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Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Tadao Ando Black Ceramic (Live Pics & Price)

The essence of time interpreted by Japanese architect Tadao Ando on the dial of the Octo Finissimo Automatic.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 3 min read |
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Tadao Ando Black Ceramic

Time has many faces. Acclaimed Japanese architect Tadao Ando envisions time as a spiral that winds in a continuous and gradually widening curve around a central point. In his first collaboration with Bvlgari in 2019, Ando represented the inexorable passing of time with a mesmerising spiral engraved on the dial of the Octo Finissimo Automatic emanating from the off-centred seconds hand. In line with the dial’s stark minimalism, there were no hour markers, numerals or logos on the first Octo Finissimo collaboration piece.  Bearing the same technical specifications and case design of the record-breaking Octo Finissimo Automatic, this year, Ando has created a dial inspired by Mikazuki, the Japanese term for a crescent moon, or ‘the moon on the third day of the lunar month’.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Tadao Ando Black Ceramic

Tadao Ando

Japanese architect Tadao Ando (Osaka, 1941) is revered as a national treasure in Japan. Renowned for his minimalist concrete structures, Ando infuses his architecture with Japanese cultural and religious influences that emphasise negative space to foment inward reflection. Natural light and glass play a fundamental role in his stark concrete structures that respect the landscape they live in. Among his major achievements are the Church of Light in Osaka, the Museum of Modern art in Fort Worth, Texas and even projects in Italy like the Benetton Factory in Treviso, the restoration of the Punta della Dogana in Venice and the Teatro Armani in Milan. Winner of the Pritzker Prize in 1995, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for architecture, Ando is a consecrated figure in the pantheon of contemporary architects.

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Architecture past and present

The slender profile of the Octo Finissimo case (5.15mm) coupled with its complex stepped geometry appealed to Ando’s architectural eye and resulted in the first collaboration piece of 2019. Inspired by architectural elements of the Roman Empire, the intriguing case of the Octo plays it both ways and manages to capture Rome’s classical past in a strikingly contemporary key. This year, the case selected is the black sandblasted ceramic case of the Octo Finissimo Automatic, one of the many iterations of Bvlgari’s record-breaking ultra-thin automatic watch of 2017.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Tadao Ando Black Ceramic

Framed by the round matte black ceramic bezel and the octagonal flange below the sapphire crystal, the dial features a time spiral set against the midnight-blue lacquered background representing the night sky. Like the first collaboration, the time spiral uncoils from the axis of the off-centred small seconds hand. What’s new here is the incorporation of a yellow, gold crescent moon at 5 o’clock. The crescent moon, or Mikazuki (三日月), is the phase when the shadow of the Earth hides parts of the moon. The crescent moon is followed, in turn, by the new moon (新月) that eventually develops into a full moon (満月). The cyclical waxing and waning of the moon symbolise the transitory and inexorable nature of time.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Tadao Ando Black Ceramic

matte black ceramic

One of the characteristics of matte black sandblasted ceramic is that it absorbs light. Doing so attenuates and compresses the bold geometry of the case, making it look even flatter and more compact than its satin-polished counterparts, like this steel version. The 40mm case has a wafer-thin 5.15mm profile and comes with a matte black ceramic integrated bracelet making it sublimely lightweight and comfortable on the wrist.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Tadao Ando Black Ceramic

The sapphire caseback, laser-engraved with Tadao Ando’s signature, opens up on the record-thin BVL 138 automatic calibre with its platinum micro-rotor. Manufactured in-house, it is only 2.23mm thick (the size of a CHF 5 coin). Even if it is extra-flat, it is a large movement (36mm), which occupies the entire case. It is decorated with thin Geneva stripes, circular graining on the main plate and bevelled angles. A modern movement overall, it runs at 21,600vph with a robust 60-hour power reserve.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Tadao Ando Black Ceramic

Availability & Price

The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Tadao Ando Black Ceramic (ref. 103534) is limited to 160 pieces and retails for EUR 18,500. More information at Bvlgari.

5 responses

  1. When I saw this one, it made my “if I won the lottery” short list. And very likely near or at the top; it’s much more wearable. Gray jeans and blue oxford cloth shirt, with the sleeves rolled up? Yeah, I can see it….

  2. My new Ando watch tells me it’s 10:10. No wait, it’s 11:09. Np…maybe 10:07…. Hey buddy, do you have the time?

  3. The araldited-on crescent moon looks incredibly tacky in these photos. I hope it looks better in reality!

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