Bulgari: Octo Finissimo Ultra, the Thinnest Mechanical Wristwatch

Bulgari celebrates the 10th anniversary of its award-winning Octo collection with the Italian maison’s eight world record, the thinnest mechanical watch ever produced. Meet the 1.8-mm thick Octo Finissimo Ultra (Ref. 103611):

1.80 mm for the watch as a whole, from the caseback to the top of the sapphire crystal. That’s exactly half the height of an ETA 2829-A2 automatic movement, and it is an impressive 0.2 mm thinner than the previous record holder, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch from 2018.

To create the world’s thinnest, and at the same time still reliable and robust mechanical watch, the designers, engineers and watchmakers had to start from scratch: the indications for the hours, minutes and seconds all had to be executed separately to reduce height, for example. The off-centered seconds display – a signature element of the collection – on the wheel at 6 o’clock, is placed next to the two regulator-type counters for the hours (top) and minutes (lower half). More importantly, the Octo Finissimo Ultra uses the caseback as a mainplate on which the 170 components of the BVL Calibre 180 are integrated. The movement itself offers a 50-hour power reserve.

Another issue was the overall rigidity required, which was achieved by combining the case middle, bezel and titanium lugs with a caseback/mainplate element in tungsten carbide, a particularly dense, hard and ultra-resistant combination of carbon and tungsten. Instead of a regular crown for winding and setting the watch, Bulgari went with two horizontally placed knobs – one for winding and the other for setting. Another innovation lies in a differential gear mechanism serving to handle time-setting without disturbing the gear train.

Unsurprisingly, a total of eight patent applications have been filed as a result of the work invested. They relate to the watch glass assembly, barrel structure, oscillator module, differential display, modular structure, bracelet, bimetal case middle-mainplate/caseback, as well as the Bulgari Singularity technology.

“This fabulous benchmark that we are setting today with the Octo Finissimo Ultra is in fact for me and for all the teams an apparently impossible dream come true. One that guarantees that Bulgari will forever be recognized as a company that has written some of the finest pages in Swiss watchmaking. And the fact that this is an Italian house makes us particularly proud.”

Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO Bulgari

The individual QR code that has been engraved on the barrel’s ratchet-wheel serves as a gateway to additional digital content, like interviews, making-of segments, a virtual 3D tour of the movement, and an exploration of the visible/invisible concept linked to the watch. More importantly, each of the ten owners will receive an exclusive a NFT (non-fungible token) artwork which is both guaranteeing the authenticity of the watch and also serves as a link between watch and owner. Bulgari calls this “an everlasting bond guaranteed by the Bulgari Singularity tech,” which also happens to be the eighth patent.

The 40-mm Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra is limited to 10 pieces, priced at €400,000 each.

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