Timekeepers Club / March 27, 2022

Bulgari Ten Years of Octo

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, Bulgari CEO. “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.”

2012. Octo L'Originale. BVL 193

2014. Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Manual. BVL Calibre 268 - 1.95 mm. 1st world record.

2016. Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater. BVL 362 - 3.12 mm. 2nd world record

2017. Octo Roma. BVL 191. 

2017Octo Finissimo Automatic. BVL 138 - 2.23 mm. 3rd world record

2018. Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic. BVL 288 - 1.95 mm. 4th world record

2019. Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic. BVL 318 - 3.30 mm. 5th world record

2020. Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic. BVL 388 - 3.50 mm. 6th world record

2021. Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar. BVL 305 - 2.75 mm. 7th world record

2022. Octo Finissimo Ultra. BVL 180 - 1.80 mm. 8th world record

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.


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