Watches: Bvlgari Octo Solotempo All Blacks (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on November 4, 2014

Just like the "All Blacks", the well-known New Zealand national rugby union team, Bvlgari, the prestigious High Jewellery and Haute Horlogerie Maison, always strives for excellence. In their own domains, they are both dedicated to performance, to doing the best and doing it in style! No wonder they decided to partner up in 2011 to raise funds for the Christchurch earthquake by creating the Endurer Chronosprint All Blacks limited edition, a refined revamping of the Chronosprint Endurer model.

For the occasion, the imposing 56 x 51 mm stainless steel timepiece with a large date and the original Daniel Roth “Chronosprint” complication (a chronograph that never stops running without compromising the 45-hour power reserve) received an appropriate all-black DLC coating and a magnificent Maori tattoo pattern on the dial. To further enhance the rugby origin of this timepiece, the opaque sapphire on the back was adorned with a beautiful transfer of the All Blacks original 1905 logo and the watch was delivered in a box shaped like a rugby ball.

All Blacks players Liam Messam, Keven Mealamu and Conrad Smith present the watch

At an “Italian Champagne Tea Party” that took place yesterday evening at the Bvlgari Hotel in London in presence of the All Blacks players Keven Mealamu, Liam Messam, Conrad Smith, the Roman luxury brand unveiled the second timepiece dedicated to this rugby team known for its multiple trophies and for performing a “haka” before each international match.

The Endurer Chronosprint All Blacks from 2011 and the new Octo All Blacks

With the “Endurer” collection out of the picture as the “Daniel Roth” part of Bvlgari’s offer is now dedicated to the very high-end and complicated Haute Horlogerie models like the fabulous Ammiraglio del Tempo Westminster minute repeater (have a look at our live pictures hereWatches: Bvlgari Ammiraglio del Tempo (+live pics)), the most Italian of the Swiss watch manufactures had to find a new model to pay tribute to this remarkable team.

They didn’t have to look very long, though, as the success of the recently redesigned “Octo” collection made it the most natural choice for a limited edition. Incidentally, not so long ago, the brand relied on the elegant lines of the “Octo” watch in its chronograph version to create the stunning Octo Maserati that I have presented hereWatches: Bvlgari Octo Maserati. Since the exercise in style with the “All Blacks” watches is centred on the design of the dial, the brand appropriately opted for the time-only version this time.

The classic and exquisitely designed Octo Solotempo released in 2012 underwent a huge aesthetic transformation to give birth to the new Octo Solotempo All Blacks. The highly complex 41.50 x 10.55 mm stainless steel case with a facetted middle part and a round bezel is now coated with Diamond-Like Carbon. This delicate process represents a true achievement here considering how complex the case is with its multiple facetted parts with sharp edges.

The watch is still mounted on a large-scale black alligator strap secured by a black DLC stainless steel buckle but this time, it received a rubber-touch treatment making it feel like rubberized without having such a synthetic coating. The smoked sapphire crystal on the back lets you admire the Côtes de Genève decorations on the chamfered bridges or the snailed finish of the main plate of the BVL 193 calibre. This self-winding movement with 50 hours of power reserve is entirely developed and produced in-house by Bvlgari. Like on its predecessor, the crystal bears the original 1905 “All Blacks” logo transfer.

What makes the watch really special, though, is the splendid Maori tattoo pattern on the dial. The motif is of course different than for the Endurer Chronosprint All Blacks model but the technique used is the same and one finds again the alternating satin-finished and gently brushed surfaces that form the appealing motif. Since the dial of the Octo Solotempo is much less cluttered due to the absence of a large date and chronosprint sub-dial, one can enjoy a wider example of Maori art. The refined and symmetric lines of the patterns used by the indigenous Polynesian people to cover their bodies create an astonishing harmony with the sophisticated and stylised curves of this Italian-inspired watch case.

The modern and luxurious Bvlgari Hotel was the perfect venue to organise this “Italian Champagne Tea Party” and introduce this exclusive model delivered in a rugby-ball-shaped box on a 1:1 scale that will undoubtedly meet the same success as its predecessor.

For more information please visit the Bvlgari web site.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: