When we visited Bulgari’s home in Le Sentier, it was at the Atelier for Grande Complications that we witnessed the creation of their Extra-Thin Octo Finissimo Tourbillon and the superlative Extra-Thin Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater; for Baselworld 2017, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic pushes the same technical boundaries.
Indeed, the new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic is the latest addition to join the groundbreaking Octo Finissimo family and the Italian maison’s third successive breakthrough when it comes to setting ultra-thin records – the new Finissimo Automatic is the slimmest self-winding timepiece in the world, pipping even Piaget’s own Altiplano self-winding by 0.13mm.
Baselworld 2017 Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic: A New Record
When the 3.12mm thin Finissimo Tourbillon was first introduced in 2014, it beat the ultra-thin tourbillon record previously held by Arnold & Son; in 2016, the Maison once again set a record for an ultra-thin Minute Repeater with thickness of only 5.15mm. Today, the new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic is only 2.23mm thin for 40mm watch as compared to Piaget Altiplano’s 2.35mm.
Extreme thinness is a horological complication in its own right, each component must be conceived to contribute to the overall slenderness collectively – thus it’s not a mere issue of miniaturising existing elements – everything must be designed ground up right to the case and dial.
The world record is made possible by the in-house automatic Calibre BVL 138 with platinum micro-rotor which winds a mainspring up to an impressive 60 hour power reserve. Given the space constraints, it’s remarkable that Manufacture Bulgari managed to decorate the movement with Côtes de Genève and circular-grained finishing. As a result, the Baselworld 2017 Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic is both a technical and artisanal masterpiece, conveying the watchmaking prowess of the Le Sentier manufacture previously known as a Genta-Roth facility and chic refinement provided by provenance and experience of the Italian maison.
Aesthetically, sprezzatura or effortless elegance in the faceted Octo case is inspired by the masterpieces of Italian architecture, a muse entirely attuned to the Roman roots of the Maison. The titanium sandblasted finish reminiscent of the sands of the coliseum reminds one that the new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic is pure expression of Swiss watchmaking and the dramatism of Italian style, in sensuous form.
The Baselworld 2017 Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic is expected to retail for $13,000.