Baselworld 2018: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Carbon
Ultra-thin, uncommonly light and with an unexpectedly good acoustic quality
All eyes may be on Bulgari for their groundbreaking Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic—which sets three watchmaking records as the world's thinnest automatic watch, thinnest automatic tourbillon, and thinnest tourbillon—but at this year's Baselworld watch and jewelry fair, another model from the Octo series captivated for different technical developments. The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Carbon also claims a record as the world's thinnest minute repeater—an astounding feat as minute repeaters often need internal space to produce sound. It's worth mentioning that Bulgari's ambition in the record-claiming sector of haute horlogerie isn't a direction driven by vanity, rather it's an impassioned brand tentpole that's pushing all of watchmaking forward. And with that, the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Carbon is more than a pretty, all-black entry into their Octo Finissimo series.
An ultra-light Carbon Thin Ply (a proprietary epoxy thermosetting resin) composes the case, bezel and caseback. It's this high-tech material that allows for the minute repeater feature, thanks to its acoustic strength. The chime, reverberating out from a watch that's only 40mm in diameter and 6.85mm thick, carries unexpected force. The circular cross-section gong-rings, affixed directly to the case, extend from the thinnest manual-winding minute repeater movement in the world to date, at just 3.12mm thick. Shockingly, it's all just 47 grams.
The material also lends distinct patterning to the piece, so that it appears more than just murdered out. And the decision to carve out the indexes lends visual depth and grants slivers of a look at the movement (which is entirely visible through the sapphire glass portion of the caseback). The carbon bracelet concludes with a titanium folding-clasp that's DLC-treated. It completes the aesthetic cohesion.
Bulgari will sell 50 pieces, beginning in June 2018, each for $160,000.
Images courtesy of Bulgari