Monochrome Watches
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Introducing the World’s Thinnest Tourbillon: the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon

| By Frank Geelen | 3 min read |

Bulgari sets a new record for the world’s thinnest tourbillon. Both for the thinnest tourbillon movement and for tourbillon watch. Bulgari not simply breaks the previous record by a few percent, no, the previous record is simply CRUSHED by what Bulgari accomplished with the new Octo Finissimo Tourbillon. The spectacular ultra-thin tourbillon movement, measures just 1.95 mm, while the entire watch is just 5.00 mm in height.

Bulgari, much like Cartier, has always been a maker of high-end jewelry, also called Haute Joaillerie. Bulgari also made timepieces, nice timepieces, however nothing spectacular for the average watch enthusiast. When Bulgari re-labeled the sub-brands Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta (which they bought many years ago from the name-givers) and only put the Bulgari name on the dial, we knew they wanted to be recognized as one of the serious players in the field of Haute Horlogerie. They had the knowledge, skills, and expertise. And with the introduction of the world’s thinnest tourbillon, there’s no doubt that they are now a major player.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon

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The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon also comes in an ultra-thin case, made in platinum, and measuring just 5.00 mm in height. The black lacquered dial features sleek hour markers, except at the 12 o’clock position, where we see an Arabic number 12. At the 6 o’clock position is an aperture for the tourbillon.

In realizing the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, Bulgari didn’t take any shortcuts. The Bulgari engineers and watchmakers choose to use ball-bearings for pivoting the moving parts. Usually a gear’s pivot rotates in a jewel, set in the main plate and bridges. However in the Finissimo Tourbillon movement, some gears, like the escape wheel and the main spring barrel are kept in position and are guided by ball-bearings. Even the tourbillon cage is pivoted by a cartridge bearing that allows it to pivot. That saves space and reduces friction. This solution allowed the height of its spring to be doubled, and made a power reserve of around 55 hours possible.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon

Bulgari states in the press release that the movement alone, is thinner than a Swiss 5 Franc coin. This is not the smallest or thinnest coin, yet it remains a very, VERY, impressive achievement. When designing the movement, Bulgari started with the tourbillon cage, and they managed to create one that was just 1.95 mm thick! The entire movement was shaped around tourbillon cage, so that the tourbillon cage’s thickness (thin-ness) determined the thickness of the entire movement. In creating such an ultra-thin movement, Bulgari choose to use as few bridges as possible: one for the minute wheel and the other for the gear train of the tourbillon cage, which rotates once a minute.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon movement (click to enlarge)

Another drastic, yet very logic, choice was made to reduce height: the regulator assembly was omitted. Instead, timing is now adjusted on the balance wheel directly. All 249 components manufactured in-house and finished to very high standards. The plate and bridges are bevelled and decorated with Côtes de Genève, the gears are bevelled and circular satin-brushed, screw heads and slots are bevelled and the ends are polished.

Some specifications:

  • Case: 40 mm in diameter, 5.00 mm in height, platinum case
  • Movement: Finissimo Tourbillon calibre, manufacture-made ultra-thin hand-wound one-minute flying tourbillon movement, thinnest tourbillon movement ever made at just 1.95 thick, variable-inertia balance requiring no index-assembly, 21,600 vph (3Hz), 249 individual components, 55 hours of power reserve, hand bevelled bridges and Côtes de Genève
  • Strap: black alligator leather strap with platinum buckle

More info:

2 responses

  1. Great write-up……one correction however: Bulgari didnt purchase Genta and Roth from the name givers…..they purchased the brands from Hourglass in Singapore who was the distributor and principle owner at that time, 1999.

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