Octo Roma Tourbillion Sapphire Lapis Lazuli (Ref.103155)
Mechanical monufocture movement with manual winding and flying tourbillion, Caliber BVL 206,44-mm rose gold-case fully set with baguette-cut diamonds, middle case in lapis lazuli, 18k rose-gold-plated caliber decorated with lapis lazuli indexes, blue alligator strap with 18k rose-gold folding clasp set with baguette-cut diamonds, limited edition of 30 pieces, $244,000.
So if 99 percent of watches you see on men or in watch drawers are made in steel, steel and gold, or combinations of brushed and polished steel you, will expect this on any watch. Sanded titanium is more for a secondary or third or fourth watch, because it’s atypical. It’s important for building the identity to be atypical, now, if you want to sell in higher volumes, which obviously is what you want, you have also to accept to get back to more marketable materials.
The brand’s approach to horological records seems also to be changing slightly. Babin says, “ Great watches have in common having a perfect aesthetic balance, which is always the combination of diameter and thickness. So going ultra-thin, you are going ultra-beautiful. If it’s just too flat, it might end up being extraordinary in terms of technology, but absurdly not attractive to your senses. So with the Octo, we really have to assess what is the ideal relationship between diameter and thickness, forgetting about world records but more about capitalizing on the very thin movement. And I think the chronograph is already showing a direction, because the chronograph to me has the best balance. It’s slightly thicker than the watch with the same diameter, and if you look at it is much more reassuring.
You have to be humble; the market has been established over decades by some aesthetic standards. First is the relation of diameter thickness, second the contrast between the dial and the case, and third the use of steel, often mixing polished and brushed, which at Bulgari doesn’t exist. So today, our men’s offer is purposely positioned to be a niche expressing a very strong identity, which is the first step, because as a jeweler you need a men’s watch with a strong identity. And the next step now will be to turn it into something appealing to a broad audience, without compromising on elegance, which is the ,mantra of the Finissimo, but not necessarily forcing each and every Finissimo to be a world record, because who cares?
You want a beautiful watch, you want it to be elegant and you don’t care at the end of the day that it’s necessarily the world record, but it’s important to know that it belongs to the saga of the world record.” In other words, it is not just about the sake of breaking a world record, but much more to keep the team hungry on different levels. Babin explains, “ There are two dimensions. One is obviously the pride: when you hold the record, you like to defend, it like athletes. If you are the world champion over 100 meters, you hate the idea that the other guy will run one one-hundredth of a second faster than you. So you keep training to make sure that you will be the next one to beat yourself.
Obviously, there is a lot of pride for what we have achieved internally, and our people, and we are a small team, which helps, are very positive to bring in new ideas so that we can get further. And the second thing is that the real pride, besides having the world record, is to be, if not, the world leader. It’s like Ferrari winning the GP- without selling road cars, it’s meaningless. Once you have established records, then you have the legitimacy to capitalize. The world record, we have proven already; now the next stage is the world record of sales.”