Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Deserves your Utmost Attention
There are many modern watches. Many independent brands indeed are all about creating modern, out of the ordinary, funky watches. But what if you wanted a watch that was modern, yet came from a old established brand, and also had some classical watchmaking pedigree? Well, look no further than one of the most anticipated watch released in 2017, winner of the Best Men’s Watch at GPHG: the Bulgari Octo Finissimo in titanium.
To describe the Octo Finissimo is to describe one of the thinnest watches in the world. At less than 1.5 mm thick [check] this is watch that you need to handle to believe. The sapphire caseback covers the in-house movement which is nicely decorated with hand finished beveling an Geneva decoration [check], and with mounted rubies [check]. The platinum micro-rotor [check] offset to the down right corner shows that Bulgari has created one of the most desirable mechanical automatic timepieces in recent memories. Competing easily for thinnest automatic watch with the Piaget Altiplano.
The other striking thing you notice immediately with the Octo Finissimo is its odd square rounded shape, which so perfectly fits ones wrist. By creating multiple layers of square and and rounder cylinder in the middle, the case has a three dimensional feel that make it easier to fit a human wrist.
The round dial seem to pop out of the square case and is brilliantly completed with Bulgari’s thin indices except for the applied numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock. Both done in the simple but functional and aesthetic Bulgari font. Though, interestingly, Bulgari opted for Arabic numerals instead of the brand’s native Roman numerals. Perhaps a nod to its Genta pedigree as this watch is squarely in the language of the great designer before his brand was acquired an folded into Bulgari in 2005 [check].
Knowing the roots of the design as coming from a mix of the Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth [check] independent brands explains well why the Octo Finissimo has more of the feel and look and aesthetic of independent watch making rather than the typical round case watches that you see all other brands produce.
To complete the look of the Octo Finissimo, Bulgari offers a matching titanium bracelet that is as thin as the watch and is reminiscent of another Genta-designed integrated bracelet: the Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet. Except that in this case the bracelet is thinner, simpler, without the polishing of the links corners nor the polished inner links.
The matte finishing of the titanium works great with an overall grey look, giving the watch nice contrast with the black markers on the dial. There is also an option for a super thin black alligator strap that gives the watch a dressier look but would be a good option to simply purchase after, as the bracelet version is less than $1000 more.
Bulgari also makes multiple variations of same design, but a bit bulkier in gold or steel. The dimensions remain the same except for the material and dial variations to better match the color of the metal of the case.
Finally, there is a skeleton version where perhaps this watch shines the most. The entire movement is finished with black polish and perfectly executed skeletonization of the bridges and wheels that you would think you could touch through the sapphire case. The skeletonize version uses a manually wound movement with 48 hours [check] power reserve which it showed in the sub dial at 9 o’clock. Not surprisingly the skeletonize version comes in at $17,000 versus the $12,000 entry point for the automatic titanium model [check].
No matter what your model choice, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo should complement any collection with an out-of-the-ordinary sports watch model that breaks with traditional design, is staunchly independent, while coming from an established brand.
It’s a somewhat surprising offering from the Roman brand if you don’t recall the Genta influence. For us it is the watch the great Genta would have produced if he was still alive today and was at the helm of the famous luxury brand.