As part of its pre-Baselworld 2018 collection, Bulgari unveils a new version of its Octo Tourbillon Sapphire, now with a black DLC steel case. In the dark, its tourbillon movement glows with a magical blue luminescence revealing its mechanics in complete transparency. Here’s an advance hands-on look at this bold piece.
Inspired by a modern and eminently personal vision of watchmaking, the bold Octo Tourbillon Sapphire plays with volumes, contrasting materials and color (with a style reminiscent of the brand’s “Magsonic” design). The latest version of the model is presented in a case fashioned out of black DLC-coated steel (diamond-like carbon) and sapphire. Its original sandwich construction reveals its inner workings in full transparency to create a mechanical sculpture of gears, space, shadow and light.
The middle part is made of sapphire allowing the light to pour in and magnify the openwork mechanical heart of the watch, which is dramatically enhanced with inserts crafted from blue Super-LumiNova® and ITR2® ( Innovative, Technical and Revolutionary Resin – a unique composite material laden with carbon nanotube particles and endowed with metal-like hardness). Ten DLC-coated bridges, incorporating capsules made of the same materials, radiate from the center to create highly legible hour markers. The contrasting colors and materials are striking, bringing out the architectural and kinetic character of the movement.
Measuring 44mm in diameter, the black DLC-steel case is well proportioned and features the smoothed contours of the Octo Roma design. Presented in 2017, this new take on the brand’s iconic octagonal case aims at modern, urban proportions. It features only 58 facets instead of the 110 on regular Octo models. Despite its generous proportions, it wears well thanks to its small lugs.
The in-house caliber BVL206 is skeletonized and regulated by a one-minute flying tourbillon. With this skewed construction – the tourbillon is held by one side only – and the absence of an upper bridge means you can enjoy an unimpeded view of the captivating ballet. True to the Bulgari tradition, it is meticulously hand-finished. Operating at 21,600 vibrations per hour, the caliber BLV206 can store up to 64 hours of power reserve and incorporates 20 jewels. The power reserve is displayed on the back of the watch – always a practical indication for a hand-wound movement.
An original and user-friendly system allows to set or wind the watch. Commanded by the crown, a star/column wheel lets you select the function and switch between setting and winding options. Pressing the crown displays a red dot in an aperture at 3 o’clock and the time can be adjusted just by winding the crown. Another press on the crown allows to lock the time-setting mechanism and return to standard winding mode.
The Bulgari Octo Tourbillon sapphire is paired with a black rubberized alligator strap with blue stitching. It is secured with a PVD-steel folding buckle. More information at www.bulgari.com.