March 23 2022
23 Mar 2022
Just when you thought Bulgari couldn’t go any thinner…
The Italian jewelry and watchmaking house just dropped the Octo Finissimo Ultra, which takes the world record for the thinnest mechanical watch ever created—the eighth time the house has set a record for thinness.
There’s no shortage of talking points when it comes to the €400,000 watch (approximately $440,600 at current exchange), just 10 units of which will become available towards the end of the year. For a start, its record-breaking thinness wowed watch-lovers gathered today at the piece’s launch at Rome’s Pantheon—just one of that city’s architectural gems which inspired the Octo’s design tenets. At 1.8 mm, the Ultra’s thickness is akin to two credit cards held flush together. It is so slim—any slimmer, in fact, and it’d look like it had been spray-painted onto the wrist—that there is no crown for winding/time adjustment: instead, it comes with a custom-made box that replenishes its 60-hour power reserve and regulates its timekeeping.
Its creation involved the filing of eight—that number again, natch—patent applications (involving, among other aspects, the watch glass assembly, barrel structure, oscillator module and bracelet).
Then there are its striking looks: its 40 mm, sandblasted titanium case and bracelet somehow blend industrial chic with the kind of dressy sophistication Octo Finissimo wearers demand. Hours, minutes and seconds are displayed in three sub-dials which, along with visible gears and cogs, make up a cluster of various-sized, rakishly off-kilter spheres on a dial that is domed gently by a layer of sapphire crystal.
The fourth, and largest, sphere in that mix contains a wealth of extra information—none of which can be discerned by the human eye. Rather, it’s a QR code that has been engraved on the barrel, leading owners to a repository of feature interviews, making-of segments and a virtual 3-D tour of the movement. Each piece also comes with an original NFT artwork.
According to Bvlgari’s executive director of product creation Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani—who has referred to the Octo family as “the fusion of edgy Italian design and Swiss engineering”—achieving this feat involved completely rethinking the existing tenets of watch design and construction. “From the very first meeting, we said: ‘OK, we have to start from scratch,’” he told Robb Report before the aforementioned launch, in an office at Bvlgari’s flagship boutique near the Spanish Steps. “We have to utilize every bit of room within the octagonal shape to achieve this kind of result. We’re not obliged to have a similar dial to previous versions—we have to spread out the movement.”
©️ By NICK SCOTT / Robb Report