Exclusive: Bulgari's record breaker thrills Baselworld

Today, Bulgari unveils the Octo Finissimo Automatic, the thinnest automatic movement in the world, alongside the new Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic watch in titanium

Bulgari conquers more watch laurels with the Octo Finissimo Automatic, the world’s thinnest automatic movement. Marking its third world record in watchmaking, Bulgari demonstrates that its watchmaking empire is as formidable and breathtaking as its high jewellery.

The world’s thinnest automatic movement

Following in the wake of the world’s thinnest tourbillon in 2014 – revisited this year in a skeletonised version – and the world’s thinnest minute repeater in 2016, the new self-winding movement of the Octo Finissimo is just 2.23mm thick. A horological complication in its own right, extreme thinness is devilishly difficult to conquer and requires manoeuvres that affect every last component of the movement, case and dial.

As the Roman temple of luxury, Bulgari reveres the city’s grandiose past and incorporates classical forms and references in all its creations. The architecture of the Octo collection is Roman to the core and is a faithful reproduction of the coffering used on the ceiling of the Basilica of Maxentius in the Roman Forum. To lighten the weight of the colossal barrel vaults of the Basilica - the largest architectural structure of its day – Roman engineers used weight-saving techniques in the form of coffering, a series of sunken panels decorated with octagonal and circular shapes. Taking the analogy one step further, Bulgari’s watchmakers, like Rome’s ingenious architects, have quite literally whittled down the watch to the leanest expression possible while retaining its majestic architecture, a fascinating interplay of geometric shapes.

Octo Finissimo Automatic watch
Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Automatic breaks a world record and is currently the thinnest self-winding movement on the market, measuring just 2.23mm in height (€13,500 on titanium bracelet). 

The latest member of the Octo Legion is kitted out in lightweight yet resilient titanium armour with a sandblasted surface. Measuring 40mm in diameter, the total thickness of the case is just 5.15mm lending the watch an extreme degree of elegance and sophistication. The dial is also crafted in titanium and features minimalist hour markers, black hands and a small seconds counter for an overall look of resolute modernity and masculine appeal.  

Manufactured entirely in-house by Bulgari, the movement –Calibre BVL 138 – is just 2.23mm thick. To ensure the most efficient automatic winding, the movement is equipped with a platinum micro-rotor and in turn, has a sturdy 60-hour power reserve. Hand-decorated with Côtes de Genève motifs and circular-grained finishes, the movement can be viewed through the transparent caseback.

Let there be light

Since its launch in 2014, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon holds the record for the thinnest tourbillon complication in the world, with a wafer-thin movement measuring just 1.95mm in height. 

Revisited in a sleek black suit in 2016, this year Bulgari has decided to strip away the dial and reveal the soul of its watch in all its glory.  A triumph of Italian design with its virile, proportioned character, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton is an eloquent spokesperson for Bulgari’s superlative watchmaking skills and was manufactured entirely in-house at Bulgari’s manufacturing complex in Le Sentier, Switzerland.

Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton watch
Bulgari skeletonises its famous Octo Finissimo Tourbillon watch, the world’s thinnest tourbillon movement to date, and offers a full view of the manual-winding movement (€165,000).

Where there was dark, there is now light and a full view of the manual-winding movement ticking inside the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton. A 40mm platinum case frames the spellbinding spectacle of the flying tourbillon, powered by Bulgari’s famous Calibre BVL 268, highlighting the consummate watchmaking skills required to keep the 253 components as thin as humanly possible.

Expect to see these new Bulgari watches and many more shine bright throughout the Baselworld fair with their unique marriage of Italian design flair and Swiss know-how.

Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton watch
Where there was dark, now there is light. Bulgari’s extraordinary Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton model is still the world’s slimmest tourbillon movement (€165,000).

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