After the world’s thinnest tourbillon movement at Baselworld in 2014, the thinnest minute repeater in 2016 and the thinnest self-winding watch in 2017, Bulgari unveiled its fifth horological record today, the thinnest automatic chronograph movement (3.3mm), after “almost three years of development”, according to Guido Terreni, Managing Director of Bulgari’s Watch Business Unit.
Like the Finissimo Tourbillon, the new in-house caliber (BVL 318 with 55-hour power reserve) handles automatic winding with a peripheral oscillating weight positioned on the back of the movement. It is housed in a 42-mm extra thin (6.9mm) titanium case with transparent caseback, the sandblasted case itself is water resistant up to 30 meters.
A nice detail for travelers: the pusher at 9 o’clock advances the hour hand individually. Terreni: “We are looking at the luxury customer who travels, so we wanted to add a feature: You have a push-button at 9 o’clock here which is moving forward the hour hand. And you have at 3 o’clock the 24-hour counter for your home time.”
Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin: “It’s 40% thinner than any existing mechanical chronograph, so it’s surely a game changer. It’s the most balanced chronograph I’ve ever seen in my life. This is a chronograph which, for the first time, I can slide under my shirt. It really is the pinnacle of the Octo [range], it doesn’t mean that we stop here, but obviously it’s opening a new page. As a chronograph, it is also a different category, it’s a grande complication somehow. Like minute repeaters, chronographs are extremely complicated to craft, especially a thin chronograph. For us it’s the ‘rinascimento’ of the chronograph, because it’s really a new generation of chronograph [movements]. It has been entirely developed in-house on the base of the peripheral [oscillating] mass.”
First impressions of the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic from Basel:
Price is $17,600, the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic should become available in July/August 2019.