Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton – The record-breaking Octo Finissimo Tourbillon now comes in a ‘skeleton’ version. The perfect opportunity to satisfy our curiosity, taking advantage of the now unobstructed view of the inner workings of the thinnest Tourbillon ever. A testament of the Bulgari watchmaking expertise, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton combines several smart technical solutions. More than that, its open-worked movement illustrates the brand’s design capabilities down to the very last details.
At Baselworld 2014, Bulgari set the record for the world thinnest tourbillon with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon. Its movement (1.95mm thick), housed in a slimmed-down Octo case (5mm thick), is now proposed in an open-worked version – and the most impressive is that, even if now skeletonized, the watch and the movement keep the exact same dimensions. After having the slimmest tourbillon movement ever created (with the non-skeleton version), Bulgari is now holding the title for the slimmest skeleton tourbillon, a title that was until now held by the Arnold and Son UTTE Skeleton (see here for more record-breaking watches).
To achieve such a thinness, the brand’s watchmakers have trimmed down all of the movement’s components and have reduced the space between them to the minimum. The caliber BLV268 uses ball-bearings for several moving parts, which explains the surprisingly-low jewel count (only 13, which is half of what you’ll find in an ETA 2824-2). The barrel itself is maintained and rotates thanks to three ball bearings on its periphery, to optimize the use of space. Bulgari opted for a flying Tourbillon (rotating on a cartridge bearing), which means that the tourbillon is supported from the base plate without the need for an upper bridge (which would require more height).
The opportunity to take a closer look at the inner workings of this record-breaking Tourbillon may pique your watch snob curiosity? Well, it is indeed worth a look. But beyond the technicality of the movement, the first impression is one of a powerful design.
As you would expect from Bulgari, the Octo Finissimo is a modern take on the traditional craft of “skeletonizing” movements. No rich, baroque engravings here. The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton plays with volumes, transparency, contrasting material and colors, delivering an edgy vision of horology with assertive style. The plate and bridges are DLC coated while the moving parts are rhodium-coated. A feat of balance and strength, the structure of the movement revolves around the symmetry of the barrel at 12 o’clock and the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
With its distinctive octagonal bezel, its slim profile and its stepped geometry, the case is in line with the other “finissimi”. A compendium of the Bulgari design and chic, it is crafted in the noblest metal, platinum. This is particularly impressive, given the complex shape of the 110-facet case, as platinum is one of the hardest metals to work with. The crown features a ceramic insert. The finesse of the case, down to its faceted lugs, is indeed striking; the tourbillon really seems to be floating in between the two sapphire crystals.
Among the few updates to the “habillage” (the French word to name the external parts of the watch) of the skeleton version of the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, the Bulgari logo discreetly transferred in black on the sapphire glass at 12 o’clock.
40mm in diameter, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon wears remarkably well while it feels larger because of its shape and profile; it is closed with an integrated alligator strap on pin buckle.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon skeleton is priced at 140,000 Euro. For more information, visit www.bulgari.com.
Technical specifications Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton
- Case: 40mm diameter x 5mm thick – Platinum – sapphire crystal on the front and on the back with antireflective coating – Water resistant to 30m.
- Movement: BLV268, in-house – manual winding – 62h power reserve – 21,600 vibrations/h – hours, minutes, flying tourbillon – 32.60 x 1.95mm – 13 jewels
- Strap: alligator strap on pin buckle
- Price: 140,000 EUR