Up Close — Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic
During the last watch event we attended, Bvlgari introduced to us its Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic. According to them, it broke another world record, that of developing an ultra-complicated movement with a thickness of just 3.5mm.
Somehow, I feel that this new watch got a bit snowed under by the introduction of the more affordable Bvlgari-Bvlgari Aluminium collection. Of course, watches with a price tag under €5,000 speak a bit more to the public than a watch that is for the lucky few. However, the new Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic deserves a proper amount of attention as well.
Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic
We had the opportunity to see and experience this watch in the flesh and it left quite an impression. And it should, of course, it is Bvlgari’s show-off piece to demonstrate what the brand is capable of. When we visited the Bvlgari Manufacture earlier this year (back when traveling was still easy) it became very clear to us that developing complicated movements is in their genes. Our manufacture visit report can be found here.
Single Push Chronograph And Tourbillon
For this Octo watch, Bvlgari decided to combine something practical — like a chronograph — with a tourbillon. The chronograph is a single push one, meaning that you start, stop, and reset this function by one pusher. In this case, the pusher at 2 o’clock is for the chronograph functions. The pusher at 4 o’clock would normally be the one to reset the chronograph but is now in use to switch the crown setting. We’ve seen this before, also from other brands, that you can set the crown function in different modes. In this case, you can switch between a winding mode and a setting mode. In the setting mode, you can correct time. The winding mode is used to, well, wind the movement.
Then, there’s also the tourbillon located at 6 o’clock. It is not the first tourbillon in a Bvlgari Octo Finissimo, but the combination with the single push chronograph is. We’ve seen an Octo Finissimo with Tourbillon before, here. That had caliber BVL288, which was just 1.95mm thick. As written above, the thickness of the BVL388 movement is just 3.50mm. Instead of stacking everything up, Bvlgari pulled it off to keep everything on the same level. The oscillating weight of the movement, is a peripheral rotor, as you can see in the picture above.
On the dial side, you are also able to enjoy a large portion of the BVL388 movement. Next to the tourbillon cage, you will see a little column-wheel just below the minute counter (see picture above). This is used for the pusher at 4 o’clock, to switch the crown mode from winding to the setting mode (and vice versa). Bvlgari caliber BVL388 has a power reserve of 42 hours, and ticks at 21,600vph.
Bvlgari’s ultra-thin Octo case
With a movement as thin as 3.50mm, Bvlgari managed to keep the 42mm wide case also very thin, or ultra-thin, one might say. It just measures 7.4mm in height, which is even thinner than a Royal Oak 15202 with no complications (except for a date). Impressive! Because the case is 42mm wide, it still feels and wears like a more substantially-sized watch. I have a 19cm wrist, and this 42mm Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic wears very comfortably (I had to give it back though). As we have shown to you in our manufacture visit report, the sandblasting is done in one of the brand’s facilities with special equipment. The sandblasted titanium case looks beautiful and matches perfectly with the matt grey dial and grey movement parts.
My colleagues have come to know me as very finicky when it comes to bracelets. On the Octo Finissmo watches, Bvlgari did an excellent job of designing a beautiful looking bracelet. When I spoke to Bvlgari designer Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, he agreed with me that a bracelet is one of the toughest things to design when it comes to watches. It perfectly blends in with the design of the Octo Finissimo and the small links make it a very comfortable bracelet to wear.
Price and availability of this Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic
Bvlgari will only be producing and delivering 50 of these Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic watches. That’s certainly a low number, but given the price tag of €150,000, it fits. I like it when brands push boundaries, and Bvlgari seems to be on top of this game when it comes to creating super thin watches. With or without complications. More information via Bvlgari online.