The Italian “Jeweler of time” started the watchmaking year ahead of Baselworld with several strong new releases. Watch Time traveled do Dubai for a first look.
– LVMH’s inaugural Watch Week took place from January 13 to 15 at the Dubai Bulgari Hotel. While the brand will still release a majority of its 2020 novelties in Basel (April 30 to May 5), the watches shown on the Persian Gulf coast are already another strong commitment of the brand to horological innovation, with the Octo Finissimo Automatic in stainless steel being one of the year’s highlights (and undoubtedly also the most requested version of the record-breaker). Here are some of the novelties that were shown.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in Sandblasted Rose Gold – The most elegant interpretation of the record-breaking watch from 2016 yet. The new Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in rose gold (Ref.103279) is the latest edition of the record-breaking Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in titanium that first debuted in 2016 and led the foundation for a new approach to mechanics and complications. The minute repeater, one of the most complex of all horological complications, now comes in sand-blasted rose gold with matching dial. The hour markers and the small seconds counter have an incised, cut-out design to amplify resonance inside the ultra-thin-case. The pusher activating the striking mechanism is located at 9 o’clock and fitted with an “all or nothing” safety device
Movement: Ultra-thin mechanical manufacture minute repeater movement with manual winding, Cal.BVL362, indication of hours and minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock 42-hour power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz), diameter: 28.50 mm, thickness: 3.12 mm. Case and dial: Sandblasted 18k rose-gold case with transparent caseback, sandblasted 18k rose-gold dial, case diameter : 40 mm, thickness: 6.90 mm. Water resistant to 30 m. Price: $170,000.
Bulgari Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon – Seducing collectors with a unique small-sized women’s tourbillon, specially designed for the sleek dimensions of the serpent-head case of the italian brand’s most unique watch collection. Bulgari is one of the few brands to create haute horlogerie pieces for women. After the Diva’s Minute Repeater in 2018 (this year sees a new version with a malachite dial), Bulgari now takes on the tourbillon, often perceived as the most prestigious complication in watchmaking. The nw Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon models come in rose gold (Ref.103257) or white gold with diamond pave (Ref.103260) and a full diamond bracelet (Ref.103626).
Thanks to a combination of jewelry-making expertise and Swiss watchmaking know-how, Bulgari managed to create a tourbillon small enough to fit into the small case. The brand’s rhodium-plated new Cal.BVL150 is the smallest of its kind on the market. It is hand decorated with cotes de Geneve, perlage and beveling and features a sapphire bridge. The winding stem is located between 2 and 3 and is inclined six degress.
Movement: Mechanical manufacture movement with manual winding, Cal.BVL150, tourbillon, hours and minutes, 40-hour power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz), 23 jewels.Movement dimensions: 22 mm x 18 mm, thickness 3.65 mm. Case: 34-mm 18k rose-or white-gold case, full snow set with round brilliant – cut diamonds. Crown set with a cabochon – cut ruby or sapphire. Case thickness: 8.90 mm. Water resistant to 30 m. Dial full snow set with round brilliant – cut diamnods. Price: $78,000 (Ref.103257), $82,000 (Ref.103260) and $151,000 (Ref.103626).
Octo Finissimo Automatic in Steel, Rose Gold or Ceramic – Three more reasons for a modern classic. The stainless-steel sports watch category has been dominated for decades by a handful of luxury watches with integrated bracelets and manufacture movements. The exclusive club just got a new member: Bulgari finally revealed a stainless-steel version of the ultra-thin Octo Finissimo with micro-rotor manufacture movement BVL138 (Ref.103297). The Italian brand even managed to increase the water resistance from 30 to 100 meters for the rose-gold and steel case (thickness: 5.25 mm). The next chapter of the Octo saga is presented by the Octo Finissimo Automatic Black Ceramic with a sandblasted and polished case (Ref.103368). The case and dial are also made of ceramic, which is particularly difficult to work with in an ultra-thin piece like the Octo. Movement: Ultra-thin mechanical manufacture movement with automatic winding (via platinum micro-rotor), Cal.BVL138, indication of hours and minutes, small seconds at 7 o’clock, 60-hour power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz), diameter: 36.60 mm, thickness: 2.23 mm.
Case and dial: Satin-polished steel (REf.103297), satin-polished rose gold (Ref.103286) or sandblasted and polished ceramic case (Ref.103286) or sandblasted and polished ceramic case (Ref.103368) with transparent caseback, matching dials and bracelets, case diameter: 40 mm, thickness: 5.25 mm (Ref.103286 and 103297) or 5.50 mm (Ref.103368). Water resistant to 30 m (Ref.103368) or 100 m (Ref.103286 and 103297). Price: $12,000 (Ref.103297), $22,700 (Ref.103286) and $15,600 (Ref.103368).