It has become something of a ritual. Year after year, Bvlgari continues its streak of record-breaking ultra-thin watches. With the release of the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic, the brand accumulates its sixth world record in six years. But it would be reductive to think that the Octo Finissimo is just a story of record performances. Above anything else, the sleek Octo Finissimo is a style statement taking masculine elegance to the next level.
It all started in 2014. Bvlgari caught the industry by surprise when it released the world’s thinnest tourbillon with the Octo Finissimo and its 5mm thick case. Since then the brand is on a roll. In 2016, came the thinnest minute repeater with a 6.85mm profile, and then the thinnest automatic watch (for a few months) with a 5.15mm three-hander. At Baselworld 2018, Bvlgari introduced the paper-thin Octo Finissimo Automatic Tourbillon, the world’s thinnest automatic watch and tourbillon watch. Finally, last year, the Roman jeweller/watchmaker set another record with a 6.85mm chronograph.
This year, to confirm its supremacy in the field of ultra-thin watchmaking, Bvlgari went for the world’s thinnest tourbillon chronograph. The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic comes in a 42mm x 7.40mm sandblasted grade 5 titanium case, housing a movement that is only 3.50mm in height. And like its predecessors, it remains very comfortable on the wrist and it looks totally spectacular with its sharp and edgy design.
Inside the architectural Octo case, the automatic ultra-thin skeleton movement is wound by a peripheral rotor – rather than a centrally mounted oscillating weight or a micro-rotor, two solutions that inevitably add thickness. From a technical perspective, the movement is based on the Bvlgari ultra-thin tourbillon. The chronograph mechanism grafted on this movement is different from the one found in the Octo Finissimo Chronograph. This required several adjustments. With this new construction, only two ball bearings are now used as the movement relies on more traditional jewel bearings and the tourbillon regulator itself is no longer a flying tourbillon.
Visible via the exhibition caseback, the chronograph mechanism is driven by a column wheel while an oscillating pinion is used to engage/disengage the chronograph. An original construction, the lever driving this oscillating pinion is coaxial to the tourbillon. Last, a one-piece reset hammer slides across the mechanism to simultaneously reset the chronograph heart cams. Unlike the Frédéric Piguet 1185 that uses a similar solution, it is driven by a spring that always produces the exact same function.
If the chronograph mechanism is truly superb, with great balance and keen attention to detail, the front of the watch is no less spectacular revealing the other side of the skeletonized movement – an unusual solution for the Octo Finissimo collection known for its monochrome, sleek dials. The openwork dial consists of a chapter ring and two plain registers. The ballet of the tourbillon at 6 o’clock is a perfect counterpoint to the barrel at 12 o’clock, creating a pleasing symmetry. To complete the monochromatic look of the watch, the plate and bridges are made of DLC-coated titanium.
Don’t be fooled by the two pushers on the side of the case, the chronograph is a single push-piece mechanism. The 2 o’clock pusher with its special grip pattern is used to successively start, stop and reset the chronograph. The 4 o’clock pusher allows you to drive a column/star wheel to select the crown function and switch between setting and winding options.
The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic comes on a sandblasted titanium bracelet with folding buckle. On the wrist, the watch has great presence and that unique Octo Finissimo touch. Thanks to its lithe profile, to ultralight titanium case and to the highly flexible bracelet, it is exceptionally comfortable on the wrist.
Availability and Price
The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic will be a limited edition of 50 pieces. It will be priced at EUR 155,000.
For more information, visit www.bulgari.com.