The history of watchmaking is marked by continuous evolutions and "Game Changers". This is the case of the Octo collection by Bulgari which today celebrates its 10th anniversary in style, setting its 8th world record with the Octo Finissimo Ultra: the thinnest mechanical watch in the world.
This extraordinary series of record-breaking ultra-thin watches was also awarded theAiguille d'Or, the first prize al Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève 2021, assigned toOcto Finissimo Perpetual Calendar.
Since the presentation of the Octo collection in July 2012, Bulgari has established itself in the narrow circle of haute horlogerie to the sound of records, completely unthinkable for such a short period of time.
- 2014 - Octo Finissimo Tourbillon - thinnest Tourbillon movement 1.95 mm / case 5.00 mm - BVL 268 caliber
- 2016 - Octo Finissimo minute repeater - Thinnest minute repeater, 3.12 mm movement / 6.85 mm case - BVL 362 caliber
- 2017 - Octo Finissimo Automatic - thinnest automatic movement 2.23 mm / case 5.15 mm - caliber BVL 138
- 2018 - Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic - thinnest automatic and thinnest Tourbillon, movement 1.95 mm / case 3.95 mm - caliber BVL 288
- 2019 - Octo Finissimo Chronograph - very thin chronograph, 3.30 mm movement / 6.90 mm case - BVL 318 caliber
- 2020 - Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph - the thinnest Chronograph Tourbillon, movement 3.50 mm / case 7.40 mm - caliber BVL 388
- 2021 - Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar - Very thin Perpetual Calendar, 2.75 mm movement / 5.80 mm case - BVL 388 caliber
But limiting ourselves to the technical field would be almost an understatement, since Bulgari has combined technique with style, breaking with the aesthetic codes that wanted the grand complications, linked to more classic cases in form and design. This is the result of the link between Swiss watchmaking know-how and Italian taste.
After only 3 years of research and development by the Bulgari team in collaboration with Conepto (manufacturer and designer of movements), the new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra is able to count in its palmares the record held by the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept, which is the thinnest mechanical watch in the world. The thickness of this Octo is in fact equal to 1,80mm, 10% less than the thickness of the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept.
They are in total 8 patents linked to the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra and concern: the assembly of the glass, the structure of the barrel, the regulating organ, the regulating display, the modular structure, the bracelet, the case in bi-material with regard to the back-plate and the Bulgari Singularity technology.
Although the design of the Octo Finissimo Ultra recalls the aesthetic canons of the previous models, to reach this goal it was necessary to break the rules and reach compromises in every respect, from the case, to the caseback, to the bracelet.
La case measures 40mm and is in sandblasted titanium, as well as the integrated cuff. But how was it possible to achieve this result? First of all the Caseback was used as the movement plate, on whose surface every possible space has been exploited. In fact, as can be guessed, as the thickness of the movement decreases, the entire surface will be exploited to distribute the components.
Il clock face has obviously been rethought, keeping the design of the indexes and hands, but divided into two counters, cd. Clock face regulator, one at 13 o'clock to indicate the hours and one at 16 o'clock to indicate in minutes. The seconds are displayed on a display mounted directly on the seconds wheel.
Both the bezel and the part of the case that houses the movement are in sandblasted titanium while the back is in tungsten, an ultra-resistant alloy of carbon and aluminum. The glass measures just 0.30mm and is glued to the bezel, which is housed on a silicone gasket and screwed to the case on the back side.
For reasons of space it would have been impossible to foresee a "Breguet" type spiral, since it plays on two floors, but a flat spiral on whose balance wheel there are notches to adjust the inertia of the balance wheel. Also for reasons of space, you will not notice any conventional anti-shock system.
In this case, the task is entrusted to the flexible balance wheel bridge, able to absorb the blows deriving from accidental impacts.
Another detail that you will not have missed is theno crown at 3 o'clock, if not just mentioned on the dial side. In fact the Bulgari Octo Ultra has it well two crowns placed on the back, one opposite the other. A crown allows you to manually wind the watch, while the other of time setting it is located between two protections to avoid unintentional operations.
The setting system, for example, is very simple. It relies on a sonnerie-style click for directional control, replacing the 90 degree angled pinion gear as is customary, thus reducing the vertical volume it occupies.
To allow for a power reserve of 50 hours, the barrel has also been redesigned both in its size and in its operation. In fact, the spring is not anchored to its shaft which communicates with the upper deck of the barrel. In fact, its shaft slides on a u-shaped groove fixed on the platen, while three return wheels guide its rotation.
Finally, if the code QR engraved on the barrel looks quite interesting, it is also the gateway to an exclusive dedicated digital ecosystem that will be unveiled when the first Octo Finissimo Ultra will arrive on the market in a few months. Each of the ten owners of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra will receive an exclusive work of art NFT which guarantees the authenticity of the watch and the connection to its owner.
Il Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra (reference 103611) kicks off with a limited edition of 10 pieces in homage to Octo's XNUMXth anniversary. The price is set at 400.000 Euros. Hats off to Bulgari and everyone involved in this development for creating this record-breaking Octo and for pushing the limits of the ultra-thin watch.