Flash News: Bvlgari Octo Bi-Retro Brazil

By Thierry Ané on May 30, 2014

The summer of 2014 will be placed under the sign of football. Whether or not you are a fan of this sport, you will not be able to avoid the tremendous media coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup that will take place in Brazil. Unfortunately, staying away from any sport-related press will not be enough to be spared from a football overdose: videogames, sportswear, your favourite sodas or mineral water, and even your kid’s cereals will all be branded with the FIFA and/or Brazilian colours.

Every business, from everyday products to high-end luxury items, will try to benefit from this football frenzy. Watch aficionados beware! You can expect the unveiling of dozens of monstrosities in the colours of the Brazilian flag featuring the World Cup logo. Fortunately, though, it will also be the opportunity to discover some tasteful tributes to this beautiful country by brands that are creative enough to meet the refinement required from a piece of Haute Horology while showcasing the garish colours of this country’s flag.

Roman elegance and distinctive design are deeply rooted in Bvlgari’s genes. This respected House is not afraid of using colours either: in many ways, the presence of coloured gemstones has even become a sort of trademark of their High Jewellery collections. Bvlgari’s unmistakable style precisely comes from the successful marriage of unexpected colour assortments. It will thus come as no surprise that this venerable Manufacture was also able to offer an extremely accomplished tribute to Brazil and football with the limited edition Octo Bi-Retro Brazil.

This joyful timepiece builds upon the non-limited steel and black ceramic Octo Bi-Retro model released in 2010 when Bvlgari revamped its Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth collections. Equipped with the in-house GG 7722 self-winding calibre, both models feature a jumping hour positioned at 12 o’clock as well as two retrograde indications: on the upper part of the dial, a faceted diamond-shaped hand indicates the minutes on a 210° sector while another hand points to the date on a 180° segment located at 6 o’clock.

Both models also share the same octagonal 43.00 x 12.35 mm case characteristic of the Octo line. Crafted in stainless steel, it is paired with a powerful black ceramic bezel with a circular brush finishing that gives a sporty and technical look to the watch. This contemporary feel is strengthened by the presence of a textured and very structured black rubber strap secured by a steel folding buckle. The sapphire exhibition case back lets you gaze at the high standard of finishing of the movement.

What really sets the Octo Bi-Retro Brazil apart is that the wise black and white dial of the non-limited Octo Bi-Retro has been replaced with an extremely colourful homage to Brazil. Indeed, the meticulously hand-crafted champlevé dial mixes three different colours: the green minutes chapter and the yellow date ring contrast beautifully on the blue lacquered background.

I think that the Octo Bi-Retro has enough personality to put up with these bright colours and it was the perfect choice for this tribute model. And for those who think that these flashy blue, green and yellow colours are at odds with such a High Horology timepiece, just remember that when Gerald Genta launched the Octo, he did it with colourful versions featuring Mickey Mouse! It is the Octo’s essence to be playful and a little conspicuous. Many thanks to the Bvlgari design team for remembering that and offering us this Octo Bi-Retro Brazil.

We may very well end up with a football/Brazil overdose this summer and our eyes will probably never recover from the ugliness of most “tribute timepieces” some brands will have the bad taste of unveiling. True. But as long as this horological football extravaganza also brings us stunning timepieces like the Octo Bi-Retro Brazil, I will not complain…

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures:

Additional timepiece mentioned in this article: