Baselworld 2019: Bulgari Impresses With The New Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT
To kick off Baselworld 2019, Bulgari launched a new Octo Finissimo and not just any Octo! The new Chronograph GMT also smashes a fifth world record for thinness.
Initially launched in 2012, the Octo collection immediately captured collector’s hearts with its highly distinctive design. The Octo range went on to reveal its full potential in 2014 with a foray into ultra-slim watchmaking (a market that only a few qualified watchmakers dare to enter) when the brand unveiled its manually wound Octo Finissimo Tourbillon.
The piece earned Bulgari its first world record in the ultra-slim field, previously deemed the hallmark of just a handful of brands. Of course, one could reasonably have expected it to be a one-off. But, in 2016, the Rome-based luxury watchmaker, with its workshops nestled in the little village of Sentier in the Joux valley, once again secured its place in the spotlight when it unveiled the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater.
All good things come in threes…
In 2016, Bulgari decided to launch the Octo Finissimo Automatic. Buoyed by its success, Bulgari later unveiled the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic in 2018. A watch which was to earn the brand a fourth world title in slimness. Swept along by their creative momentum, the workshop craftsmen continued to focus more intently on developments yet to be made in the extra-flat sector. With the new Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT, Bulgari showed just how many more surprises the industry had in store. A watch that proves it’s still possible to startle even the most jaded enthusiasts.
The new masterpiece features a 42 mm titanium case measuring a mere 6.90 mm in thickness. Of course, the real beauty here is the workshop-crafted automatic chronograph movement measuring just 3.30 mm thick. This outstanding calibre, which secures a fifth world record for Bulgari in the realms of the ultra-thin, features a dial displaying hours and minutes, and seconds in a mini-counter at 9 o'clock.
By utilizing push-pieces arrayed either side of the winding crown, it enables the measurement of short time intervals of up to 30 minutes (in the counter at 6 o'clock). Bulgari elected to integrate a push-piece into the case-middle at 9 o'clock, thus enabling the wearer to avail himself of the quick-set hour change to adjust the local time zone while maintaining the home time zone in the counter positioned at 3 o'clock.
The fifth element
This stand-out piece, with its chic and powerful design, is instantly recognizable, even at a distance. The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT is sure to capture the hearts of enthusiasts. It will also appeal to decision-makers who often need to travel abroad and adapt to the local time. The latter can be done by simply pressing a dedicated push-piece a few times to set the local time at their destination, while simultaneously preserving the home time information on the 24-hour counter.
Finally, this mesmerizing study in balance, secured to the wrist by a highly texturized bracelet, is also crafted in sandblasted titanium, giving Bulgari the chance to demonstrate, once and for all, its total supremacy in elegance, by taking ultra-slim mechanical watchmaking prowess to even loftier heights for the fifth time in six years.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)