The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC

Crazy Eights: Bulgari's Latest Octo Releases Push the Envelope and Set a New World Record

Bulgari just revealed the latest additions to its Octo family, including a Finissimo Ultra that is not only the thinnest COSC-certified chronometer ever made but the thinnest mechanical watch ever produced!

By Rhonda Riche

It wouldn’t be Geneva Watch Week without Bulgari setting a new world record for ultra-thinness. However, that’s not the only notable thing about the Rome-based maison’s 2024 releases.

To wit: in addition to the boundary-busting Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC timepieces, Bulgari also unveiled three brand-new Octo Finissimo Tourbillon models, an elevated Finissimo Ultra encased in platinum, and pushed the design envelope with two ultra-black Octo Roma models.

In short, it’s a good year to be Bulgari.

The Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC

According to Antoine Pin, director of Bulgari’s watchmaking division, “[The Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC] marks the ninth occasion our engineers, watchmakers, and designers have defied the laws of physics to offer complex timepieces of unparalleled slimness.” And with this new masterpiece measuring in at a wafer-thin thickness of only 1.7mm, we can’t say we disagree with Mr. Pin.

After all, there is no denying that the new Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC has bested the previous champ, Richard Mille’s 1.75mm-thin RM UP-01 Ferrari.

To achieve this feat, Bulgari’s engineers reinvented the Octo Finissimo movement. to make it work, the caseback now serves as the mainplate upon which 170 components of the hand-wound BVL 180 manufacture calibre are built.

Each of these unfathomably small parts is selected using a 1/10-micron optical measuring system to ensure they fit into the mechanism perfectly while exceeding the precision needed to guarantee a COSC certification (a first for the Ultra collection).

Moreover, the Ultra COSC’s caseback/mainplate is crafted from tungsten carbide, which rates about a 9 to 9.5 on the Mohs scale, making it extremely durable and scratch-resistant. Meanwhile, the watch’s display, surface area, hour and minute dials, large barrel (with a 50-hour power reserve), and escapement have all been tweaked to better integrate with the bezel opening.

The Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC (Ref. 104081) with a 40mm sandblasted titanium case is limited to 20 pieces and will hit shelves on September 24th, 2024, priced at €600,000.

Octo Finissimo Ultra Platinum

The Octo Finissimo Ultra collection has garnered 50 international awards in just twelve years because Bulgari continues to challenge its team through technology. Thus, for 2024, the maison means to reinvent the family through materials; case in point: the new Octo Finissimo Ultra Platinum.

Platinum is difficult to work with because of its density. Therefore, machining this metal at the thinness required by the Finissimo is extremely challenging. But here we are with a luxurious, 1.8mm thick watch – a first for a platinum timepiece.

To keep things chic, this model also has refined satin-polished and sand-blasted finishes for the case middle and bezel. Moreover, in order to counteract the weight of the platinum, the caseback/mainplate element is made of tungsten carbide, while the platinum bracelet has an integrated clasp made of titanium (which has been tested 5,000 times to ensure reliability). This new edition is also equipped with the BVL 180 manufacture calibre.

Like the Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC, the 40mm Octo Finissimo Ultra Platinum (Ref. 103832) comes equipped with the BVL 180 manufacture calibre, is limited to 20 pieces, and will launch on September 24th, 2024, but it will cost €620,000.

Octo Finissimo Tourbillon

In the 12 years since its inception, Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo collection has carved out its niche in the world of haute horlogerie, distinguished by its technical innovations, emblematic design, and monochromatic aesthetic. And this year, Bulgari is shaking the minimalist tree with three new Octo Finissimo Tourbillon models.

First, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Manual features a 40mm titanium case with a tough-wearing DLC treatment and comes outfitted with the world’s thinnest tourbillon movement – the BVL 268SK manufacture calibre flying tourbillon movement with a power reserve of 52 hours.

This mighty machine is also quite chic, featuring rose gold hands and chapter ring – a clever contrast indeed. Available in stores on April 24th, 2024, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Manual (Ref. 103984) comes on a comfortable black rubber strap and is priced at €145,000.

The next evolution is the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Manual in rose gold. And while this beauty is not monochromatic thanks to its black chapter ring, it does feature a 40 mm satin-polished rose gold case, rose gold-plated hands, and a polished rose gold crown.

A transparent caseback reveals the gray sandblasted BVL 268SK movement, while a brown alligator leather strap with a satin-polished rose gold pin folding buckle completes the glowing effect.

Hitting Bulgari Boutiques on July 24th, 2024, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Manual in rose gold (Ref. 103981) is priced at €175,000.

The last offering in this elevated trio is the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic. Here, the design codes receive an expensive glow-up, including a 42mm satin-polished platinum case, a satin-polished platinum time-setting push-button, a polished white gold crown and a black ceramic insert, and chic black hands.

Beneath its openwork dial, its blue BVL 288 automatic movement is sandblasted, while a blue alligator leather strap with a satin-polished platinum pin buckle completes this colorful edition.

Also hitting stores on July 24th, 2024, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic (Ref. 103976) will be priced at €220,000.

The Octo Roma Automatic Steel DLC and Octo Roma Chronograph

The Octo Roma series was born two decades ago, and to celebrate, Bulgari is unveiling two new black DLC steel editions during Geneva Watch Week. The first is a three-hander, the second a chronograph.

There is a philosophical aspect to this goth aesthetic. In fact, according to Bulgari, the designs are based on the idea that black is much more than merely the absence of color; it’s a way of expressing both light and depth.

Thus, an “beyond black” (“outrenoir”) finish redefines the Octo Roma’s geometry by enhancing the shapes, materials, and surface textures of the case and bracelet. It’s kind of like how artist Anish Kapoor’s Vanta Black installations change the viewer’s perception of perspective by absorbing light.

For contrast (and legibility), the dials of these new Octo Romas are not DLC treated but rather lacquered black so that they reflect light.

The Octo Roma Automatic Steel DLC (Ref. 103927) and Octo Roma Chronograph (Ref. 103932) hit the stores on July 24th, 2024, and are priced at CHF 7,550 and CHF 9,250, respectively.

For more information, check out the Bulgari website.

(Photography by Pierre Vogel)

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A new world record: Octo Finissimo Ultra Cosc | Bvlgari Watches