Tested For You: The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo adventures from New York to Switzerland
Most of you are familiar with the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo collection. Launched just a few years ago at Baselworld. The watch has broken number world records for thinness. Watchonista has published numerous articles about these pieces, but now that we’ve had a chance to wear one for an intercontinental review taking place between NYC and Switzerland.
As you may know, earlier this year Watchonista opened a branch office in New York City. The Big Apple is an amazing playground to test fine timepieces. So the idea behind this review is to show you this amazing watch in the wild. From the urban jungles of The City to the heart of watchmaking, Switzerland.
The Octo Finissimo collection: Horological grails
Year after year, Bvlgari has surprised us at every Baselworld, by unveiling innovative model after innovate model. The Minute Repeater, the Tourbillon and finally the Automatic. Always with a touch of class. To some, Bvlgari may still considered as a kind of outsider, however, the Roman brand has positioned itself as a serious watchmaker.
The Italian style
While most brands are launching neo-vintage timepieces, or reissues of classic archival pieces, Bvlgari decided to explore new directions in terms of design. The Octo Finissimo is a total concentration of Italian style. A timepiece for the stylish gentleman that wishes to have something different on the wrist. Its stealth and modern look along with a matte grey finish obtained by a microbillage process applied on the titanium case, which gives the watch a discreet, not flashy, yet unconventional look. I particularly like the fact that there is no coating applied on the watch to get this special finish. Quite cool! Honestly, there are not many watches out there that are bringing this level of touch and feel.
"Octo Finissimo Automatic is truly a game changer. Ultra thin watches are typically very traditional, an expression of creativity of the 50'/60s, to be worn basically only on formal occasions. We wanted to offer to gentlemen of our generation the chance to enjoy an ultra thin timepiece with a contemporary Italian elegance and on a daily basis. Hence the choice of the sandblasted titanium that conveys an extremely fresh look and an unprecedented feeling of effortless wearability. It is complemented with the thinnest automatic movement ever made. Six years worth living to master this great achievement!"
Leather vs full titanium?
On both versions, the watch looks amazing and is really comfortable. At this point it’s a question of taste. And by the way even if you purchase one version – technically, nothing stops you from asking for a conversion of strap material right? To be discussed with Bvlgari… that’s what I would do!
My choice is the OCTO Finissimo full titanium
I’ve always been a fan of the Patek Philippe Nautilus and I have one on my wrist most days. So, I can speak freely… and even if some might say that I’ve lost my mind, that I am about to say absolute non-sense, but I see in this watch a potential new Nautilus. Hopefully, I am not the only one. It’s as disruptive as the Nautilus when it came out back in the 70’s. The titanium bracelet is very light and thin. So thin that they had to “integrate” the buckle into the last links (otherwise the buckle would have been thicker that case itself).
"The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic titanio represents the contemporary and Italian way to wear a gran complication watch."
How to wear it
The OCTO is absolutely amazing to wear. Very light and comfortable, once you adjust the titanium bracelet to fit your wrist, you can definitely wear it on all occasions. It is as sporty as it is elegant. In casual occasions it fits perfectly with a t-shirt. In dressier attire, the piece looks marvelous under a formal shirt.
Without starting a technical explanation, Vincent Daveau (who apart from being our French Editor is also a watchmaker) has written about the movement at length. I wished to give my opinion on a aesthetical point of view. As every watch lover, as soon as you have the watch in your hands, the immediate move is to turn the watch over to see what’s on the other side. Here you have a beautifully finished movement exposed through a sapphire crystal perfectly centered inside the octagonal case. Once again, the matte finishing and the beautiful movement finishing create good contrast that gives very good credit to the watchmaking aspect of the watch.
On this point, I have to say that Bvlgari got it right. Compared to other brands, the perceived value of this OCTO is very high. Taking to account that we are talking of an extra thin movement with an amazing full titanium watch, the retail price of CHF 13000 is absolutely fair. Well done Bvlgari!