Watches: Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Collection (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on April 19, 2014
With its iconic octagonal case designed by Gerald Genta, the Octo collection remains Bvlgari’s flagship. This successful model evolves a little this year as it is split into three lines: the Octo Solotempo for the time-only models, the Octo Velocissimo for the chronographs and lastly the Octo Finissimo for the ultra-thin models.
It is in this latter category that Bvlgari hit the headlines at Baselworld 2014 with the introduction of the thinnest tourbillon movement on the market. With a thickness of only 1.95 mm, the calibre truly deserves its world title as it unambiguously beats Arnold and Son’s Ultra-Thin Tourbillon Escapement model that achieved a thickness of only 2.97 mm last year.
Technically, this new world record calls for some innovative solutions to reduce the overall thickness of the movement. This ultra-thin movement only features two bridges, one for the minute wheel and one for the gear train of the flying tourbillon cage. Rotating once per minute this yet extremely slim cage represents the thickest part of this exceptional calibre. It was also essential to use ball bearings for the moving parts instead of the usual jewels. Further, the watchmakers had to omit the traditional regulator assembly to save thickness and opted for a direct adjustment of the timing on the balance wheel. Another significant development is the use of three ball bearings to guide and keep in position the barrel. This allowed for a double spring length, resulting in an impressive power reserve of 55 hours.
Aesthetically, the watch is equally impressive. Crafted in platinum, its 40 mm octagonal case looks extremely elegant with a thickness of only 5 mm. The black lacquered dial with silver baton markers and hollowed delta-shaped hands is extremely pure and understated. A black large-scale alligator strap and a platinum buckle complete the formal look of the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon.
If you are looking for a smart and timeless model but consider a timepiece with a tourbillon escapement of this standard out of your reach, Bvlgari also released a Octo Finissimo Small Seconds model with the same 40 x 5 mm platinum case paired with a black lacquered dial and alligator strap but housing a time-only movement with small seconds display. With a slightly asymmetric layout due to the seconds dial positioned at 7 o’clock, the watch is also full of personality. This model is automatic and offers 70 hours of power reserve.
Visible through the sapphire exhibition back, both movements have been finished with the utmost care and highlight Bvlgari’s dedication to fine watchmaking. Bevelled plates and bridges, Côte de Genève decorations, bevelled and circular satin-brushed gears, screw heads with bevelled edges and polished ends… no efforts have been spared to make these calibres as aesthetically pleasing as the cases that protect them.