Bvlgari extends the already very impressive Octo line with a double whammy in the form of the new, double complication Roma Carillon Tourbillon.
Press release information, additional information in italics
Retail price is set at USD 259,000 before taxes. European retail is EUR 290,000 inclusive of VAT.
The Bvlgari Octo collection is once again enhanced with a high complication piece by combining the tourbillon with the minute repeater. This is not the first tourbillon nor of a minute repeater appearing in the Octo case. But is the first Bvlgari has attempted to combine both in one watch. And in the process, add the carillon striking system. The Octo has an accomplished career with the tourbillon as demonstrated with the 4 models we have already reviewed.
And the Minute Repeater which had us quite excited at its launch in 2016:
This new release is interesting not only for the double complication, but also for the multi-gong carillon which has only been showcased in the Roma Grande Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar in a carbon case. The watch was nominated for the GPHG 2019 for the category Mechanical Exception.
Also, the striking works, which typically sit under the dial and not visible except in special watches with sapphire dials (like the Dufour Grande Sonnerie), are now placed such that the entire mechanism is visible from the case back. The three gongs and three hammers with the regulator remains visible on the dial side through an aperture through the filigree dial.
However, Bvlgari’s involvement with the carillon is long and tenured since the days of Gerald Genta, a company which is now part of the Bvlgari maison, and which exists as the Octa collection. Genta had a well developed catalog of repeaters, sonneries which featured multi-gong carillons.
Bvlgari Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon
Bvlgari haute horlogerie is once again the spotlight, proudly presenting its new Masterpiece of Sound, the Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon. Designed to raise the level of sensorial expression through sound, the timepiece features a three-hammer chime combined with a tourbillon regulator: an artful Italian interpretation of Swiss watchmaking expertise that comes to life in its innovative materials and audacious design. A perfect fusion of artistry and technique, in which precision is the framework that underpins exquisite, transcendent beauty.
First as this is a striking watch, here is a short video showcasing the sound which is heard right at the end of the clip:
Shifting the paradigm of modern-day horlogerie, Bvlgari has established itself as the Master of the Estetica della Meccanica, balancing superior savoir-faire and the innovative aesthetics of ultra-thin watches to create groundbreaking timepieces. This expression of the unique fusion between cutting-edge design and the technical expertise of Swiss watchmaking is an exercise of the highest complexity which can be seen in Bvlgari’s mastery of highly complicated watches, including the whole typology of chiming timepieces: 2, 3 and 4 hammers, from the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater to the Octo Roma Grande Sonnerie. Thanks to its unrivalled expertise in this field, now the brand explores a new facet of its Estetica della Meccanica inspiration, creating another Sinfonia della Meccanica with the Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon.
The movement Caliber BVL428
Completely manufactured in-house, the brand new manually-wound Caliber BVL428 is 8.35mm thick, and comprises a total of 432 components.
Meeting strict criteria across a number of parameters, the construction of Caliber BVL428 has prioritised sound first and foremost. The power and clarity of the sound is a key point of quality in all striking watches, and the generous proportions of the case are designed to maximise sound propagation, allowing for increased torque of the three-hammer construction and more sound power production. In particular, the middle case is designed to maximise sound and allow it to be broadcast as much as possible. It features hollowings within the design to reduce the amount of metal between inside and outside, and three openings that correspond to the three chimes, to allow sound to exit from the chamber. Chimes are fixed directly on to the casebody for most effective transmission of sound and the case is crafted in titanium to ensure the clearest possible diffusion of sound. The back is also hollowed and revamped with a meticulously crafted titanium grid that protects this resonance zone and allows sound to be transmitted to the outside.
The gongs of the watch were created by hand, in multiple stages. They are folded and formed by hand before being annealed, or hardened, at a temperature of 900 degree celsius, then cleaned before ironing in the oven at 500 degree celsius, an operation which will give the metal its crystalline resonance. Like certain components of the striking mechanism, they are lengthened with a file, so as to refine the chords of the ringing. The melodic sequence of this Carillon with three hammers sounding three tones plays the note C for the hours, the mid-re-C notes in sequence for the quarters, and the mid note for the minutes.
The movement is equipped with one classical barrel ensuring the power reserve of at least 75 hours for the movement at full charge, meanwhile the functioning of the sound mechanism is ensured by a spring which is contained in a barrel-shaped container drilled directly in the bridge.
The architecture of Caliber BVL428, the cut-out of the bridges and the positioning of the various components were intended to be original, contemporary and contrasting in order to reveal the beauty of the mechanism. The hammers, gongs, Tourbillon cage and perforated surfaces are crafted in alternating polished steels, while the finely-wrought mainplate and bridges have been treated with PVD. The high-tech carbon-based vacuum deposition is elegant in a modern deep black. This construction is protected by a titanium case fitted with the Carillon activation push-button on its left side.
Available in an ultra-limited edition of 15, each exemplar is engraved, individually, with a number from 1 to 15 on the crown to indicate its singularity within the edition. The watch features a transparent sapphire crystal case-back, water-resistant to 3 Atmospheres, and comes on a black alligator leather strap with a three-blade folding clasp treated with DLC Titanium.
Bvlgari Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon Specifications
Mechanical manufacture caliber BVL428 with manual winding, minute repeater, 3-hammer carillon, tourbillon and a power reserve indicator; 75-hour power reserve, 21,600 VpH, skeletonised movement with bridges in black DLC coated titanium (8,35mm thick).
Case and dial
44mm black DLC coated titanium case with matte finish; open-worked titanium middle-case, specially conceived to enhance sound performances; white gold crown, set with a black ceramic insert; white gold push button to activate the chime (case total thickness: 12,83mm).
Black rubberised alligator strap with black DLC coated titanium 3-blade folding buckle.
Limited edition of 15 pieces.