As the world begins to move beyond Covid-19, international travel is once again a thing, especially for business travelers. BVLGARI is launching a new world timer in two variants – stainless steel with a classic blue dial and a more contemporary black DLC coated case with a black dial. A world timer is a bit more unusual than a chronograph or GMT, but every bit as useful for globetrotters and they look cool to boot. Combining this complication with BVLGARI’s popular Octo Roma sports watch makes for an intriguing package.
The Octo Roma line is similar to the Octo Finissimo in appearance, but not quite as angular and edgy. A light version, if you will. Technicalities aside, there’s no mistaking this design for anything but BVLGARI. We have an octagonal case, round bezel and angular (faceted) lugs that integrate well with a bracelet. The case is 41mm in diameter and 11.35mm in height, and features 58 facets as if it’s trying to deflect a radar signal. The black DLC version is positively stealthy, while the steel case is more traditional with brushed and polished surfaces. There are sapphire crystals front and back, and a screw-down crown contributes to the 100-meter water resistance rating. The regular steel case comes with a nice integrated steel bracelet, while the black case is fitted with a black rubber strap with a textile front. I usually prefer an integrated bracelet if given the choice, but both versions look great.
Whether you have the sunburst blue or matte black dial, all dial elements are very legible. There are a couple of differences between the two, however. There are applied, rhodium-plated Arabic numerals and indices on the blue dial, while the black dial’s counterparts are coated with Super-LumiNova. The hour and minute hands are also open-worked on the blue dial and solid with Super-LumiNova inserts on the black dial. Otherwise, they’re the same with a rotating ring of cities at the perimeter and a second rotating 24-hour scale just inside. Everything is controlled by the crown at 3 o’clock.
The heart of both watches is BVLGARI’s in-house BLV257 automatic, which is new for the pair. It has 261 components, 26 jewels, beats at 4Hz (28,800vph) with a 42-hour power reserve. Given the movement’s size of 33mm in diameter and 6.03mm in height (that’s not unusually small), I’m a bit surprised that the power reserve isn’t higher. It’s well finished with Côtes de Genève and BVLGARI’s name engraved on the rotor.
The reference numbers for the pair are 10381 for the steel and 10396 for the black DLC, and both are priced at USD $8,350. Not bad for such refined, in-house Swiss world timers. They’ll be available in October 2021.