We are living through a golden era of sports watch design. I’ve alluded to it countless times this year and blurted it out loud on more than one occasion. At the end of the craziest year I can remember, I can say that despite all of the awful things that transpired in 2020, the luxury sports watch market is fizzing with optimism. I don’t mean that to sound glib; in these dark days, we must rush towards the light where we find it. And thanks to Bvlgari the sun is shining brightly towards the future…

In 2017, Bvlgari released the Octo Finnissimo Automatic in blasted titanium on a matching bracelet. That case, inspired by the designs of the legendary Gerald Genta, became legendary itself overnight. The edgy housing (boasting 110 facets according to our recent podcast), was impressive on a technical and an aesthetic level. The fact it contained an automatic movement (the thinnest in the world at the time) was the icing on the cake. It elevated the Octo line, and the Bvlgari brand also, to a totally new level.

Previously, it had been an attractive, albeit fashion-focused line.

While the Octo collection has been around for a long time, it is the Finnisimo branch that really put it on the map for a modern audience. It redefined the purpose of the collection. Previously, it had been an attractive, albeit fashion-focused line. Let’s not forget, Genta’s brilliance had little to do with the horology behind the housing. He had a record of designing excellently complicated dials, yes, but it was a pen, not a pair of tweezers gripped twixt his talented fingers.


A foundation of excellence

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus are the most famous steel sports watches for a couple of reasons. One of those reasons is undoubtedly Genta’s designs, but is it really the primary reason for these watches’ iconic status? I would argue that the iconic status of the Royal Oak and the Nautilus has more to do with the context of these releases than, initially, the releases themselves.

Now the two are forever linked. They are forever interwoven. It is hard to see one without the other.

Yes, they are (I believe) indisputably well-designed watches. But would these designs had carried the same significance were it not for the names on their dials? Were those designs so transcendent that they would have changed the world of luxury sports watches regardless of the brand that brought them to market? I don’t think so. I don’t believe that the aesthetics of these watches can be entirely unpacked from the horological esteem afforded their makers when we attempt to analyze their success.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Steel

Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe are established horological heavyweights. Their history of excellence provided a foundation of excellence upon which the designs of Genta were able to construct his legacy. Now the two are forever linked. They are forever interwoven. It is hard to see one without the other. That was not initially the case for the Bvlgari Octo range. Now, however, thanks to the Roman brand’s decision to make the Octo Finissimo the central figure in its push towards horological legitimacy, that’s all changed.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Steel

Classic after classic

Bvlgari’s Octo Finissimo range just can’t stop hitting the mark. Only a small selection of the recently-rleeased models are realistically attainable for regular people (with some of the multiple-record-breaking models retailing for well north of six figures), the “entry-level” options (which are the ones your really want — the real future classics) are cheaper off the shelf than the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak or Patek Philippe Nautilus and you can actually buy one if you want.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Ceramic

Okay, I’m not one of those people that will tell you availability is everything. I wouldn’t buy something I didn’t want simply because I couldn’t get what I really wanted, but I would certainly feel more connected to and grateful toward a brand that repaid my interest with the product I desired.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Steel

This generation’s “it club”

I get the feeling now that many of us that have been chasing APs or PPs or Rolex watches over the past few years would still hand over the cash in exchange for our model of choice, but we would do so with bitterness at having been made to wait quite so long or to jump through quite so many hoops.

I am sure Bvlgari will continue to deliver the goods.

As such, beyond the fact Bvlgari is churning out classic after classic, it is also keeping the customer satisfied. Not just with its amazing products, but also with its customer service and willingness to put customer needs first. It’s rare, but it’s appreciated. As such, Bvlgari has an opportunity to be the focus of this generation’s “it club”. And that’s exactly why now’s the time to buy in. I am sure Bvlgari will continue to deliver the goods. However, those goods may become scarcer than they are today. We live in rare times. This is a rare opportunity. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts! Learn more about Bvlgari here.

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