a fresh mix of brushed and polished finishing. It’s the perfect choice to emphasize the crisp lines and sharp angles of the geometric design.
The cosmetic changes also include the dial as Bulgari welcomes new colors into the Octo Finissimo Automatic collection. The first is an electric-blue decorated with a sunray finish that dances in the light. The other is a soft, matte-black that plays the dark yin to the gleaming metal’s yang. The elements on both dials — the sword-shaped hands, thin-stick markers and Arabic numbers 12 and 6 — are all silver to coordinate with the case and bracelet.
That same matte-black dial is used to a much different effect in the new rose gold Octo Finissimo Automatic that’s also coming out this summer. Instead of a crisp contrast, the dial and brushed, rose-gold case team up to project a warm and luxurious glow. Bright, polished sections are strategically placed around the case to provide a visual counterpoint and accentuate the design’s strong shape. Available on a leather strap, this new piece offers a nice complement to the sandblasted rose gold models already in the collection.
A SUCCESS INSIDE AND OUT
The new looks are exciting, but what’s stayed the same is equally important. The watch is still powered by the world’s thinnest mechanical automatic movement, caliber BVL 138. Made by Bulgari exclusively at its Swiss manufacture, the mechanism is just 2.23mm thick; about the size of two dimes stacked on top of one another. That record-setting technical feat is one reason the Octo Finissimo Automatic was awarded the Men’s Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genéve (GPHG) gala three years ago.
A groundbreaking movement like this demands a high-level of finishing to match, and Bulgari delivers. Through the sapphire crystal back, the gyrations of the platinum micro-rotor can be seen as it winds the 60-hour power reserve. What’s also clear is the brand’s attention to detail and decoration. It comes through in the swirling perlage finishing behind the rotor and the classic Côtes de Genève pattern that decorates the chamfered bridges.
Since Bulgari started the Octo Finissimo collection nearly 10 years ago, the popularity of the collection hasn’t stopped growing. Part of its enduring appeal is that these watches don’t look or feel like other watches.
The Octo gets its name from the octagon that outlines the dial. But instead of repeating the angular shape with the bezel, the company opted for a softer look by choosing a circle with a rounded top. In contrast, the rest of the metal is faceted like a gemstone, calling to mind Bulgari’s reputation as a world-class jeweler.
Coincidently, that angular shape also plays a part in another reason that people are crazy for the Octo; the way it feels. The Octo Finissimo case is thin with a low profile and curved lugs so it sits flat on the wrist and hugs it for a secure feel. In addition, the case and movement are exceptionally light, so they don’t weigh on the wrist throughout the day. As a result, the Octo Finissimo is an incredibly comfortable watch to wear.
ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION
Since its arrival, the Octo Finissimo collection has consistently set world records for movement thinness: Octo Finissimo Tourbillon (2015); Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater (2016); Octo Finissimo Automatic (2017); Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic (2018); and last year’s Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic. The streak continues in 2020 with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic. It’s a big name for a watch that exemplifies the notion that less is more.
Made entirely in-house, the record-breaking caliber BVL 388 measures just 3.5mm thick, making it the world’s thinnest skeleton caliber with automatic winding, single-button chronograph and tourbillon. From the front, you can see the intricate movement peek out from behind the small seconds and chronograph counter. On the reverse, the caseback shows off even more of the construction, including the chronograph’s column wheel.
Like Bulgari’s previous record-setters, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic comes in a sandblasted-titanium case with a matching bracelet. Bulgari will limit production of the watch to 50 pieces.
Jean-Christophe Babin, Bulgari CEO commented: “2020 is the year of the world records at Bulgari with this new ultra-thin Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic. It is the sixth world record in a row for the Octo Finissimo. In January, we launched the Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon, the smallest ladies’ tourbillon watch on the market, which complements the Diva Finissima Minute Repeater, the thinnest chiming ladies watch available on the market. Complications and records are without genders at Bulgari!”
With these latest additions, Bulgari continues to find new ways impress with its unerring style and remarkable ingenuity.
Click here to view the Bulgari collection online at Cellini Jewelers.