How Bvlgari Has Redefined The Rules Of Watchmaking With Its Octo Collection
Bvlgari is constantly setting challenging goals for itself—to be more daring, more beautiful and more sublime than ever. And it surpasses them easily. But for the past four years, Bvlgari has also regularly set world records in watchmaking.
The new Octo drew gasps from the crowd, partly because it measures a minuscule 3.3mm thick—about the thickness of two envelopes stacked on top of each other. Unsurprisingly, the integrated movement is the flattest automatic chronograph on the market.
It marks the fifth world record achieved by the brand’s Octo Finissimo line in the past five years, and yet somehow—despite being a world leader in thinness—Bvlgari remains a world leader in style, too.
This is evident from our atmospheric cover shoot, which as well as the Octo Finissimo Chronograph features the Octo Velocissimo, Octo Roma, Octo Finissimo Skeleton Ceramic and Octo Finissimo Ceramic, proving once again that it is possible to combine brains and beauty.
The latter two timepieces write a new chapter in watchmaking, thanks to their use of high-tech materials. Each wristwatch is made in black ceramic, one with a solid dial and the other with a skeletonised dial, both measuring 40mm in diameter.
High performing movements, as is to be expected from Bvlgari, take centre stage—the BVL 138 Finissimo, with 60 hours of power reserve, and the BVL 128SK Finissimo, with 65 hours of power reserve, enable each watch to be ultra-light and super-thin.
Ceramic, an increasingly popular material once reserved for the likes of the mining, aeronautical and biomedical industries, is significantly harder than steel and other metals.
When used in watchmaking, the material is often limited to single components such as the bezel. Less commonly, ceramic is applied to an entire case and bracelet, which Bvlgari is championing with its recent models.
The maison’s CEO, Jean-Christophe Babin, has previously emphasised the importance of innovation in Bvlgari’s future, having regularly expressed a desire to revolutionise the watchmaking industry by merging luxurious Italian aesthetics with the most extraordinary Swiss engineering and craftsmanship.
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Often referencing what he describes as a timekeeping “rinascimento” (the Italian word for renaissance), Babin perfectly depicts Bvlgari’s no-holds-barred attitude to high-end watchmaking as well as its quest to be positioned as one of the industry’s most contemporary and daring innovators. The brand’s latest models, after all, offer something for everyone.
For those who value balance and beauty and want something unusually striking on their arm, there is, for example, the Octo Roma Tourbillon Sapphire. The pure simplicity and technological excellence of this exceptional watch captures a new watchmaking vision, one that is both aesthetically enticing and mechanically exciting.
Much of its beauty comes from the fact that it allows light to flood in, showcasing a mechanism that has been crafted in sapphire, rose gold and a contrasting blue calibre.
With its innovative rewriting of the rules of traditional watchmaking, Bvlgari’s timepieces are destined to be bold. Inventive and easy to wear, the Octo design has long broken with convention, and it’s clear from the brand’s recently released models that this isn’t going to change any time soon.
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- Photography Raul Docasar at Fast Management
- Styling Syan Leung
- Make-Up Gloomy Kwok @ HKMAKEUPARTISTS
- Model Serj @ Models HK