As I’ve said before; Bvlgari are one of the finest jewellery makers around, however, they’re perhaps not as well-known for their watch manufacturing. Bvlgari have been making watches for many, many years, though attractive men’s watches were probably not their best suit. Over the past few years, this has changed greatly. In 2017, Bvlgari introduced its newest ultra-thin Octo Finissimo Automatic in titanium, which set a new world record for ultra-thin watches at the time. In 2018, Bvlgari introduced the same piece in steel and at the beginning of the year, Bvlgari announced this new example in black sandblast-polished ceramic.
The thinness of the Octo Finissimo is partly due to the calibre BVL 138 Finissimo, which when released in 2017 was the world’s thinnest self-winding movement – just 2.23mm thick. Unlike AP’s calibre 2120 (which is still the world’s thinnest full-rotor automatic movement) the calibre makes use of the micro-rotor, which in my humble opinion affords a better look at the movement through the exhibition case back. And just in case you were wondering; this thinnest movement in the world today is the calibre BVL 288 – yes, another Bvlgari movement – which is just 1.95mm thick and belongs inside the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon.
The case of this Octo Finissimo is a sight to behold. The Octo Finissimo is very well-known for its genius design structure, where sharp lines and multiple facets meet the round bezel. The watch is 40mm in diameter and 5.15mm thick, with sapphire crystals front and back, but what is quite abundantly obvious is that the case was designed in such a way that incorporates traditional appeal of ultra-thin watchmaking and at the same time wider audience – it’s a stroke of genius. Getting integrated bracelets right is a skill in itself and the design of the triple-blade folding clasp bracelet is not only unique but accentuates the octagon shape of the watch head.
The dial of this ceramic Octo Finissimo is quite something – the use of two-tone black surfaces creates quite the contrast. The paint surface of the indices, logo, hands and subsidiary seconds dial against the backdrop of the matte black sandblasted dial adds a rather welcomed stealth overall tone to the watch. If you are the type of collector who sometimes likes to remain incognito.
Bvlgari as a watch brand has at times felt a little alien to me, I couldn’t quite get onboard with their designs, that was until 2017 when the Octo Finissimo Automatic was introduced. The design and technique of the Octo Finissimo Automatic, were combined in such a way that makes it rather special in my humble opinion. The design is unique but at the same time appears organic and this is exactly how it should be. The allure of Octo Finissimo Automatic is attributed to its combination of shapes, simple but yet elegant design of the dial, the seriously thin profile and its beautiful execution in sandblasted-polished ceramic case that features the beautifully designed integrated ceramic bracelet, which features both polished and brushed surfaces.
The new Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic in Sandblasted Ceramic, which will retail for approx. £13,500. For more information, visit bvlgari.com