Watches & Wonders: Bulgari Introduces The World’s Thinnest Perpetual Calendar – The Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar
And the world records just keep on coming.
Since it debuted in 2014, Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo has fascinated collectors with its ultra-thin complicated watches. It has set six world records, including the slimmest minute repeater, chronograph, and tourbillon. And now, Bulgari sets a seventh as the brand unveils the thinnest perpetual calendar watch in the world.
Dreams Do Come True
Creating the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar wasn’t just a box for Bulgari to check — it was a dream for its talented watchmakers. Perpetual calendars are among the oldest and most complex complications in watchmaking and are considered a mark of high horology. So to miniaturize a perpetual calendar movement would be a monumental achievement.
Bulgari achieved this feat by integrating the 150 components needed for the perpetual calendar into just an additional 0.4mm of real estate. By miniaturizing parts and reducing the space between them, the 2.75mm-thick Caliber BVL 305 has 408 total components and somehow boasts a 60-hour power reserve, too. It’s also water-resistant to 30m, and you can admire the record-breaking movement with an engraved micro-rotor through the open caseback.
The Octo Finissimo collection is designed to be ultra-modern and minimalistic. And the new Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar fits the bill with its 40mm octagonal-shaped case that is a mere 5.80mm thick. The clever dial design keeps the sleek and simple look of its Octo Finissimo cousins but still displays a wealth of information. The top half of the dial is dedicated to the retrograde date indication – shown in a half-moon from 9 to 3 o’clock – and alternates Arabic numerals with dots. And at midnight on the first day of the month, the day hand will snap back to 1.
At the bottom of the dial, at 6 o’clock, there is another retrograde indicator, this one for the leap-year indication. It is a unique twist; most leap-year indications are sub-dials with a red indicator to show whether it’s a leap year (and signal to everyone else that your watch is not just an annual calendar).
Central minutes and hours hands display the time while two sub-dials display the days (between 7 and 8 o’clock) and the month (between 4 and 5 o’clock). Somewhat unusually for a perpetual calendar watch, there is no moon-phase display. Bulgari commented that it wanted to stay true to the modern aesthetic of the Octo collection, so it omitted the artistic complication. Instead, the brand focused on retrograde indications as both a signature of the house and a nod to its Gérald Genta DNA.
The Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar is incredibly precise and won’t need adjusting until February 2100. But, if you let the power run out and need to reset it, it’s easy to do. The perpetual calendar is adjusted by three discreet correctors: the date at 2 o’clock, the month at 4 o’clock, and the day between 8 and 9 o’clock.
Pricing & Availability
This record-breaking watch is available in two materials: the Octo collection’s signature sand-blasted titanium or platinum.
The gray sand-blasted titanium version – priced at $59,000 – has the sleek, monochrome look for which the Octo collection is known. The sand-blasted titanium dial is just 0.3mm thick, and the entire watch weighs only 74 grams. True, it’s sporty yet elegant, but it is a particular style.
Perpetual calendars are some of horology’s finest complications, so it’s fitting that Bulgari offers a platinum version that will appeal to collectors who prefer a more traditional look. Priced at $89,000, it’s just as thin, but it weighs slightly more at 95 grams. It has a satin-brushed and polished platinum case, a blue lacquered dial, and a matching blue alligator strap with a platinum pin clasp.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)