Marking Bulgari‘s fifth record in the arena of ultra-thin models, the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic took home the trophy as the world’s thinnest mechanical chronograph in 2019. With a 6.90mm sandblasted titanium case and a movement just 3.30mm thin, the victor upped the complications and combined its chronograph with a GMT. In 2020, Bulgari introduced a sub-collection within the Octo Finissimo family known as the Octo Finissmo S (s for steel), slightly beefier versions housed in steel cases. The brand’s ultra-thin stopwatch was also given the “S” treatment in 2021 and appeared in a somewhat larger steel case with a blue dial. For 2022, Bulgari proposes another all-steel version with a silver-toned dial that captures the sleek monochromatic look that has become a signature of the Octo Finissimo family.
When Bulgari decided to make the Octo Finissimo case more robust and more water-resistant, it created a sportier and more resilient timepiece that is better adapted for everyday wear and tear. Although the stainless steel case is slightly larger than the original, increasing from 42mm to 43mm, and thicker, rising from 6.90mm to 8.75mm, the compensation is reflected by the increased water-resistance of the case that goes from 30m to 100m. Needless to say, the case is still very, very slim considering the mechanical complication on board and respects the complex octagonal architecture and myriad facets of the Octo case. In fact, being made of steel means a broader range of finishings can be practised on the surface. A combination of textures, ranging from a radial-brushed bezel to vertically satin-finished surfaces on the case and bracelet and polished accents, highlight the distinctive geometry far more than the sandblasted titanium model.
In a return to the more understated and monochromatic traits of the Octo Finissimo range, the dial is silver-toned and displays a vertical brushed finishing to match the steel case. The tri-compax layout is identical to the original: small seconds at 9 o’clock, 30-minute elapsed times at 6 o’clock and the GMT function inside the sub-dial at 3 o’clock. However, the steel version features a darker grey area spanning from 18:00-6:00 to differentiate night/day. A pusher on the caseband at 9 o’clock is used to adjust the local time in one-hour increments. Unlike the original titanium model, the silver-coloured hour and minute hands are not skeletonised and filled with Super-LumiNova, as are the applied hour markers and Arabic numeral 12.
calibre bvl 318
Although the case is more robust, the movement is the same calibre BVL 318 that smashed the world record as the thinnest chronograph movement ever produced. With a thickness of just 3.30mm, the integrated architecture with a horizontal clutch and column wheel is powered by a peripheral rotor and the components are arranged horizontally, not vertically. Running at a 4Hz frequency, the power reserve is 55 hours, and the finishing is signature Bulgari with thin Geneva stripes and machine-bevelled edges.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic will form part of the regular collection and retails for EUR 17,700. For more information, please visit Bulgari.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.