A Closer Look At The New Bulgari Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon
Bulgari’s latest Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon joins the maison’s line of striking complications, bringing one of the oldest and most noble of complications into the modern era.
Bulgari’s Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon is one of the brand’s latest releases unveiled during last week’s LVMH watch week. Now that the fun and digital festivities are over, we have time to take a closer look.
Master of the Estetica della Meccanica
One of the brand’s slogans is the “Master of the Estetica della Meccanica,” a phrase that sounds particularly elegant and magical in Italian. This mastery of the aesthetics of mechanics (see, not so good in English!) has definitely allowed Bulgari to take a lead role on the watch world’s main stage.
When seeing the Bulgari Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon with its matte black DLC coated titanium case and grille-style dial for the first time, the watch’s unique design and half-hidden mechanics beg you to look closer.
Behind the Grille
Behind the grille of this intriguing timepiece lies the brand-new, manually wound Caliber BVL428, featuring a three-hammer minute repeater with a Westminster chime and a tourbillon.
The new Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon isn’t the first chiming timepiece to be created by the brand. In 2016, Bulgari unveiled its Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, followed by its Octo Roma Grande Sonnerie in 2019 with four hammers and a whopping 1,200 components.
Inside this recent release, the new caliber BVL428 measures 35mm in diameter and is only 8.35mm thick, attesting to the brand’s savoir-faire in the domain of ultra-thin movements. It features one classical barrel to ensure a power reserve of at least 75 hours. Additionally, a spring contained within a barrel-shaped container, drilled directly to the bridge, assures the functionality of the minute repeater's chiming mechanism.
The movement has 432 total components and constructed to prioritize the sound of the gongs and decorated using several techniques to create a contemporary aesthetic.
Crafting the Gongs
Created entirely by hand, the gongs are crafted in several stages. First, they are folded and formed by hand before being hardened at a temperature of 900oC. They are then cleaned and ironed in the oven at 500oC – a process giving the metal its crystalline resonance. Finally, to further fine-tune the sound, they are elongated with a file to obtain the perfect musical note
As a result, the movement chimes three tones and plays the note C for hours, a mid-re-C for the quarters, and a mid-note for the minutes.
Letting the Sound Resonate
Bulgari has paid particular attention to allowing the sound escape from the timepiece while keeping a water-resistance of 30 meters. Firstly, the contemporary-looking grille dial lets the sound resonate through the movement.
Secondly, there is the specially designed middle case. It features hollowings that reduce the amount of metal between the inside and the outside. Moreover, for maximum resonance, the gongs are affixed directly onto the body of the middle case. Each of the three gongs also has its own opening in the case, which permits sound to exit the chamber more effectively.
Lastly, the hollowed caseback, with its titanium grille, protects the chiming mechanism while ensuring the diffusion of sound. All in all, the sound is created in the perfect environment to delight the client’s sensorial senses.
All the Details
The Bulgari Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon comes in a 44mm titanium case with a black DLC coating and includes a white gold crown set with a black ceramic insert. Additionally, the minute repeater is activated by a white gold push button on the left side. Finally, the timepiece comes on a black rubberized alligator strap and is limited to 15 pieces.
(Images © Bvlgari)