Bulgari Has Just Revealed The World's Thinnest Sports-Luxe Watch
Last year, Bulgari claimed its fifth ultra-thin watchmaking record when it unveiled the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT, the latest wonder of micro engineering and disruptive design to have been visited on the watch-making community since the Roman house first unveiled its breakthrough remodelling of the original Gerald Genta designed Octo back in 2014.
Having secured records in several high complications, many wondered how Bulgari might proceed in this particular regard. The answer, in part, was given at the inaugural LVMH Watch Week in Dubai earlier this month, where, together with sibling brands Hublot, Zenith and TAG Heuer, Bulgari shared some of its 2020 wares ahead of the main watch fair season starting in the spring.
Included in Bulgari's contribution was this freshest of takes on what Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, director of its Watch Design Centre, considers “the fusion of edgy Italian design and Swiss engineering”, the new Octo Finissimo Satin-Polished Steel.
In fact, five new Finissimos using different materials and finishes were unveiled during LVMH Watch Week, and yet this might yet be the most interesting. After all, notwithstanding its best-in-class proportions (Bulgari having perfected the use of gold, ceramic and titanium in the Finissimo’s whisper-thin case), the new iteration in satin-polished stainless steel (2018 saw a brushed stainless-steel model) goes further than its time-only predecessor in resolving a particular dilemma felt by those attracted to the Finissimo’s contemporary-classic status, yet minded to choose something with more day-to-day (or indeed day-to-night) wearability nevertheless offering more to 1970s steel sports watches.
The satin-polished steel model doubtless homes in on the current trend for solidly engineered sports watches with integrated bracelets, but that’s not all: for the first time, the model boasts a screw-down crown, advancing its water resistance from a creditable 30 metres to a far more robust 100 metres – a key requirement for those looking for a go-anywhere dress-sports watch (and, frankly, who doesn’t?)
In keeping with the “tool” watch origins of true sports-luxe timepieces in general, the new time-only model (powered by the BVL 138 Finissimo calibre measuring just 2.23mm thick) keeps its black lacquered dial admirably clear, relying only on its characteristic numerals at 12 and six and the positioning of a small running seconds in such a way as to highlight the otherwise strict symmetry of the design.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Satin-Polished Steel, $14,651 at bulgari.com