One of the stars of the LVMH Group, Bvlgari, the Swiss manufacturer with Italian roots, has earned a place in the watchmaking spotlight by continuously presenting record-breaking watches with the Octo Finissimo collection. And year after year, since the first one in 2014, the brand does not disappoint. Sure enough, in 2021, we saw the introduction of the world’s thinnest Perpetual Calendar watch and winner of the GPHG 2021. But that was not all. Bvlgari also expanded the Octo Roma collection and presented a funky new GMT version of the Bvlgari Bvlgari Aluminium. Here’s our recap of Bvlgari’s best for 2021.
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo S Steel Silvered Dial
The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic was pretty much an instant classic when launched in 2017. Packing the thinnest automatic movement available at the time, the Octo Finissimo was more than just a mechanical showcase of Bvlgari’s watchmaking capabilities. The sharp, angular design with an integrated bracelet quickly made it a signature collection. Multiple editions followed, and in 2020 it was updated into the Octo Finissimo S, with upgraded finishing, specs and dials. This year the Octo Finissimo S Steel Silvered Dial joined the ranks, returning to the full monochromatic look of the original. The dial now features a vertical brushing, while the rest of the specs are the same – still 40mm wide, 100m water-resistant and still with the ultrathin BVL138 automatic movement.
Quick Facts – 40mm x 6.40mm – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – sapphire crystal on both sides – 100m water-resistance – vertically brushed silver-coloured dial – silver-coloured applied indices and hands – calibre BVL138 Finissimo, in-house – ultra-thin automatic movement with micro-rotor – 36 jewels – 21,600vph – 60h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds – integrated steel bracelet, brushed and polished – EUR 12,300
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar
You cannot ignore the fact that Bvlgari has created a mighty impressive legacy with the Octo Finissimo range. No fewer than seven world records – and not showing any sign that the brand is relenting – this year, we saw the world’s thinnest Perpetual Calendar watch ever made, which took home the top prize at the 2021 edition of the GPHG. With a case height of just 5.80mm and a movement that’s about half that (2.75mm), it is a remarkable achievement made possible by the horizontal construction of the movement and the incorporation of a micro-rotor. The signature bold, angular architecture remains, with the indications done in deep black over a titanium dial. The QP layout is a reminder of the work by Gerald Genta, with a retrograde date and leap year indication. Next to the monochromatic titanium model, a platinum case and blue dial version are also available.
Our article has all the details of the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar.
Quick Facts – 40mm x 5.80mm – sandblasted titanium case or satin and polished platinum case – 3 correctors in caseband to adjust the date, month and day – sapphire crystal on both sides – 30m water-resistance – sandblasted titanium or blue lacquered dial – skeletonised hands – calibre BVL 305, in-house – automatic integrated QP movement – micro-rotor – 36.6mm x 2.75mm – 35 jewels – 21,600vph – 60h power reserve – hours, minutes, day of the week, month, retrograde date and leap year – sandblasted titanium bracelet or blue alligator leather strap – EUR 60,000 in titanium or EUR 90,000 in platinum
Bvlgari Octo Roma Worldtimer
The Octo Roma was presented initially as a softer, less extravagant Octo. However, the Octo DNA is still very much alive in the Roma, with the signature lugs and circular dial set in an angular mid-case. The Bvlgari Octo Roma Worldtimer is an attractive traveller’s watch in classic stainless steel and blue dial, or with a black DLC-coated case and a black dial. Both models feature a city ring on the outside edge, with a 24h ring on the inside. The middle section of the dial is reserved for the time, with strongly contrasting indices and hands. The Bvlgari Octo Roma Worldtimer came with the new BVL257 movement, using 261 components and developed by the Bvlgari manufacture. It’s worn on either an integrated steel bracelet or a black rubber strap with textile embossing.
Quick Facts – 41mm x 11.35mm – stainless steel case, also available with black DLC coating – rounded octagonal design – sapphire crystal on both sides – 100m water-resistance – sunburst blue or sandblasted black dial – applied hour indices – central hour, minutes and seconds hands – revolving time zone ring – revolving 24h ring – calibre BVL257 – integrated movement with automatic winding – 28,800vph – 26 jewels – 42h power reserve – integrated steel bracelet or black rubber strap with pin buckle – EUR 8,600
Bvlgari Bvlgari Aluminium GMT
To say Bvlgari is all about the Octo collection is something we can understand, but not entirely accurate. The brand also re-launched the Bvlgari Bvlgari Aluminium last year, and this year introduced a GMT version to the collection. Featuring all the elements that made the original Bvlgari Bvlgari Aluminium such a groundbreaking piece, this new one continues its legacy. The segmented rubber strap, for instance, or the rubber-clad bezel are instantly recognisable. This GMT version has an attractive blue colour scheme, with touches of white and red. The 24h scale is divided into a red and blue half, with a red triangular-tipped hand. The central seconds hand also features red elements, providing a sharp contrast against the blue dial and white indices. Power comes from the Sellita SW330 based Bvlgari B192 calibre.
Quick Facts – 40mm x 9.70mm – aluminium case with titanium crown and caseback – 68.6 grams – blue rubber bezel – 100m water-resistance – matte blue dial with blue and red 24h GMT scale – indices and hands with Super-LumiNova – calibre B192 (Sellita SW330 base) – automatic winding – 25 jewels – 28,800vph – 56h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, GMT, date – blue rubber with aluminium strap – aluminium pin buckle – EUR 3,500
Bvlgari Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon
One of the most complex pieces by Bvlgari this year, next to the Octo Finissimo QP, of course, is the Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon. After acquiring both the Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth brands in 2000, Bvlgari gained significant watchmaking know-how. The Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon uses Roth’s signature “butterfly” time indication, combined with a jumping hour mechanism and a central flying tourbillon escapement. The two trapezoidal-shaped indicators revolve around the semi-circular 60-minute scale. When one indicator enters the scale, it rotates outward while the other one rotates inward and exits the scale. It is set in the octagonal-shaped Octo Roma case, executed in 18k rose gold. The hand-wound calibre BVL332 is made in-house and has a power reserve indication on the reverse.
Quick Facts – 41mm diameter – 18k rose gold case, brushed and polished – sapphire crystal on both sides – matte black dial – rose gold retractable minute (papillon) hands – 24h jumping hour display at noon – central flying tourbillon – semi-circular minute track with gold numerals – calibre BVL332, in-house – manual winding – patented Papillon minutes, jumping hours on a ceramic ball bearing – 21,600vph – 60h power reserve – matte black alligator strap with a rose gold folding clasp – EUR 130,000
For more details about the brand, please visit bulgari.com.