Luxury timepieces for him: Bulgari Octo Roma timepiece in three finishes, joins the existing Octo collection
The latest addition to the Italian Maison’s landmark collection, released in Geneva earlier this year, is a 41-millimetre beauty that also comes with a brown dial
In a world of round watches, few brands dare to defy convention and bet big on other shapes, simple or otherwise. This conventional practice is tough to dispute, with as much as 90 percent of the wristwatch market opting for round watches. In fact, we have never seen any statistic that goes lower than 80 per cent here. A minor twist, or wrinkle if you will, in this convention is where a collection such as the Bulgari Octo sits. By right, it should be considered a shaped case, even though round mechanical calibres sit quite comfortably within. The apparent success that Bulgari has had with this collection seemingly runs counter to the round watches narrative then.
In 2017, Bulgari is diving deeper into the Octo universe by revealing what it calls the fifth pillar of the collection: the Octo Roma. Officially unveiled in Geneva earlier this year, at the same time Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith were making their “alternative-SIHH” showings, the new collection seems to be trying to make everyone think it has always existed. Come to think of it, the Octo has already been working hard to convince watch collectors that Gerald Genta had always been a part of Bulgari (the brand was absorbed in 2010). Of course, the octagonal shape originated with the famous designer but for his own namesake brand.
If the Octo Roma was presented alongside the existing classic Octo, Velocissimo and Finissimo, it would be hard for us to pick out each one with any degree of certainty. Bulgari states that the goal with the Octo Roma was to distil the spirit of the collection to its purest form. The clearest expression of this is in a new 41-millimetres size, but Bulgari reports that it has made the edges smoother, and thus more comfortable to wear (the writer was one of the first to test the original Octo model in 2012 and can attest to those edges). The classic Octo was 41.5 millimetres, so the new watch is marginally smaller, meaning the difference will only be felt on the wrist. Another change that will be felt rather than seen is in the improved way the leather strap integrates with the case and lugs.
Movement Self-winding Calibre BVL191 Solotempo with date; 42-hour power reserve
Case 41-millimetres in pink gold, steel or pink gold and steel; water resistant to 100 metres
Strap Black or brown alligator, or bracelet (steel only)
This article was originally published in WOW.