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Bulgari Drops a new Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch Dial for its 140th Anniversary

The return of the ultra-cool "sketch dial" concept, this time revealing the mechanics underneath the dial.

| By Brice Goulard | 4 min read |

Introduced over 10 years ago (time flies…), Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo collection has become one of the most successful sagas in recent watchmaking history. Not only did these watches break one record for thinness after another, but they also redefined the concept of the ultra-thin watch with a contemporary design and a casual attire. For the 10th anniversary of this collection, Bulgari released an ultra-cool pair of models fitted with a sketch dial. One of the most acclaimed styles in this collection, the Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch Dial is coming back this time to celebrate the brand’s 140th anniversary. 

Bulgari was founded in 1884 by Greek silversmith Sotirio Bulgari, in the city of Rome – where the brand still has its headquarters. One of the most prolific watchmakers/jewellers on the scene, the brand made a name for itself with its daring designs, such as the all-time emblematic Serpenti – both watches and jewellery. A mix between the Italian flair of Dolce Vita and the seriousness of a true Swiss manufacture, watchmaking at Bulgari has become far more important in recent years, with the introduction of several high-complications… But it’s mostly the Octo Finissimo, one of the most iconic creations of the last decade, that has propelled the brand high on the horology scene.

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In the frame of the 140th anniversary of the brand, Bulgari has elected its Octo Finissimo Automatic (the second generation with revised case and specs) as the base for a pair of limited edition models. And what matters here is the comeback of the “sketch dial” concept, which was first introduced in 2022 for the 10th anniversary of the collection, as a tribute to its designer, Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani. A now sought-after duo of watches, available in the Automatic and Chronograph models, these were paying tribute to the dial’s design. The Octo Finissimo Automatic 140th Anniversary has once again a dial with hand drawings, but this time reveals the mechanics under the dial.

Let’s talk about the base first. No surprises here, we have the classic Octo Finissimo Automatic model, in its MK2 version. It means watches that are either stainless steel or 18k pink gold, with satin-finished and polished facets (not the original sandblasted style found at the time of introduction) and a case that has been revamped for more user-friendliness, with a comfortable 100m water-resistance and a screw-down crown. This evolution came at the expense of the thickness, which now sits at 6.40mm instead of 5.15mm originally. Nevertheless, the Octo Finissimo Automatic remains one of the thinnest automatic watches on the market. The 40mm diameter and overall design are now well established.

As said, Bulgari offers the choice here between classic stainless steel and luxurious 18k rose gold, and matching bracelets. Equally finished with satin and polished surfaces, these thin bracelets are closed by a concealed butterfly clasp. The sapphire back reveals the manufacture calibre BVL138, an ultra-thin automatic movement (only 2.23mm in height) wound by a platinum micro-rotor and, despite its thinness, boasting a comfortable 60h power reserve. Large, exposing its parts mostly on a horizontal level, it is finished with Geneva stripes, circular graining and bevelled bridges. The crystal features dedicated “Editizione Limitata” and “1884-2024” printings, as well as the limitation of the watch.

However, this isn’t the only side of the watch where the movement is visible… The new sketch dial of this Octo Finissimo Automatic 140th Anniversary pays tribute to the mechanics. Over the sandblasted base dial, which is colour-matched to the case’s material, is a hand drawing by Buonamassa Stigliani, his first sketch of the BVL138 movement. Of course, this isn’t for everyone and definitely is an acquired taste but it adds a human, fun touch to an otherwise rather serious watch. To bring contrast, the hands are black PVD coated and satin-finished – even though the sub-seconds hand at 7 o’clock is hardly visible.

Released as a limited edition of 280 pieces in stainless steel and 70 pieces in 18k rose gold, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic 140th Anniversary Sketch Dial models will be respectively priced at EUR 17,800 or CHF 15,200 in steel, and EUR 51,500 or CHF 47,000 in gold. For more details, please visit

5 responses

  1. I’ve been savouring the pleasure of wearing an octo finissimo in steal almost every day for two years now, and I would still buy it again… such a nice and versatile watch!
    Honestly, I simply do not know which one I would pick: I find this limited version gorgeous, I do like the salmon, and there are then the titan and the ceramic versions… I think you cannot make a mistake with any of them.

  2. Bvlgari got the octo absolutely right (unlike the ALUMINIUM) and they are having fun with it.
    I approve of that.

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