A Closer Look at Bulgari’s Springtime 2022 Releases
The Italian luxury brand keeps its creativity flowing with three new editions of its record-setting Octo Finissimo watches.
On more than one occasion, Bulgari group CEO Jean-Christophe Babin has summed up the Rome maison’s ethos with the Italian words “bello e ben fatto,” which means “beautiful and well made.” Given the current output of the luxury brand’s Swiss-based watchmaking division, we could add a third adjective to that list: “prolifico,” or prolific.
Since the start of 2022, Bulgari has indeed been mining a rich seam of horological creativity. The brand began the year by debuting a host of new models during LVMH Watch Week, including spectacular Serpenti Misteriosi High Jewelry secret bangle watches and the three-hammer carillon-style sonnerie Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon, not to mention new Lucea Intarsio editions with stunning aventurine dials.
Celebrating 10 Years of the Octo
Then, of course, the brand began celebrating a decade of its Octo by unleashing the world’s thinnest mechanical watch, the Octo Finissimo Ultra. In addition to being 1.8mm-thin, each €400,000 watch in this 10-piece limited edition features a QR code engraved on the barrel and an individual NFT that guarantees authenticity.
At the same time, Bulgari turned up the volume of its celebrations further by bringing out 10th Anniversary limited editions of the Octo Finissimo Automatic and Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic, both featuring dials engraved with the original sketches of Octo Finissimo designer Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani.
Now it’s spring, and Bulgari still hasn’t let up. While the brand didn’t participate in Watches & Wonders, it did have a presence in Geneva at the Hotel President Wilson. And there, the brand put on an exhibition dedicated to the Octo and presented three more editions of its record-setting Octo Finissimo watches.
Blue-Dialed Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater
First launched in 2016, the 2022 edition of the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater has been given a contemporary restyling: A matte blue dial paired with a structured, blue rubber strap fitted to its 40mm sandblasted titanium case. And ultimately, the blue tones and textured finishes of the dial, case, and strap make the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater one of the more eye-catching versions of the thinnest chiming watch on the market.
The case is only 6.85mm thin, which is remarkable, especially for such a complicated piece. But this is made possible thanks to the manual-winding BVL 362 calibre driving the hours, minutes, small seconds, and minute repeater functions, which measures just 3.12mm in height!
As on previous versions, the hour-markers and small seconds are openworked. That isn’t just an aesthetic touch; the openings further amplify the acoustic properties of the titanium housing. Available now, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater is priced at €180,000.
All-Steel Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT
Three years ago at Baselworld, Bulgari made waves with the launch of its Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic. Just 8.75mm in height, it was the thinnest ever mechanical chronograph and included a GMT function to boot. It also looked the part with its 42mm titanium case framing a matte gray dial accompanied by hands and dial accents that were stark black.
Bulgari has now endowed this record-breaker with a slightly sportier look by making its case – now 43mm – and bracelet in satin-polished steel. Standing out on a new silver-toned, vertically-brushed dial are silvered hour indices and hands, the latter of which are filled with Super-LumiNova to enhance the sporty feel of the watch. Priced at €17,000, the all-steel Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT is currently sold out, but it is non-limited, so more will become available.
Platinum Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton Chronograph
Finally, there is another record-breaker and another smart makeover. This time, Bulgari has revisited the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton Chronograph, the thinnest ever tourbillon chronograph.
Its 7.40 mm thick case is now in precious platinum and a little wider at 43mm. But rather than a gray-on-gray monochromatic dial – as seen on the original model launched in 2020 – the stunning openworked face of the watch is now enlivened with white sub-counters and blued hands. The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton Chronograph is price at €180,000.
For more information, please visit the Bulgari website.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell & Pierre Vogel)