Over the best part of the last decade, Roman jewellery maison Bulgari has established itself its fine watchmaking credentials. Such has been their ascendance in the world of haute horology that our colleague Alejandro Estrada from WatchTime Mexico even picked the Bulgari Octo as one of the most influential watches of the decade.
The Octo Finissimo is that rare fusion of edgy Italian design and Swiss engineering. While best known for their monochromatic sandblasted titanium or rose gold models, Bulgari cashes in on the trend of steel sports watches with integrated bracelets with the introduction of a new satin-polished steel timepiece with a black lacquer dial.
The ultra-thin timepiece in steel is a stand-out model for Bulgari - it is accesible, well-crafted, and retains all of the good things that has elevated Bulgari’s position in the watch world. The satin-polished steel case is 40 mm wide and only 5.25 mm thin. The case is a mostly matte thanks to the satin finish, but has shiny polished surfaces too. This mix of alternating surfaces plays off the light well and showcases the lines of the watch and bracelet better.
The case is fitted with a polished steel screw-down crown set with ceramic inlay and an exhibition caseback that offers views of the outstanding BVL 138 Finissimo movement. While the sides of the case have a horizontal brushed satin finish, the bezel has a sunburst-like finish with lines that seem to emanate from the centre of the dial. The case is water-resistant to 100 meters.
The black lacquer dial is the perfect foil for the facetted diamond rhodium-plated hands that serve to indicate time. While the hour markers are in the same tone as the hands, the five second markers of the subsidiary dial and the Swiss Made markings in white also stand out on the dial.
The case is fitted with an integrated satin-polished steel bracelet with folding clasp that wraps around slender wrists well too. The presence of alternate surfaces that are brushed and polished do well to play off the light that hits the watch.
Along with the stainless version, Bulgari also launched a model in satin-polised rose gold which is paired with a black alligator leather strap. Both timepieces are powered by the 2.23mm thick BVL 138 Finissimo caliber. The in-house movement winds itself via a platinum micro-rotor and is finished in the haute horology traditon. It has a 60-hour power reserve and is only 2.23 mm thick. The steel model is priced at $12,000 while the rose gold version is $20,400.