Bulgari Octo Finissimo: Thinnest Watches with Italian Flair
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo line is perhaps the Italian jewellery and watch brand’s most iconic watch collection to date. At about 5mm thick, the Octo Finissimo is considered one of the thinnest, if not the thinnest, watches in the world.
Aside from its award-winning thinness and commendable six world records in a span of six years, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo watch also sports a distinct design aesthetic that is both modern and classic. Its minimalist and clean easily look won the hearts of many watch enthusiasts. From its industrial-style octagonal dial to its elegant finishing, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo is one sophisticated-looking watch.
The Iconic Design
Take it from the Roman jeweller to marry Italian elegance and sophistication with the Swiss craftsmanship and mechanical expertise in a watch. Launched in 2014, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo features an octagonal design that’s inspired by the 310 AD Roman Maxentius Basilica famed for its octagonal ceiling coffers.
With a thinness of 5mm, give or take depending on the model, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo collection harbours a number of accolades under its belt from several watch design awards including the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, IF Design Gold Award, and Germany’s Red Dot Award, to name a few.
In the last six years since its successful launch, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo consistently showed great design innovation while remaining true to its DNA. From its unique octagonal dial with interesting facets to its elegant matte finish, the look of the watch remains consistent no matter the model, materials, and movement used. On top of that, it remains consistently ultra-thin and elegant regardless of the complication and features added on each model — a feat that earns Bulgari a nod in the watch industry.
Up Close: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic (2017)
The Octo Finissimo line comes in various models. Each piece has its own distinct charms, innovative designs, and mechanisms. But one that stands out the most due to its practicality and functionality is the classic Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic, an all-time favourite timepiece by discerning gentlemen and was introduced back in 2017. And that’s what we’re gonna look at up close.
The case features the classic octagonal design that’s distinct in the Bulgari Octo collection. It comes in a 40mm sandblasted stainless steel with a thickness of only 5.15mm. It boasts a transparent caseback and a sandblasted stainless steel crown as well, allowing the watch to have a water resistance of 30 metres. The architectural-style of the case appeals to most men with its rough-elegant finish. A modern watch with a classic twist, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo is a sophisticated dress watch that can take you from work to formal affairs.
The white dial is as minimalist as it gets with Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock and the signature Octo thing baton hour markers, as well as the dauphine-style hands. A sub-dial between 7 and 8 o’clock positions displays the small seconds. To keep the look clean and streamlined, the whole dial has a muted tone, with only black, white, and stainless steel hues gracing it. The dial, protected by a scratch-resistant glare-proof sapphire crystal, is very legible and straightforward — a must for any serious dress watch.
Inside, the watch is just as beautiful as it is on the outside. It runs on the ultra-thin automatic Calibre BVL 138 movement with a power reserve of 60 hours. Measuring only 2.23mm thick, this impressive calibre movement is made from 950 platinum with integrated micro-rotor and beats at 21’600 vibrations/hour. What’s more, the magic of this whole mechanism can be viewed through the Bulgari Octo Finissimo’s exhibition caseback.
To give the wearer options, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic comes in either black alligator leather strap, perfect for a dress watch, or a matching sand-blasted stainless steel bracelet for an elegant monochromatic look. Depending on the occasion or your preference, either of the two perfectly goes well with the Octo Finissimo’s elegance.
Various Models Through the Years
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Mechanical Hand-Wound (2014)
When Bulgari first launched the Octo Finissimo collection in 2014, it became an instant hit. The Octo Finissimo Mechanical Hand-Wound comes in a 40mm platinum case with a sapphire crystal and a transparent caseback. What’s amazing about this watch is that it’s only 5mm thick. The 2.23mm ultra-thin calibre movement that powers it is fully developed and manufactured in-house and one of the best in the industry at the time of its launch.
The dial is clean and classy with the Octo Finissimo signature Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock, baton hour markers, and dauphine hands. An off-centred sub-dial sits at 7:30 o’clock, displaying the seconds, while a power reserve display can be seen at the back of the watch. Running on the in-house Finissimo calibre hand-wound movement, this watch has a whopping 70 hours of power reserve. An elegant black leather strap completes the look.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater (2016)
After enchanting the horology world with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon in 2014, the thinnest in the world at the time, Bulgari launched the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in 2016. The world’s thinnest minute repeater with a mechanical movement, the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater is equipped with BVL 362-Finissimo calibre movement, which is about 3.12mm thick and has a power reserve of 42 hours.
It comes in a 40mm titanium case with 6.85mm thickness and features a skeletonised titanium dial with a transparent caseback. Look closely at the dial and you’ll see that the numerals are cut into it, which allows the sound to generate better from the gong through the dial. The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater has a 30m water resistance and is paired with a beautiful black alligator leather strap.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic (2018)
In 2017, Bulgari introduced the classic Octo Finissimo Automatic, discussed above. And the following year, at Baselworld 2018, the brand launched the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic, which set two new records for Bulgari: the world’s thinnest tourbillon watch and the world’s thinnest automatic watch.
At 3.95mm thick, the new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic snatched the title from Piaget with its Altiplano Ultimate Automatic 910 as the thinnest automatic watch. And unlike the 2014 Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, which bears the title ‘the world’s thinnest automatic movement’, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon 2018 is now the titleholder of the world’s thinnest tourbillon watch with the thinnest tourbillon movement.
The watch boasts a stunning skeleton dial in grade 5 titanium paired with an ultra-thin titanium bracelet enclosed in a 42mm sandblasted titanium case and sapphire crystal. The in-house 1.95mm-thin Caliber BVL 288 movement gives it a power reserve of 52 hours. What’s more, the watch is limited to 50 pieces only.
Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic (2019)
Another masterpiece from the Bulgari Octo Finissimo line is the Chronograph GMT watch launched in 2019. It is powered by the extra-thin, automatic winding BVL 318 calibre movement, which is a mere 3.30mm thick and boasts 55 hours of power reserve. It comes in a 42mm titanium case (6.90 mm thick) and features a see-through caseback, sapphire crystal, and titanium crown.
It has a sandblasted titanium dial featuring sub-dials for the minute and chronograph functions, as well as the GMT function. The watch is paired with a sandblasted titanium bracelet and has a water resistance of 30 metres.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Satin-Polished Steel Automatic (2020)
This year at the LVMH Watch Week – Dubai 2020, Bulgari launched four new models within the Octo Finissimo line: the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in sandblasted 18K rose gold, a black automatic in sandblasted ceramic, and new automatic models in satin-polished steel and satin-polished 18K rose gold. We’ll only feature the two satin-polished steel models in this article.
Each of the two models comes in a 40mm satin-polished case with just 5.25mm thick. As mentioned above, you have the option to get the 18K gold version or the steel one. The black lacquer dial has the signature Arabic numerals and baton hour markers, as well as dauphine hands and the seconds sub-dial at 7:30 o’clock. Both models run on the 2.23mm-thick BVL 138 Finissimo calibre movement with 60 hours of power reserve. The rose gold version is fitted with a black alligator leather strap, while the steel model has the matching satin-polished steel bracelet.
Thin and Mean
Given the Bulgari Octo Finissimo’s achievements in a span of six years since its launch, this line of watches has all the makings of an icon. Classic, elegant, and ultra-sexy, the Octo Finissimo is a perfect gentleman’s accessory. Granted its not as high-brow as a Patek or doesn’t have the great resale value (yet) of a Rolex, but wearing one certainly ups any guy’s fashion ante by a mile.
Ever wonder what’s a perpetual calendar complication is for? Read our Guide to the Perpetual Calendar Watch to find out.