The Bulgari Octo Finissimo collection continues to gain popularity among watch enthusiasts, and during the Geneva Watch Days 2023 Bulgari unveiled its latest masterpieces: the Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Automatic and CarbonGold Perpetual Calendar. These exceptional timepieces mark a significant milestone by seamlessly blending cutting-edge carbon technology with the timeless elegance of rose gold, a fusion rarely witnessed in the world of horology. While the use of carbon in watchmaking is not a novel concept, with IWC presenting a carbon watch back in the 80s, Bulgari’s journey of material experimentation has been a longstanding one, dating back to its early Bulgari Aluminum collection and extending to recent innovations like the introduction of marble for the 2023 OnlyWatch auction. This commitment to pushing the boundaries of materials has consistently set the Octo Finissimo apart from its peers, making it a symbol of contemporary sports watchmaking excellence.
The Octo Finissimo has donned various materials over the years, including steel, titanium, ceramic, and gold, with a particular emphasis on the latter. The addition of carbon to this illustrious lineup reflects Bulgari’s adventurous spirit when it comes to pushing the envelope in watchmaking material innovation. Carbon and gold as a pairing aren’t entirely new to Bulgari, as it made its debut in 1993. However, the Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Automatic and Perpetual Calendar bring this unique combination to the forefront. These timepieces feature a bold carbon case with a modern matte finish, complemented by the opulence of a rose gold crown, complete with a black ceramic insert. This marriage of materials creates an aesthetic that is both striking and harmonious.
Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, the creative mind behind these timepieces and Executive Director at Bulgari Horlogerie, emphasizes that the Octo Finissimo was not solely focused on achieving extreme thinness for its own sake. Instead, the goal was to strike a balance, creating a watch that appeared robust and aggressive when viewed head-on, yet remarkably thin when observed from the side. Carbon, known for its strength, durability, and lightweight properties, perfectly aligns with this vision. While carbon cases exude a modern, bold, and even brutalist appearance from a distance, they pleasantly surprise with their lightweight feel when held in hand, staying true to the designer’s original concept. On the other hand, when worn, the watch seems incredibly light and may lose the perception of luxury that could be associated with heaviness by a novice. The warm, elegant tones of the rose gold crown and the gold-colored accents on the carbon dials further enhance the visual appeal of these watches. Both the Bulgari Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Automatic and Perpetual Calendar models adhere to the Octo Finissimo tradition of ultra-thin profiles, measuring 6.9mm and 7.6mm, respectively. With a 40mm diameter, they maintain a sleek and refined appearance, suitable for both formal and everyday wear.
Technically, the watches utilize a titanium container for the movement, upon which the carbon composite components are mounted. This adds a bit of thickness to the watches but enhances their water resistance to 100 meters. The perpetual calendar model, powered by Bulgari’s caliber BVL 305, holds the title of the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar movement since its introduction in 2021, measuring a mere 2.75mm in thickness. Its perpetual calendar display features a retrograde date and a leap year indicator.
On the other hand, the CarbonGold Automatic houses the micro-rotor caliber BVL 138, renowned for its offset sub-seconds at 7 o’clock. The movements of both watches boast pink gold bridges and a pink-gold plated platinum micro-rotor. While these elements add a touch of luxury, the rest of the dial and hands maintain their gold-colored appearance, with the only out-of-place detail being the “Au750 18K” inscription on the side badge, which might lead buyers to believe the entire movement or the hands and indices are in gold. These exceptional timepieces come at a premium, with the Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Automatic priced at €29,000 and the CarbonGold Perpetual Calendar commanding a price tag of €100,000. While these prices surpass their titanium counterparts, they align with the premium pricing often associated with carbon-cased watches.
The Bulagri Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Automatic and Perpetual Calendar models underscore Bulgari’s unique position in the world of haute horlogerie. These watches effortlessly blend innovation and luxury, offering watch enthusiasts a perfect fusion of cutting-edge materials and exquisite design. The Octo Finissimo CarbonGold collection exemplifies Bulgari’s commitment to crafting exceptional timepieces that not only mark time but also tell a story of craftsmanship and creativity. Just like every Bulgari creation, the Octo Finissimo CarbonGold watches epitomize style, elegance, and technical excellence in the realm of luxury watchmaking, solidifying their place as icons of this era – a testament to bold contemporary Italian design and sophisticated Swiss mechanics.