For a luxury brand with origins in high jewelry, Bulgari sure knows how to push the boundaries of mechanical watchmaking. Its name has now become synonymous with extra-flat (or ultra-thin) watches, and last week it debuted its sixth world-record making timepiece – the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Automatic Watch.
This new watch can claim to be the thinnest to combine the following features: a skeletonised automatic movement, a single-push chronograph function, and a tourbillon. It’s worth mentioning here that Bulgari already holds the world records for the thinnest automatic, thinnest automatic tourbillon, and thinnest mechanical chronograph. So it’s hardly a surprise that they combined them all presented it with an open-worked dial, but make no mistake – this watch represents an extraordinary feat of engineering and design.
The watch is instantly recognizable as a Bulgari, thanks to the now-famous octagonal shape. The 42 mm wide is made from sandblasted titanium and is only 7.4 mm thick. The crown of the case and the chronograph push-buttons are also in sandblasted titanium, as is the matching bracelet. The openworked dial has matte grey accents, particularly for the two subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock. A tourbillon anchors the dial at 6 o’ clock.
This watch is powered by a wafer-thin movement, the incredible 3.5 mm thick Caliber BVL 388. Thanks to the use of a peripheral rotor for the winding function, we get unobstructed views of this beautifully-finished movement. Ultra-thin movements eschew the traditional rotor construction in favour of micro-rotors or peripheral ones to help keep the waif-like profile of the movement
The 3 Hz movement has a power reserve of 52 hours and uses both a column wheel and a horizontal clutch to drive its integrated chronograph function. Limited to just 50 pieces, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic is priced at $142,000 (Approx. AED 522,000).