As followers of the watch industry are well aware by now, “Roman Jeweller of Time” Bulgari has made pushing the boundaries of mechanical-watch thinness its stock-in-trade, with each year bringing at least one new record-setting watch that combines horological complexity with waif-like profiles. This year is no exception: as one of the founding maisons of this week’s Geneva Watch Days exhibition, Bulgari has used that platform to launch its sixth world-record timepiece in six years: the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Automatic Watch.
The new model’s claim to fame is that it debuts as the thinnest timepiece combining all the following features: a skeletonized, self-winding movement, a single-push chronograph function, and a tourbillon. Its 42-mm sandblasted titanium case, in the now-famous eight-sided Octo configuration, measures only 7.4 mm in total thickness. The crown and chronograph push-buttons are also in sandblasted titanium, as is the tapered bracelet. The openworked dial is dominated by matte gray details, particularly the two subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock.
Inside the wafer-thin case (water-resistant to 30 meters) is an accordingly slender movement, Caliber BVL 388, which rises just 3.5 mm in height despite its array of functions. Visible from the back (through a clear sapphire window) as well as the front of the watch, it uses a peripheral rotor for automatic winding, amassing a power reserve of 52 hours. Its balance beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph (3 Hz) and its uses both a column wheel and a horizontal clutch to drive its integrated chronograph function.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic is a limited edition of 50 pieces, priced at $142,000. Click here for more new Bulgari Octo models for 2020.