LVMH Watch Week: Bulgari Expands Octo Finissimo Collection with Three New Ultra-Thin Timepieces

Since its launch in 2012, Bulgari’s Octo collection of eight-sided luxury watches has grown and become the Italian-based brand’s best-seller in the mechanical timepiece category. Moreover, the pieces within the Octo Finissimo sub-family, launched in 2014, continues to set new standards in watch thinness, counting among its member the thinnest tourbillon, time-only automatic, GMT chronograph, tourbillon chronograph, and minute repeater, as well as a handful of other record-setters.

With all of this said, it is no surprise that Bulgari chose the newest pieces in the Octo Finissimo line to lead its releases for the year. The three new watches unveiled for LVMH Watch Week include a monochrome Octo Finissimo S, an all-new Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT, and an updated Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium.

Octo Finissimo S

In 2020, Bulgari upgraded the Octo Finissimo line with new dial colors and also with notably increased water resistance, allowing the watches to begin treading into the popular sports watch territory. Now the brand updates these hardier watches with a new monochrome colorway, introducing a popular all-metal look to the time-only watch.

The 40-mm x 6.4-mm, square-shaped case, its shell produced in the now-familiar Octo Finissimo style, features primarily satin finishing but also accents of polishing here and there. As mentioned, the watch has improved water resistance (100 meters) compared to previous models in the series, which was accomplished by Bulgari’s addition of a slightly larger case thickness and its introduction of a better sealed screw-down crown.  The entire piece is secured to the wrist with a satin- and polish-finished metal bracelet, which in context with the dial and case adds to the overall monochromatic look.

Surrounding the dial is the Octo Finissimo series’ signature bezel, with the namesake eight sides stylized around a more traditional, radially brushed circular shape. The bezel helps secure a flat sapphire crystal over the vertically brushed silver dial; the directional changes in its brushed finishing add life and a dynamic quality to the overall monochromatic look. The dial itself is rather straightforward, featuring elongated applied hour markers at each position, opting for Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock and simpler tick marks at most other positions. This layout is broken up only at 7 o’clock, where a printed seconds subdial with a shrunken dauphine-style hand is found. Towards the top of the dial is Bulgari’s Latin-inspired, stylized logo, while sweeping over the dial are two lume-accented dauphine hands for the hours and minutes.

Inside the Octo Finissimo S is ultra-thin caliber BVL 138. The in-house produced mechanism uses a micro-rotor for its automatic winding and is capable of a 60-hour power reserve. Like previous models in the line, the watch will include an exhibition case back to show off the movement, which is decorated by hand with traditional haute horlogerie finishes including a côtes de Genève motif, chamfered edges on the bridges, and circular graining on the mainplate.

Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT

Following the success of 2020’s Octo Finissimo S, Bulgari is expanding the sub-series this year with the mixed-complication Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT. The new model, like its non-chronograph GMT counterparts, features a slightly bulkier case and added screw-down crown to assist in achieving its 100-meter water resistance. Otherwise, it is still quite similar to prior applications of this complication combination in the Octo Finissimo line. As with other models in the Octo Finissimo collection, Bulgari is starting with blue as the primary dial color for the new watch, though it’s highly likely we’ll begin to see other colorways in the years to come.

The case is 43 mm in diameter and 8.75-mm thick, here again in the Octo Finissimo style with the various facets, primarily brushed finishing, and signature bezel. Similar to other models in the S sub-series, the Chronograph GMT is also mounted standard on the brand’s appealing steel link bracelet.

Underneath the sapphire crystal, the blue dial showcases all the model’s named complications. Surrounding the octagonal dial is a chronograph-style minute ring, punctuated at each hour position by applied diagonal hour hours and topped by an elongated Arabic 12 at midnight. The dial also includes three silver subdials, with a 24-hour GMT register at 3 o’clock, a 30-minute chronograph counter at 6 o’clock, and a running seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. The series’ familiar dauphine style hands, each filled with lume, indicate the hour and minute, while a simpler metal pointer stands at attention ready to count the chronograph seconds. Interestingly, the brand opted to not use the shrunken dauphine-style hands for the sub-dials, but instead made use of contrasting black hands, in all likelihood to add legibility to the all-purpose, sports-focused model.

Inside the Chronograph GMT is Bulgari’s caliber BVL 318, an in-house-developed, automatic movement featuring a 55-hour power reserve, a peripheral platinum rotor, and an array of excellent finishing that is visible via an exhibition caseback.

Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium

The last model in this year’s trifecta of Octo Finissimo watches is the newly updated Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium. We first saw the original Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT (non-S version) unveiled in 2019 to much fanfare, owing to its ultra-thin and super lightweight design derived from the use of titanium for its case material. This new model shares both of these features, but adds a more widely appealing black dial and a sporty strap that adds to its casual character.

Here also, the familiar Octo Finissimo-style case has various directions of brushed and polished finishing. Unique to this piece, it is produced in super-lightweight titanium and, since it’s not an “S” model, has slightly thinner case dimensions at 42 mm by 6.9 mm. The black color of the woven rubber bracelet matches the sporty and stealthy style of the dial, with its dual complications.

Speaking of the dark, matte black dial, we find on it a familiar configuration to the S model above, though with a few key changes. Foremost, each of the dial accents are printed rather than applied, inclusive of the outer chronograph minute ring, hour markers, and brand logo. Additionally, the subdials don’t feature any indentations or contrasting colors outside of their markers, which helps provide a cleaner, more subtle overall look. Like the previous Chronograph GMT, it has a 24-hour second time zone register at 3 o’clock, 30-minute chronograph counter at 6 o’clock, running seconds at 9 o’clock, dauphine style hands and a thin chronograph seconds hand. Interestingly, though, Bulgari opted not to use lume on the hour and minute hands and instead skeletonized them, likely to add to the stealthy, “cool” factor of the timepiece.

Like the S model, the titanium watch houses the Bulgari Caliber BVL 318. However, unlike the S model, the titanium version has a significantly reduced water resistance — only 30 meters.

All three new watches are set to be available in June of 2021 on a non-limited basis. The monochromatic Octo Finissimo S is priced at $12,000, the Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT at $16,500, and the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium at $17,200.

To learn more and inquire for purchase, you can visit Bulgari’s website, here.

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