Bulgari has been enjoying a renaissance as a watchmaker over the past few years, their thin watches have garnered them loads of attention from all over the globe. In my opinion, anyone taking on Piaget at the game of ultra-thin watches deserves credit, so, here you go Bulgari, here’s some more *holds out a handful of credit*. Now, there are several versions of Bulgari’s Octo watch, all of which are spectacularly thin. But, with a palette consisting of matte titanium and matte black ceramic, finding a new niche that looks both forward-thinking and genuinely good can be hard. So, Bulgari has stuck to what it knows and presented several new versions of the Octo to whet our appetites.
Octo Finissimo Automatic Black Sandblast-Polished Ceramic 103368
First up is the new ceramic time-only offering. The case measures in at 40mm x 5.5mm and, amazingly, comes on a ceramic bracelet too. To give this watch as much friction with the wrist as possible (and to keep it all in proportion) the links of the bracelet are wide at the case and taper down towards the folding clasp. Perhaps the most exciting feature of the case and bracelet is the fact that the watch uses two different types of finishing.
Colours of ceramic are expensive and tricky to do and may look out of place on such a composed timepiece. Therefore, Bulgari instead went with different finishes which complement each other. The case and bracelet both make use of glossy-looking polished ceramic as well as sandblasted ceramic, in the same way, most brands do with their steel pieces. This creates some contrast to the watch’s reflection and gives it an exquisite appearance.
Inside the ceramic case is the svelte calibre BVL138. This in-house made movement uses a micro-rotor to keep the thickness down to a mere 2.23mm. Despite that, the watch still has a 60-hour power reserve and a small seconds display on the dial.
Octo Finissimo Automatic Satin-Polished Steel 103297
Following the all-singing-all-dancing ceramic Octo Finissimo is this Satin-polished version. It shares the same design cues, alternating brushing and polishing to disperse light, to good effect. The stainless steel case is also less prone to shatter but more likely to scratch over time. Still, the dial is incredibly attractive thanks to the contrast between silver and black making for a more classical appearance than the ceramic version.
It’s also likely to be cheaper as well. Although no pricing figures have been released, the ceramic version is estimated to cost between €15k and €16k while this steel version should be less expensive. It also shares the same case dimensions and the same BVL138 micro-rotor movement too.
Octo Finissimo Automatic Satin-Polished Rose Gold 103286
If neither of those watches is expensive enough, then Bulgari is happy to oblige with a solid gold version of the Octo Finissimo. As before, this one features the brushed/polished look but does not come on a solid gold bracelet. As awesome as that would be, it’s not made it to this collection. Though, if you check Bulgari’s website, it does list a solid gold Octo Finissimo on a gold bracelet, but it doesn’t have the brushing/polishing seen here. It does have the in-house made calibre BVL138, though.
The watch is instead paired with a black alligator strap that’s wide and stylish, tapering down to an 18K gold ardillon buckle. This watch also features the same inners but is a bit dressier than the other two.
Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in Sandblasted Rose Gold 103279
This watch is the only one which doesn’t feature the in-house made BVL138 calibre. That’s because this watch is something else entirely, it’s from Bulgari’s haute horlogerie section because it sports a minute repeater, one of the world’s thinnest minute repeaters in-fact. The rose gold case hides the minute repeater well, and thanks to its angular design, it naturally hides the actuator for the minute repeater on the side of the case. The biggest giveaway of its presence is the hollowed-out numerals on the dial which allow sound to radiate more efficiently.
Despite the extra complication, this watch is still thin. The case is 6.9mm thick, and the sandblasting of the golden case makes it appear to be even slimmer still. Just like the previous watch, this minute repeater also comes on an alligator leather strap which is brown this time. There’s no pricing for it yet, but expect it to be well over the €100,000 mark.