While the time-only automatic model, the shockingly thin tourbillon automatic and the recently presented chronograph have been at centre stage in the Octo Finissimo collection, we shouldn’t forget one of the earliest watches presented in this saga of world records… The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater. First introduced in matte titanium, and followed by a bold carbon edition, a new version has been presented at the LVMH Watch Week, a luxurious and warm rose gold model. Quick look.
We might repeat ourselves, but Bvlgari has all the attributes of a legitimate high-end, highly respectable watchmaker. Don’t be fooled by its history in jewellery and fashion-oriented watches. Since the acquisition of Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta, the brand has engaged in a long-term strategy to become one of the most important watchmakers on the scene – without forgetting its innate Italian design codes. The way to achieve this seemed simple (on paper), creating some of the thinnest watches of the industry. One of them is nothing less than the queen of complications, the minute repeater.
It all started with the launch in 2014 of the Octo Finissimo Hand-Wound Tourbillon and its 1.95mm movement and 5.00mm case. In 2016, the brand introduced its second model in the series, this time with an impressive combination of traditional watchmaking, a paper-thin case and a bold design. This was the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater and it was launched in sandblasted titanium – in line with the other watches in this collection. We’ve looked at this watch in detail here before it was followed by a rather surprising and bold carbon model – which wasn’t only thin but also super-light and extremely resonant.
At the heart of the 6.90mm case of the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater is an in-house hand-wound movement developed thanks to the expertise existing at Genta’s and Roth’s manufactures – both having created ultra-complex, miniaturized watches in the past. The movement, if traditional-looking with its beautiful violin-shaped central bridge and gongs coiled at the periphery, was a demonstration in thinness, with a height of 3.12mm. Still, it can store a decent 42h power reserve and still sounds great. The finishing of the movement, as expected from a repeater, is top-notch.
For 2020, the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater receives a new visual approach, already tried and tested on the automatic time-only Octo, with a full matte gold attire. Both the 40mm case and the dial, which retains its cut-outs for the indexes, numerals and sub-dial (to transmit sound) are crafted in 18k rose gold with a sandblasted finish. This result in a monochromatic look, and a surprising finish in the metal – check this article to see the result. It is warm but not as ostentatious as polished or brushed gold.
The Rose Gold Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater (reference 103279) is worn on a matte brown alligator strap with a pin buckle. Availability remains to be confirmed. It will be priced at USD 170,000. More details at www.bulgari.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.