Watches: Bvlgari Octo Chronograph

By Thierry Ané on January 17, 2014

Originally part of the Gerald Genta brand, the Octo line took a new turn in 2012 when Bvlgari’s designers offered an entirely revamped version. Gerarld Genta’s models were characterized by the use of complex displays (mainly jumping hours and retrograde indications) as well as structured cases of generous proportions (often in the 45-46 mm region). The Octo Chrono Quadri Retro Maserati is a perfect example of what these watches look like.

Building on the recent return of the watch industry to classic and discreet models, the new Octo Automatic is a simple three-hand model with date indication housed in a smaller case size of “only” 41.50 mm. Initially presented in steel or pink gold with a black alligator strap and a black lacquered dial, the watch had all the attributes to become an instant classic. Its appeal is mainly due to the beauty of its extremely complex case with no less than 110 alternately polished and satin-brushed surfaces. Instantly recognisable as a Bvlgari model, the watch exudes Italian elegance.

Since it also relies on a fine Swiss mechanical movement, the self-winding BVL 193 calibre, the new Octo had the perfect mixture of aesthetic and technical features to become an extremely successful model (and maybe a new icon for the luxury maison). Not surprisingly, new versions were soon unveiled. In 2012 the brand introduced a pink gold version with a diamond-set bezel and a steel model with a steel bracelet that echoes the design of the case. A steel with a white dial and brown alligator strap was soon to follow.

This year Bvlgari takes the next natural step and expands the Octo collection with the introduction of an Octo Chronograph timepiece presented in three versions: first, a stainless steel timepiece and a pink gold watch both with a black alligator strap, then another stainless steel model equipped with a stainless steel bracelet. All three versions feature the black lacquered dial and retain the beautifully crafted 41.50 mm case of the automatic models as well as the eight-sided crown with its black ceramic insert.

The Octo Chronograph watches are powered by the automatic BVL 193 calibre. Based on the famous El Primero movement, this integrated column-wheel chronograph oscillates at 36,000 vph and is equipped with a silicon escapement. This beautifully finished movement can of course be observed by the sapphire exhibition case back.

Once again, this is a stunning watch, with beautiful proportions, that combines the natural refinement of the Octo Automatic with the sophistication of a chronograph for the watch lovers in search of an understated model beyond the simple three-hand timepiece.

For a technical description of the timepieces and additional pictures: