Bulgari: octo Finissimo reinvents men’s watchmaking

Since its launch in 2014, the incredible Octo Finissimo collection has set four world records and earned two major prizes at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). The methodical construction of this stand-out line that overturns existing design codes and features standout technical innovations opens up new horizons for devotees of Fine Watchmaking. GMT has selected five models illustrating the wealth of this personality-packed line, from the selfwinding model for everyday wear to Haute Horlogerie models for grand occasions.

A quick background reminder : the Octo Finissimo created quite a stir and attracted a lot of attention right from the year of its introduction, when the Octo Finissimo Small Seconds and Octo Finissimo Tourbillon were both finalists in the GHPG. The latter model had by then been acknowledged as the world’s thinnest tourbillon, heralding a spate of world records that has continued ever since, reflecting the exceptional horological expertise cultivated by the Manufacture Bulgari. Its technical qualities are backed by crucial aesthetic qualities, since despite its undeniable slenderness, it retains an unmistakably strong masculine character. In 2016, the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater (another world record holder in its category) was in turn nominated by the international jury of the GPHG. The crowning distinction came in 2017, with no less than two awards : the Octo Finissimo Automatic won the much sought-after Men’s Watch Prize ; while the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton picked up the Tourbillon & Escapement Prize. In 2018, Bulgari set its fourth world record with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic, which is the world’s thinnest self-winding watch, thinnest tourbillon and thinnest self-winding tourbillon all in one ! Lastly, the titanium Octo Finissimo Automatic won the highest distinction of the 2018 IF Gold Design Award in the Product category, as well as the Best of the Best Award from the Red Dot Design Award. As the Bulgari Group’s CEO points out : “combining design with extraordinary movements means creating legends.”


Above and beyond the records and awards that strengthen Bulgari’s recognition and credibility in the fiercely competitive territory of Fine Watchmaking, the Octo Finissimo collection also delivers something new on all levels : technical performance, but also and above all, a more modern sophisticated expression of elegance in high-end watchmaking. Vibrant shapes are matched by a generous and innovative choice of exterior elements. At the very peak of the watchmaking pyramid, the surprising Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater was initially introduced in titanium, and now appears in carbon. The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon was launched in a platinum hand-wound version, and now comes in a sandblasted titanium selfwinding interpretation. The variety of materials as well as surface and movement treatments, notably openworking, is stunning across the entire price spectrum. This is particularly true of the last two versions of the Octo Finissimo Automatic, also available this year in pink gold and rhodium-plated steel, which lends an entirely original chrome-like radiance to the metal. For Guido Terreni, CEO Bulgari Watches, “they instantly draw the gaze through the treatment lavished on the materials. Thanks to sandblasting, pink gold exudes warmth without glinting, and glows rather than dazzles. Rhodium- plated steel also takes on an elegant, silky shimmer. It is all about subtlety and elegance, free of any excessive ostentation.” Like the collection as a whole, ridges and angles create light and perspective effects that are unique in the watch industry, to the point where some customers treat themselves to several models from the Octo Finissimo line, which has sparked a full-fledged watchmaking phenomenon in barely four years.

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.

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