“The point of the Octo Finissimo is that we always break the rules,” says Bulgari Watch Division product creation executive director Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani.
“We have to imagine something different.”
Marking the 10th anniversary of Bulgari’s Octo Collection, Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani has produced a new ultra-thin watch having already set seven records under the company’s belt for thinness across varying levels of complications.
However, Bulgari has now set its eighth and most challenging record yet, with its new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra which is astonishingly 1.8mm thick—as thin as a 20 cent euro coin.
This new piece intertwines the Octo’s classic watch design codes—including the eight-sided shape that takes its inspiration from the geometry of the Pantheon’s arches, and the clean purity of the dial—with a record-breaking technicality.
The appeal comes from the watchmaker pushing the limits of what can be done with a small mechanical movement.
This not only has an aesthetic value but also pushes real engineering boundaries.
A three-year project for the Bulgari team, in partnership with avant-garde movement development specialist Concepto, the watch’s extremely thin design required not only rethinking the watch itself, but also the titanium bracelet links and the folding clasp so they would remain proportional.
The team had to come up with innovations in watch glass assembly and design elements involving the barrel structure, oscillator module, differential display, modular structure, bracelet, bimetal case, middle-main plate case back, along with software that produced eight patents.
For the watch itself, the thinness required a rigid design to protect the movement.
To achieve this, the engineers used tungsten carbide for the case back and titanium lugs.
To save space while maintaining strength, the titanium case and the dial were integrated into the BVL Calibre 180 movement to support the 170 parts.
The dial also takes on an interesting format to take on and win the ultra-thin challenge.
Two regulator style indicators reveal the hours and minutes on separate dials, the hours conveyed at the 2′ position and minutes at the 4′ position.
Nestled within a cut-out portion of the minutes’ dial, you will find a running seconds display directly on the fourth wheel – a clever solution to provide running seconds in a record-thin watch.
The watch comes complete with a QR code engraved on the barrel of each of the ten limited editions, and also gives the owner access to a unique NFT art piece.
The QR code engraved on the barrel offers a new direction for contemporary watchmaking, inviting wearers into a digital new world where there is an ever-evolving selection of experiences on offer. Design-wise, it was a natural fit.
“If you look at the design of the Octo, it’s a 45-degree angle,” Stigliani points out.
“All the elements come from a square portion of a square. So in terms of design, it makes sense, because it’s the same pattern.”
“To achieve this degree of thinness, you not only have to review your way of thinking, but you must also draw upon a wide range of skills, play with multiple materials and adapt to a multitude of new constraints,” continues Stigliani.
“In this sense, the Octo Finissimo Ultra is unquestionably the ultimate complication in this vast field of possibilities represented by ultra-miniaturization.”
Project: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra
Designers: Bulgari Horlogerie SA
Manufacturer: Bulgari Horlogerie SA