Strong Character: Bulgari Octo Chronograph
If there’s only one thing the Bulgari Octo has, it’s got facets. On its case alone, there are exactly 110 of them alternately polished and satin-brushed, and then there are those on the hour indices and, with this model, the six different hands on the dial. This probably explains how this watch perfectly balances simplicity […]
If there’s only one thing the Bulgari Octo has, it’s got facets. On its case alone, there are exactly 110 of them alternately polished and satin-brushed, and then there are those on the hour indices and, with this model, the six different hands on the dial. This probably explains how this watch perfectly balances simplicity and complexity in design. Italian by character and Swiss by birth, the Octo came to define Bulgari’s men’s watch identity fairly recently in 2012. Since then, its core design has changed little, for little needs to be changed. Last year, all the Italian luxury maison did was introduce a bracelet version of the Octo which upped the ante somewhat, amping up the luxury factor by a notch. The bracelet has obviously been specially designed for the Octo because it clearly echoes the design of the case.
This year, Bulgari will start to expand the Octo collection and first to hit the scene is the Octo Chronograph. Bulgari gave it a classical three-counter layout and indeed this keeps it wonderfully balanced vis-à-vis the ’12’ numeral. Where the original model, Octo Ambassador, also had a ‘6’ numeral, the chronograph version had to give it a miss in order to accommodate the three counters. The date aperture had also moved from three o’clock to 4.30. In pink gold, the indices and hands contrast beautifully with the hand-polished black lacquered dial, as do the Bulgari insignia, minute track and chronograph counters.
Chronograph aficionados will appreciate one other fact about the Octo Chronograph: Its high frequency balance which means it’s a highly precise timekeeper. Oscillating at 36,000vph, Calibre BVL 328 made its first appearance last year, in the Bulgari-Bulgari Chronograph. Possibly derived from the Zenith El Primero movement, it is an integrated self-winding column wheel-controlled chronograph with 50-hour power reserve.
The Octo Chronograph’s overall dimensions measure 41.5mm and is available in pink gold (with leather strap) or steel (with leather strap or steel bracelet). Turn the watch on its side and discover an additional touch of class – an eight-sided crown with a black ceramic insert. Through the exhibition case back, every move of Calibre BVL 328 can be observed.
Also available are variations in stainless steel with bracelet or leather strap.