2012 – 2022:
BVLGARI CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF THE OCTO COLLECTION WITH AN EXTRAORDINARY WORLD RECORD
Deconstructing to eliminate assumptions; pushing the boundaries of knowledge.Not repeating, but inventing; thinking ingeniously while defining a new style…
In the space of a decade, the Octo collection has probably become one of the most extraordinary watchmaking adventures of the 21 st century, setting a new benchmarkin the world of contemporary elegant watchmaking.
In just ten years, the Octo collection has become a true icon of contemporary watchmaking, acknowledged both by watchmaking experts and by fans of minimalist design matched by absolute technicality. Bulgari asserted its role as a pioneering brand through three lines: Octo L’Originale (2012), Octo Finissimo (2014) and Octo Roma (2017).
After seven consecutive world records and more than 60 international awards, Octo Finissimo breaks the rules, pushes the limits of feasibility and ushers in a new era of ultra-thin craftsmanship.
The vision? To create the ultimate mechanical watch in terms of thinness, the most extreme ever created in watchmaking, peak Swiss engineering, an absolute record that will probably never be beaten.
The result? No one had dared to be so radical in their approach, leading to a spectacular eighth world record.
1.80 millimetres. Such is the extraordinary thinness of the Octo Finissimo Ultra. A revolutionary watch, an approach devoid of any prior knowledge or preconceptions, combined with the quintessence of Italian design.
No less than eight patent applications (watch glass assembly, barrel structure, oscillator module, differential display, modular structure, bracelet, bimetal case middle-mainplate- caseback, software).
A symbol of ultimate mechanical mastery ushering the entire watch industry into a new era: that of the connection between traditional mechanics and digital, the world of NFTs and Blockchain.
With its QR code engraved on the barrel’s ratchet wheel, the Octo Finissimo Ultra opens up whole new horizons for contemporary fine watchmaking and extends it to encompass a global and connected ecosystem.
Each of the ten Octo Finissimo Ultra watches is delivered with an individual NFT that guarantees the authentic and unique character of the watch and offers each owner exclusive access to a dedicated digital universe.
Swiss watchmaking innovation and Italian elegance: the Octo Finissimo Ultra represents the dual identity of Bulgari watches. The source of a meteoric ascent, Bulgari is the first Italian company to have won the “Aiguille d’Or”, the Best in Show award of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG 2021).
TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OCTO COLLECTION WITH A PHENOMENAL EIGHTH WORLD RECORD FOR
THE OCTO FINISSIMO ULTRA
It has been ten years since the Octo collection made its acclaimed entrance into the world of Haute Horlogerie. Its technical feats, its instantly recognisable shape and its pure design have raised it to the rank of a watch industry icon. This understated and modern masculine interpretation embodies Bulgari’s two identities: Swiss horological excellence and inimitable Italian style.
In the space of a decade, the Octo collection has become a true icon of contemporary watchmaking, acknowledged both by watchmaking experts and by fans of minimalist design matched by absolute technicality. Witness the 60 or so international prizes awarded to the collection, including the “Aiguille d’Or” – the Best in Show award – at the latest Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. This meteoric rise underlines Bulgari’s ability to combine different worlds,as well as revealing the power of blending Swiss watchmaking expertise with Italian elegance.This exclusive union was presented in Rome in July 2012 and rapidly confirmed Bulgari’s role as a pioneering brand through three lines representing as many expressions: Octo L’Originale(2012), Octo Finissimo (2014) and Octo Roma (2017).
Right from its creation, the powerful Octo L’Originale asserted its charismatic personality and its unique style. Neither round nor square, it harmoniously combines two fundamental shapes and formed an octagon – the geometry of perfection. Its eight-sided architecture is directly inspired by the geometrical motifs adorning the arches of the Pantheon in Rome. It proclaims the collection’s unwavering link to the heart of Bulgari’s heritage, rooted in this Roman spirit. The identity and the pure design of the Octo redefine the codes of men’s luxury watches.
Launched in 2017, the Octo Roma watch symbolises the purest interpretation of the Bulgari take on the octagonal shape. This modern, urban and refined model elegantly has found its place in this powerful range by adding a new, subtly balanced formal dimension. An inimitably stylish focus on essentials is the secret of its timeless and harmonious lines ensuring peerless comfort.
Since its emergence in 2014, the Octo Finissimo collection has redefined traditional Haute Horlogerie, reinterpreting classic and sophisticated watch complications in a resolutely contemporary manner symbolising Bulgari’s own Estetica della Meccanica: the art of absolute innovation in form as well as in substance.
Going beyond established rules and pushing limits is in the very nature of the Octo Finissimo line,as proven by the epic saga of world records set by the collection. Unique in watchmaking history, it covers the full range of timekeeping, acoustic and astronomical complications: Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Manual (2014, BVL Calibre 268, 1.95 mm), Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater (2016, BVL 362, 3.12 mm), Octo Finissimo Automatic (2017, BVL 138, 2. 23 mm), Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic (2018, BVL 288, 1.95 mm), Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic (2019, BVL 318, 3.30 mm), Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic (2020, BVL 388, 3.50 mm), Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar (2021, BVL 305, 2.75 mm).
Finally, this year, the Octo Finissimo Ultra – at just 1.80 mm thick – sets an eighth record and becomes the thinnest mechanical watch in the world!
“This fabulous benchmark that we are setting today with the Octo Finissimo Ultra is in fact for me and for all the teams an apparently impossible dream come true”, notes Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO Bulgari. “One that guarantees that Bulgari will forever be recognised as a company that has written some of the finest pages in Swiss watchmaking. And the fact that this is an Italian house makes us particularly proud.”
As its name suggests, Octo is the story of a lucky number, of an Italian identity, but also of the endless quest for new mechanical prowess, of records galore – and now of a door opening onto new worlds. Octo is of course eight facets, eight world records in eight years, but it is also about coming full circle, a chapter that is closing and new pages to be written – brimming with promise on this first day of spring.
TEN YEARS OF OCTO
2012OCTO L’ORIGINALEBVL 193
2014OCTO FINISSIMO TOURBILLON MANUAL – first world recordBVL 268 – 1.95 mm
2016OCTO FINISSIMO MINUTE REPEATER – second world recordBVL 362 – 3.12 mm
2017Octo RomaBVL 191
2017OCTO FINISSIMO AUTOMATIC – third world record BVL 138 – 2.23 mm 2018 OCTO FINISSIMO TOURBILLON AUTOMATIC – fourth worldBVL 138 – 2.23 mm
2018OCTO FINISSIMO TOURBILLON AUTOMATIC – fourth world recordBVL 288 – 1.95 mm
2019OCTO FINISSIMO CHRONOGRAPH GMT AUTOMATIC – fifth world recordBVL 318 – 3.30 mm
2020OCTO FINISSIMO TOURBILLON CHRONOGRAPH SKELETON AUTOMATIC – sixth world recordBVL 388 – 3.50 mm
2021OCTO FINISSIMO PERPETUAL CALENDAR – seventh world recordBVL 305 – 2.75 mm
2022OCTO FINISSIMO ULTRA – eighth world recordBVL 180
OCTO FINISSIMO ULTRA
ABOVE AND BEYOND THE RECORD, A NEW DIMENSION
Octo Finissimo Ultra is far more than the world’s thinnest mechanical watch. Over and above the record itself, it symbolises a mindset, an ability to innovate and to redefine the codes of Haute Horlogerie. It is also the ultimate stage in a unique adventure – as well as an opening onto a whole new dimension.
The measurement is astonishing: 1.80 mm thick! In other words, as thin as a 20 euro cent coin – and not for the movement alone, but for the watch as a whole, from the caseback to the top of the sapphire crystal. A thinness world record for a mechanical watch and the eighth for the Octo Finissimo collection. A significant new breakthrough for Bulgari in the world of contemporary Haute Horlogerie.
“Can we do it? No sooner was the question asked three years ago than our teams answered: how are we going to do it?” recalls Antoine Pin, Managing Director of the Bulgari Watch Division. “This ability to meet challenges is embedded in the brand’s DNA. As for the word ‘ultra’, it expresses this desire to go beyond the limits, to play with extremes, an idea that we love in-house!”
An eighth world record that takes its place in a proud lineage. A classic example of what happens when the journey experience is as important as the destination. Without the expertise acquired by Bulgari over the years, the Octo Finissimo Ultra could never have been created. Better still, no one would have dared to attempt this insane feat. For it takes audacity and confidence to set off in pursuit of this ultimate ambition: to create the world’s thinnest reliable and robust mechanical watch.
Although indispensable, the expertise acquired was not enough. The designers, engineers and watchmakers had to start from scratch when they realised the scale of the challenge. One does not create the finest mechanical watch in the world by relying solely on existing concepts. You have to envisage a complete paradigm shift, to forget everything and rebuild. This is what leads Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Bulgari’s Product Creation Executive Director, to state that “the challenge of this eighth record was the most difficult to overcome, since we had to break the rules not only in terms of movement design, but also of the case, the caseback, the bracelet and the folding clasp. To achieve this degree of thinness, you not only have to review your way of thinking, but you must also draw upon a wide range of skills, play with multiple materials and adapt to a multitude of new constraints. In this sense, the Octo Finissimo Ultra is unquestionably the ultimate complication in this vast field of possibilities represented by ultra-miniaturisation.”
The Octo Finissimo Ultra also retains all the codes of the collection, starting with the purity and elegance of its design – an additional constraint that the R&D teams working on this project set themselves. This premise notably involved the monochrome style signature of sandblasted titanium, a 40 mm octagonal case – although a larger size would have simplified matters – and an integrated bracelet as thin as the watch. As for the seconds display on the wheel at 6 o’clock, it is once again off-centred – another collection signature – in relation to the indication of the hours and minutes on two regulator-type counters.
This world-record thinness also plays on the perception of the visible and the invisible: the Octo Finissimo Ultra appears to be both a two-dimensional and a three-dimensional object. From thefront, the timepiece reveals volumes and invites an immersion in the depth of the mechanism, while the components come to life on various levels and offer a truly three-dimensional vision. Viewed in profile, the watch that is as barely visible as a sheet of paper magically becomes a two- dimensional object. Finally, when worn, the Octo Finissimo Ultra triggers a physical sensation that is doubtless unequalled.
With its QR code engraved on the barrel’s ratchet wheel, the Octo Finissimo Ultra opens up new horizons in contemporary Haute Horlogerie. Once scanned, this individual key invites you into a new dimension, connected to a unique timeless experience. Each of the ten first Octo Finissimo Ultra timepieces will be delivered with an exclusive NFT artwork which, thanks to blockchain technology, guarantees the authenticity and uniqueness of the watch. It also gives each owner exclusive access to a digital universe dedicated to their own watch. In this sense, the Octo Finissimo Ultra represents the transition from ultra-miniaturisation to immateriality.
The Octo Finissimo Ultra is a challenge to the laws of physics. To achieve this degree of thinness, you have to start from scratch, reinvent everything and find innovative solutions. Eight patent applications have been filed.
Three years of research and development were required for several technical teams involved in this adventure at Bulgari in the Vallée de Joux and Neuchâtel; as well as avant-garde movement development specialist Concepto in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The Octo Finissimo Ultra thereby stems from multiple skills pooled to meet a major challenge: to overcome all the difficulties – of which there were many – in order to create the world’s thinnest mechanical watch. Whatever happens, the result will remain a landmark in the history of contemporary Haute Horlogerie.
Like a sprinter for whom each hundredth of a second gained represents exponential efforts, the quest for a new record is always a matter of surpassing oneself (on this topic, have a listen to the B*Maestro “What it takes to break a record?” podcasts available on all platforms). In the same spirit, reducing the thickness of a watch by one or two extra millimetres requires the use of extremely ingenious solutions. That is why the construction of the Octo Finissimo Ultra uses the caseback as a mainplate on which the 170 components of the BVL Calibre 180 are integrated. The volume of the bracelet links also had to be totally rethought since, at 1.80 mm thick, they fit perfectly into the continuity of the thinness of the case, yet are twice as thin as an ordinary Octo Finissimo bracelet. In addition, the folding clasp had to be designed according to new parameters. Another issue for a watch measuring 40 mm in diameter and only 1.80 mm thick was the overall rigidity required, which was achieved by developing the case middle, bezel and titanium lugs as well as the caseback/mainplate element in tungsten carbide, a particularly dense, hard and ultra- resistant combination of carbon and tungsten. Moreover, in order to take advantage of the entire surface of the watch, the hours and minutes dials, the large barrel – which stores 50 hours of power reserve – as well as the escapement made light of the circular geometry of the bezel opening by doing things a little differently.
The laws of physics cannot be ignored, so they had to be taken into account while venturing way off the beaten track to find a way of housing all the components of a mechanical watch within amere 1.80 mm thickness. At this level of thinness, and when all the components of an ordinary watch are indispensable, one has to rethink not only components’ design and production – to restricted tolerances – but also their functions. And ideally, whereas a component serves a single function in an ordinary watch, some of them need to serve up to four functions in an ultra miniaturised watch. Such is the case with the dial, which, in addition to displaying time indications, also serves to hold other components in place. Another example of a problem to be solved was the crown for winding and setting the watch. If it had to fit on a 1.80 mm thickness, a classic vertical crown would be much too small and impossible to handle properly. The solution adopted was to use two horizontally placed knobs – one for winding and the other for setting – which enable easy handling when the watch is on the wrist. Driven by this same determination to achieve unprecedented thinness, all the watch functions were built in the same horizontal plane. Another ingenious innovation lies in a differential gear mechanism serving to handle time-setting without disturbing the gear train. A total of eight patent applications have been filed. They relate to the watch glass assembly, barrel structure, oscillator module, differential display, modular structure, bracelet, bimetal case middle-mainplate/caseback, as well as the Bvlgari Singvlarity technology.
The Octo Finissimo Ultra is a bridge between the real and virtual worlds, between past and future. An exclusively mechanical watch connected to a new dimension.
The Octo Finissimo Ultra is more than a watch to be worn on the wrist; it is a global ecosystem that opens up new worlds. Its mechanics defy the laws of physics and extend into a non-physical world. The QR code engraved on the barrel’s ratchet-wheel is a gateway to a discovery journey in which each owner will find a world dedicated to their watch, its design and its history. This exclusive space will notably feature interviews, making-of segments, a virtual 3D tour of the movement, and an exploration of the visible/invisible concept linked to the watch.
Each of the ten owners of the Octo Finissimo Ultra will receive an exclusive NFT artwork guaranteeing the authenticity of the watch and the link to its owner. The world’s thinnest watch thus becomes the vault of its unique work of art, an everlasting bond guaranteed by the Bvlgari Singvlarity tech, the eighth patent of this creation. So as to maintain the surprise effect that is often part of the world of NFTs, this entire digital ecosystem will be unveiled when the first Octo Finissimo Ultra hits the market in a few months’ time.
A resounding success in the physical world, the Octo Finissimo Ultra and its distillation of mechanical ingenuity invites the best of watchmaking into the digital world, that of NFTs and blockchain.
OCTO FINISSIMO ULTRA
Mechanical ultra-thin Manufacture manual-winding movement – BVL Calibre 180. Winding and time-setting wheels in stainless steel; seconds display directly on the fourth wheel; ratchet wheel engraved with unique QR code that links to an exclusive NFT artwork. 50- hour power reserve; 28,800 VPH (4 Hz) frequency.
Case and dial
40 mm sandblasted titanium case and tungsten carbide plate with anthracite DLC treatment (1.80 mm thick); hours and minutes counters, black PVD-treated hands; water- resistant to 1 ATM.
Ultra-thin titanium bracelet with integrated folding clasp.
Limited edition of 10.
OCTO FINISSIMO 2022 – 10 TH ANNIVERSARY EDITIONS
FIRST SKETCHES OF AN ICONIC DESIGN
Octo Finissimo Automatic and GMT Automatic Chronograph: two emblematic models display dials featuring the outlines of a unique destiny
In ten years, the Octo collection has made its mark on the world of Haute Horlogerie with its technical prowess, its iconic shape and its unmistakable monochrome style. Both pure and contemporary, it embodies the dual identity of Bulgari watches: a blend of rigorous Swiss watchmaking and Italian elegance. This refined and understated masculine interpretation has forged its reputation among both watchmaking experts and fans of minimalist design matched by absolute technicality.
To celebrate this icon of slimness and style, the House unveils two anniversary editions that go back to the roots of its conception: the first sketches made by Bulgari’s Product Creation Executive Director, Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani. Pencil sketches that a few years later would give life to the unmistakable Octo Finissimo line and today adorn the engraved dials of two flagship models – Octo Finissimo Automatic and Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic – crafted in titanium.
These feather-light monochrome anniversary models fully express the Bulgari approach to masculine elegance and pay tribute to two emblematic timepieces in the Octo Finissimo saga. Presented in 2017, the Octo Finissimo Automatic, the thinnest ultra-thin watch on the market, set the third world record for the collection, with a total thickness of 5.15 mm housing a movement equipped with a micro-rotor and measuring just 2.23 mm. Two years later, in 2019, the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic made its own mark with a fifth feat of extreme miniaturisation for the thinnest mechanical chronograph with GMT function in watchmaking history, at just 3.3 mm thick.
Embodying the aesthetic signature of the Finissimo collection, the case, dial and bracelet are crafted from ultralight titanium, ensuring a modern look and peerless elegance. The strong and bold lines of the case, inspired by Italian architectural masterpieces, express Bulgari’s Roman roots, while the play of light in its facets catches the gaze. The sandblasted finish of the titanium contrasts with the black PVD-treated hands, the hour-markers, the Bulgari logo and the engraved small seconds counter, reproducing Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani’s early sketches. The overall effect combines perfect legibility with an original style. Topped by a ceramic-set crown, the sleek 40 mm-diameter case is teamed with a smoothly integrated bracelet composed of supple links, prolonging the sense of comfort and lightness on the wrist.
Issued in 200-piece limited editions, these elegant and technically accomplished anniversary models once again demonstrate Bulgari’s watchmaking and creative genius, merging design and cutting-edge technology within an extremely slim case.
OCTO FINISSIMO AUTOMATIC 10 TH ANNIVERSARY
Mechanical Manufacture ultra-thin movement with automatic winding, platinum micro rotor, Calibre BVL 138 (2.23 mm thick); 65-hour power reserve; 21’600 VPH (3 Hz) frequency.
Case and dial
40 mm sandblasted titanium case, transparent caseback with personalization; matte grey sandblasted titanium dial with engraved indexes, Bulgari logo and small seconds display to replicate Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani’s first sketch; water-resistant to 3 ATM.
Sandblasted titanium bracelet with integrated folding buckle.
Limited edition of 200.
OCTO FINISSIMO CHRONOGRAPH GMT AUTOMATIC 10 TH ANNIVERSARY
Mechanical Manufacture ultra-thin movement with automatic winding, peripheral rotor, Calibre BVL 318 (3.30 mm thick). Chronograph and GMT functions. 55-hour power reserve; 28’800 VPH (4 Hz) frequency.
Case and dial
40 mm sandblasted titanium case, transparent caseback with personalization; matte grey sandblasted titanium dial with engraved indexes, Bulgari logo and displays to replicate Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani’s first sketch; water-resistant to 1 ATM.
Sandblasted titanium bracelet with integrated folding buckle.
Limited edition of 200.