As followers of the watch industry are well aware by now, “Roman Jeweler of Time” Bulgari has made pushing the boundaries of mechanical-watch thinness its stock-in-trade, with each year bringing at least one new record-setting watch that combines horological complexity with waif-like profiles. This year is no exception: Bulgari launched its six years (or seventh, if you count the smallest women’s tourbillon watch, the Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon): the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Automatic Watch.
The new model’s claim to fame is that it debuts as the thinnest timepiece combining all the following features: a skeletonized, self-winding movement, a single push chronograph function, and a tourbillon. Its 42-mm standblasted titanium case, in the now-famous eight-sided Octo configuration, measures only 7.4 mm in total thickness. The crown and chronograph push-buttons are also in sandblasted titanium, as is the tapered bracelet. The openworked dial is dominated by matte gray details, particularly the two sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock.
Inside the water-thin case (water resistant to 30 meters) is an accordingly slender movement, Caliber BVL 388, which rises just 3.5 mm in height despite its array of functions. Visible from the back (through a clear sapphire window) as well as the front of the watch, it uses a peripheral rotor for automatic winding, amassing a power reserve of 52 hours. Its balance beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph (3 Hz) and it uses both a column wheel and a horizontal clutch to drive its integrated chronograph function.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic is a limited edition of 50 pieces, priced at $142,000.