At Baselworld 2018, Bvlgari continued the expansion of its award-winning Octo Finissimo collection – and in the nicest possible way, with the world’s thinnest automatic and tourbillon watch, as well as a trilogy of automatic watches in sandblasted titanium, steel or gold. The latter – which we described in details here – clearly gave the collection its own personality. This is why the Octo Finissimo Skeleton, previously available in titanium, full black and two-tone, is now changing style with a Sandblasted Rose Gold case, in order to be coherent with the latest introductions.
What you see here won’t be Bvlgari’s talking piece of the year. It is basically a change of material and finishing on an existing watch. Nothing more… However, this isn’t a reason not to have a second look at the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton, especially in this new Sandblasted Rose Gold version – which is, admittedly, perfectly in line with the overall Octo concept.
The main novelty here is the fact that Bvlgari now offers this watch in solid 18k rose gold. Previously, the Octo Finissimo Skeleton was available in three different versions. The inaugural one was a now-classic matte titanium edition, which also evolved this year with some blue accents on the dial and the strap. Later, the brand introduced an “Ultranero” version, with a black DLC-coated steel case, a black strap and a brushed gold bezel – as seen here. Finally, in June this year, Bvlgari launched a sportier edition, with a full matte black DLC-coated titanium case, worn on a matching finished titanium bracelet.
Here, the Octo Finissimo Skeleton gains the latest design introduced on the Octo Finissimo Automatic, with a superb (really, it is) sandblasted gold case, combined with a matte black leather strap. This material is surprising and doesn’t resemble anything you’ve seen before. The matte surfaces create a warm, rich colour that is, at the same time, much more discreet than a polished or a brushed gold case. This relative discretion and monochromatism perfectly fit the concept of Octo and allow for a great contrast with the anthracite dial/movement.
For the rest, we are looking at the same watch as before. Skeleton watches are usually loved or hate, and while some will prefer the monochromatic and ultra-sleek style of the Octo Automatic, some will enjoy the exposed mechanics. The case retains its paper-thin proportions, with a 40mm diameter and a 5.37mm thickness – this hand-wound, skeletonized version is surprisingly slightly thicker than the automatic or the non-openworked hand-wound versions, mainly due to the addition of a power reserve indicator on the dial-side (usually on the movement side on these hand-wound watches).
The calibre BVL 128SK is, as expected, extremely thin (2.35mm) but is powerful with a 65h power reserve. The bridges are widely opened and create frames for the mechanical or display elements – power reserve, barrel, small seconds. Thanks to the dark grey coating on the movement, the legibility of the gold-plated hands remains acceptable – usually the main issue with skeletonized watches. The front of the movement is finished with a sporty circular grained surface, while the back displays beautifully bevelled angles.
Far from being a revolution in the Octo collection, this new Sandblasted Rose Gold of the Finissimo Skeleton stands out (to me, at least) as the most balanced and achieved edition. The price is EUR 28,500 (taxes included). This is, of course, higher than the titanium version (EUR 20,900), but “reasonably higher”. More details on bulgari.com.