To understand the majesty of Bulgari‘s record-breaking Octo Finissimo collection—and its most recent additions, in particular—requires holding each, as we did during LVMH Watch Week. All of the new models, from an ultra-thin rose gold minute repeater to a sandblast-polished ceramic automatic, exemplifies the geometric perfection that the brand strove for since launching the Octo in 2013. Of greater importance, the mechanical manufacture movements within reflect technical capabilities on par with the finest in watchmaking today. That’s always been Bulgari’s greatest strength: straddling Swiss haute horlogerie and Italian fine jewelry. But when the latest Octo Finissimo wristwatches are in hand, they come to life in a way that a list of attributes will never proximate.
This is most clear with the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in sandblasted rose gold. A development from Bulgari’s 2016 minute repeater release, which set a record for the world’s thinnest timepiece with this challenging complication (a luscious chime, activated by way of a striking mechanism), the rose gold iteration is only 6.09mm thick. Its ultra-thin manual-wound BVL362 caliber movement—a reference to how many components come together for it, 362—also powers hours, minutes and small seconds. On a technical level, this must be seen to be believed (very few brands are capable of producing such a complication), but what individuals are left with is a fascination surrounding the way light interacts with the watch finish. This harmonious presentation of rose gold glows with life in a near profound way.
Materials set the other four models apart, too. The Octo Finissimo Automatic in Black Sandblast-Polished Ceramic feels like a distant relative to those from the collection’s debut last decade. Automatic iterations in satin-polished rose gold and satin-polished steel convey dynamic elegance and, in conjunction with their ultra-thin 40mm cases, work for all genders. Remarkably, it’s hard to put each of these down after holding them, or wearing them. While the minute repeater will retail for $170,000, it wasn’t designed to be a watch that’s locked away in a safe; none of the Octo Finissimo are. They’re designed and produced to be worn.
Images courtesy of Bulgari