Cover story

Last summer we chose to include on the cover of GMT the Octo Finissimo Automatic in titanium, the world’s thinnest automatic watch, winner of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in the Men’s category. This is the model chosen for its inaugural series by the Fine Watch Club – the first international watch owners’ clubs – whose members are looking forward to their special series (see page 56). It was not Bvlgari’s first foray into the highly coveted niche of watchmaking thinness, synonymous with technical know-how and aesthetic success. The Octo Finissimo collection already held world records for the thinness of its automatic tourbillon, minute repeater and automatic three-hand model. With the all-new Chronograph GMT presented at Baselworld 2019, not only has the Manufacture based in Neuchâtel set a fifth world record, but it also gains a comfortable lead, since this model is 40% thinner than of the nearest competitor ! Imagine 318 components expertly fitted inside a five-franc coin, a feat comparable to this movement measuring just 3.3mm thick and the case a mere 6.9mm. The chronograph has established itself in the contemporary watchmaking world as the most emblematic expression of masculinity, brilliantly displaying the spirit of sport and performance, even though in practice the function is not often used. It is rarely associated with the GMT function, which itself is more frequently used by travelers crossing various time zones. Bvlgari impresses by its ability to combine these complications in an
efficient and aesthetically pleasing way. The pairing really works well and the Octo Finissimo retains the power of its sleek, modern and distinctive design, with home time appearing at 3 o’clock on a 24-hour graduated counter. Now that its mechanical content has proven its worth with a blend of audacity and dependability – all at a very reasonable price-quality ratio – visionary collectors and lovers of iconic watches would do well to invest in the collection before its very success results in a long waiting list.

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

Review overview