Edge of Tomorrow: Building the Bulgari Octo Finnissimo Collection


For 2021, Bulgari has introduced three new versions within its Octo Finissimo range, the highly anticipated Chronograph GMT in stainless steel (S), the Octo Finissimo S in a new monochrome style with a silvered dial, and the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium with a new black dial and rubber strap.

Bulgari’s new Octo Finissimo S with silvered dial and satin polished steel case features a slightly thicker case than its counterpart in titanium, and it also comes with a screw-down crown for a full 100 meters of water resistance.

Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo immediately had a huge impact when it made its entrance in 2014. The minimalistic design not only represented a bold approach to watchmaking in general, but Bulgari also proved successfully that an ultra-thin case design could be as contemporary as the materials used. Or in other words, the Italian brand had almost instantly created a haute horlogerie icon without looking for inspiration in the company’s past.

Even more impressive, Bulgari has set six world records in six years with the Octo Finissimo, including the world’s thinnest tourbillon (Ref. 102138 in 2014), the thinnest minute repeater (Ref. 102559 in 2016), the thinnest (serially produced) automatic watch (Ref. 102713 in 2017), the thinnest automatic tourbillon (Ref. 102937 in 2018), the thinnest automatic chronograph (Ref. 103068 in 2019) and the thinnest tourbillon chronograph (Ref. 103295 in 2020). Unsurprisingly, the Finissimo has not only won critical acclaim worldwide; three of these record breakers have already been awarded at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).

Compared to its 42-mm counterpart in titanium (above), the new Bulgari Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT Steel (below) has an increased diameter of 43 mm and is water-resistant up to 100 meters.

Bulgari’s award-winning design has long been influenced by the “Estetica della Meccanica,” or the aesthetic of mechanics, and has been staying close to a quintessential Italian understanding of rationalism and functionality. The Octo is not making an exception from this approach: it is set apart by its eight-sided (Octo) ultra-thin (Finissimo) case, representing the “intersection of circle and square inspired by Rome’s architectural wonders,” rendered throughout the line in a minimalist, mainly monochrome aesthetic. But the Octo has also become a rare example of a Gérald Genta design that got even better after having been carefully modernized (it was originally produced under Genta’s own name before the legendary watch designer sold his company to Bulgari in 2000).

The latest version of the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium not only comes with a black dial, but also with a new integrated rubber strap and redesigned end-links for a sportier look and increased comfort.

The man who made this possible is Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Product Creation Executive Director at Bulgari Horlogerie SA. Buonamassa immediately understood how to respect and preserve the Octo’s initial design essence, while making it more modern and unmistakably Bulgari at the same time. In the 20 years the Naples-born designer has been working on watches for Bulgari, the Octo Finissimo might very well be his chef-d’oeuvre. But he not only has a different way of seeing things, he also knows very well how to apply the principle of progressive reduction in his designs. This is perhaps best reflected in the minimalistic executions used for the dials, but also in how altruistically he looks at design in general. His approach to the role of design, treating it almost like a canvas, has allowed for a couple of interesting collaborations. Buonamassa worked, for example, on special editions of the Octo with Ando Tadao, a Japanese architect and winner of the 1995 Pritzker Prize, and Senju Hiroshi, a Japanese Nihonga painter.

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Product Creation Executive Director, Bulgari Horlogerie SA.

In 2020, Octo again disrupted the immensely popular luxury sports watch segment with the introduction of the Octo Finissimo S (Ref. 103297), a highly anticipated stainless-steel execution of the Octo (mounted on an integrated steel bracelet with a recessed clasp), powered by the thinnest automatic movement, and offering an increased water resistance of 100 meters (instead of 30 meters), made possible by increasing the case thickness just slightly from 5.15 mm to 6.40 mm and adding a screw-down crown.

The Octo Finissimo S with silvered dial is the third execution of the stainless steel version of the ultra-thin automatic watch.

This watch is now also available in a new monochrome execution (Ref. 103464). It features a 40-mm steel satin-polished case with a new silver vertical-brushed monochromatic dial, and is powered by Bulgari’s BVL138 caliber with micro-rotor.

Both the new Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT Titanium and the Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT Steel are powered by the world’s thinnest automatic chronograph movement, the BVL138 with peripheral oscillating weight.

Bulgari has also expanded its Octo Finissimo S line with the new Finissimo S Chronograph GMT (Ref. 103467), equipped with the automatic in-house chronograph and GMT ultra-thin Caliber BVL318 with peripheral rotor (3.30 mm thick). Initially launched only with a titanium case, this watch is now finally available in (satin-polished) steel with a new blue sunray dial, paired with silver counters for what Bulgari calls “a more sport chic look.” Its mechanical movement allows the display of a second time zone on the sub-counter at 3 o’clock. The octagonal case (8.75 mm thick) also features an integrated vertical brushed steel bracelet with polished parts. Like the automatic version in stainless steel, the Octo Finissimo S features a larger screw-down crown than the former sandblasted titanium models to ensure an increased water resistance of up to 100 meters.

The new Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT features a steel case and bracelet, and a new sunray blue dial with striking silver subdials.

The third Finissimo novelty for 2021 is a new version of the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium (Ref. 103371), which is now available with a new black dial and a rubber strap for a sportier look. The world’s thinnest automatic chronograph also features the automatic in­house chronograph and GMT ultra-thin Caliber BVL318 with peripheral rotor (3.30 mm), and has an overall thinness of 6.9 mm. As its counterpart in stainless steel, it has a combined chronograph and GMT function that allows it to show two time zones at once (the 24-hour GMT display can be operated independently thanks to the button at 9 o’clock). Moving ahead from its original matte titanium monochrome aesthetic, the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium is equipped with a titanium case, black opaline dial and a texturized rubber strap with titanium pin buckle.

SPECS – Bulgari Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT Titanium
Reference number: 103371
Functions: Hours, minutes, running seconds, GMT, chronograph with 30-minute totalizer
Movement: Self-winding mechanical Caliber BVL318 (3.3 mm thick) with peripheral oscillating weight, 28,800 vph (4Hz), 55-hour power reserve
Case: Sandblasted titanium case with transpar-ent caseback, crown set with a ceramic inlay, black dial, water resistant to 30 m
Bracelet and clasp: Black rubber strap with pin buckle (titanium)
Dimensions: Diameter = 42.0 mm, height = 6.9 mm
Price: $16,500

SPECS – Bulgari Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT Steel
Reference number: 103467
Functions: Hours, minutes, running seconds, GMT, chronograph with 30-minute totalizer
Movement: Self-winding mechanical Caliber BVL318 (3.3 mm thick) with peripheral oscillating weight, 28,800 vph (4Hz), 55-hour power reserve
Case: Satin-polished steel case with transpar-ent caseback, screw-down crown set with a ceramic inlay, blue dial, water resistant to 100 m
Bracelet and clasp: Integrated brushed steel bracelet with folding clasp
Dimensions: Diameter = 43.0 mm, height = 8.75 mm
Price: $16,500

2 Responses to “Edge of Tomorrow: Building the Bulgari Octo Finnissimo Collection”

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  1. Great watches mechanically but I just can’t take the clash of different curves, lines and corners on the case. Not for me. Seems like Genta gone crazy.

    Reply
  2. Randy Rogers

    Forever now a Bulgari as it’s execution expands, but without the Master, Gerald Genta who’s October Bi-Retro Collection inspired, this one truly Unique Design in a tailored thin execution in a sea of Sport and Thick.

    Reply
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