The watchmaking department of Bulgari has been on a roll. In 2014, Bulgari shocked the world with the thinnest tourbillon wristwatch. Last year, its big launch at Baselworld was the world’s thinnest minute repeater. Following in the footsteps of those two world-beaters, which are also from the same Octo family, Bulgari’s 2017 show-stealer is the Octo Finissimo Automatic – the world’s thinnest self-winding watch. Obviously, the firm is keen to exercise their technical competence and to fortify its legitimacy in this trade.
With a total thickness of just 5.15 mm, the whole watch is thinner than some watch movements without their cases! The BVL138, purposely developed for sleekness, clocks in at a height of only 2.23 mm. This is possible thanks to the micro rotor, made of platinum for heft and thus winding efficiency. The ultra thin movement itself is visually pleasing, firstly because of the Côtes de Genève finishing on the bridges, and secondly because of its expansive diameter filling the 40 mm titanium case – the appearance would have been much less commanding if the diameter was puny.
The impression wearing this watch for the first few minutes is quite unique. Unlike most ultra thin watches which are round and measure around 38 in diameter, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic has more presence on the wrist. It wraps around the wrist nicely with either a black alligator leather strap or a titanium bracelet. The latter is constructed with short, highly articulated links, and gives the watch a striking technical appeal.
Completing the package is the titanium dial. Its hour markers and hands are treated in black PVD for optimal contrast and legibility. An off-centred small seconds hand is tucked into the lower left quadrant, lending a dash of dynamism to the otherwise stark stage.
It may be more mundane in nature without the exalted complication of its two elder brothers, but the Octo Finissimo Automatic is certainly not lacking in terms of sophistication and prestige. Best of all, it has a much more accessible price point. This is not a question of your financial means but how much you are willing to spend on a timepiece from a brand that you are still discovering and learning new things about. In this perspective, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic can be very, very tempting.