Italian brand Bulgari is predominantly known worldwide as a luxury brand for women jewelry (including watches such as the Bulgari Serpenti) and accessories. But since the launch of the ever-expanding Octo watch collection in 2012, the brand has certainly been able to establish itself as a worthy contender in the world of men’s luxury watches as well. More recently, Bulgari made it to the watch world news when the Octo Finissimo Automatic and the Octo Finissimo Skeleton were declared winners under the “Men’s watches” and “Tourbillon and escapement” categories at GPHG 2017. And it seems that the brand is not in a mood to rest on its laurels as they have now gone ahead to create their most complicated watch ever, the Bulgari Octo Grande Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar watch.
The signature element of any Bulgari Octo is its distinctive case design and the Bulgari Octo Grand Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar is no different. The 44mm case is made out of rose gold with a sandblasted finish and is a medley of different facets and angles making it look familiar yet unique amidst its Octo siblings. Housing a combination of grand complications, the case is certainly on the thicker side and has a mid-case made out of titanium, providing some nice chiming characteristics and also keeping the overall weight of the watch in check due to its lightness. On top of the case is a round bezel which holds the sapphire crystal on the front in place and the back of the case also features an exhibition case-back to fully appreciate the complicated yet beautiful inner workings of this watch. Water resistance is marked at a mere 30 meters which even though low, is certainly acceptable for a watch of this type.
The dial on the Bulgari Octo Grand Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar is made out of sapphire crystal, is striking to look at and thoughtfully laid out. First up you have applied hour markers which along with the printed minute track and a skeletonized handset have been color matched to the case color and really pop against the transparent backdrop. Then comes the perpetual calendar with a moon phase indicator below 12, a date sub-dial at 6, day of the week at 9 and the month of the year at 3. Finally, to wrap up the dial there is a chime power reserve indicator tucked away neatly between 1 and 2, and a power reserve indicator nestled between 4 and 5. And while there is certainly quite a bit of information being displayed on the dial of this watch I would certainly commend folks at Bulgari for keeping the implementation clean without hurting much of dial symmetry and legibility.
Powering this watch is Bulgari’s in-house automatic Calibre BVL5307 which features an entire perpetual calendar complication with moon phase and a Grand Sonnerie complication that provides users the ability to listen to the hours, quarter-hours and minutes at the push of a button. It operates at a frequency of 3Hz, offering a power reserve of 48 hours for the main movement and 28 hours for the striking mechanism.
In the end, I would like to say that the Bulgari Octo Grand Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar is a gorgeous watch which is a testimony to the brand’s technical prowess and innovative capabilities. The watch comes fitted with a black alligator strap and an 18kt rose gold folding clasp and would retail at a price of USD 14,300. Visit Bvlgari here.