Jewels & Time 2020: Bulgari's Groundbreaking Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic
Bulgari’s obsession with thinness has gone on for six years, ever since it launched the Octo Finissimo line of ultra-thin watches in 2014. And it has an impressive list of accolades to show for it, having steadily garnered world records for thinness with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, the Octo Finissimo Automatic, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic and the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic, with hardly a break in between.
This year, it continues blazing the trail with its sixth record. The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic achieves yet another watchmaking high in the ultra-thin category with a complication that’s somewhat of a rarity. This new creation is said to be the thinnest tourbillon chronograph ever made and has a 42mm by 7.40mm Grade 5 titanium case in a sandblasted finish that’s a signature of the Octo Finissimo line. Inside is an openworked calibre BVL 388, which comes with a 52-hour power reserve and measures just 3.50mm thick.
In the pursuit of thinness and compactness, a peripheral rotor is employed in place of the traditional oscillating weight or micro-rotor. The view of the movement is extraordinary to say the least—a showcase of how Bulgari has managed to fit together its components in as flat a manner as can be managed instead of going the typical route of stacking or layering. The mainspring barrel is located at 12 o’clock, while the tourbillon carriage is right below it, and the 30-minute chronograph counter and the small seconds sub-dial are positioned opposite each other at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock respectively.
What’s unusual about this monopusher chronograph is that it still ironically has two pushers. The upper pusher controls the chronograph start, stop and reset functions, while the lower one is used to toggle between two different functions of the crown—hand-winding and time-setting.
Aesthetics-wise, this new Octo Finissimo piece doesn’t stray far from its predecessors—the octagonal case and matte grey finish are characteristic of the line. It is, of course, is produced in a limited edition of only 50 pieces. It goes without saying that the watch constitutes yet another A+ grade in Bulgari’s score card. With so many achievements the brand has successfully made in such a short time on the ultra-thin front, it only leaves us wondering about what’s next to come.
(Related: Bulgari's High Jewellery Collection for 2020 is an Ode to Baroque Style)