Style / World of Watches (WOW)

New Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph is Sixth Record in Six Years

Fusing its vivacious Italian soul with the technical expertise of Swiss watchmaking, the new Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph brings unprecedented development to an industry that is broadly playing it safe

Sep 18, 2020 | By Jonathan Ho

Bvlgari continues to shift the paradigm of modern watchmaking with its sixth World Record: the New Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph. The skeleton tourbillon chronograph is the latest in the saga of Bvlgari’s penchant for exceptional horology, this time, building upon it’s last feat – an ultra thin Chronograph GMT and for 2020, developing a self-winding ultra-thin skeleton monopusher tourbillon chronograph.

“2020 is the year of the World records at Bvlgari with this new ultra-thin Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic. It is the 6th World record in a row for Octo Finissimo. We already launched last January in Dubai Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon, the smallest ladies watch Tourbillon on the market which complements Diva Finissima Minute Repeater, the thinnest chiming ladies watch available on the market. Complication and records are without genders at Bvlgari!” – Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bvlgari.

New Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph is Bvlgari’s Sixth Watchmaking Record in Six Years

Adding a sixth watchmaking record in six consecutive years is nothing short of prodigious, especially when one considers the relative youth of Bvlgari as a fully integrated manufacture in an industry spanning centuries. From the first model launched in 2014, the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo been a showcase platform of groundbreaking records in thinness and horological complication and a commercial success as well.

At 7.4mm, the latest Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic is an unprecedented combination of complications in such ultra-thin proportions – it is simply the Le Sentier manufacture’s know-how distilled into one potent watchmaking emblem and a re-affirmation of the Finissimo’s pre-eminent position as this generation’s premier sports luxury watch.

Launched during the Geneva Watch Days, the 42mm Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton Automatic is an openworked, monopusher (yes it looks like it has two buttons) chronograph tourbillon movement with a 50-hour power reserve, ably provided by the 3.50mm thick calibre BVL 388.  this is the flattest tourbillon chronograph wristwatch ever made, there is simplu no equivalent including these horological complications in the market within such a reduced thinness while still delivering high horology features such as a horizontal clutch and a column wheel.

From the first model launched in 2014, Bvlgari Octo watch has built a saga of groundbreaking thinness records. But beyond those successive prowess’s, Octo Finissimo has reset the codes of watch design to become a new cult watch model.

Where the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Excels

To comprehend this technical accomplishment, one needs to consider the milestones before this latest world record: the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon’s BVL 268 is 1.95mm thick; however, it is a hand-wound movement. The Finissimo Automatic’s calibre BVL 138 is at 2.30mm and currently the world’s thinnest self-winding movement.

Keep in mind, that sandwiched between these accomplishments, is the fact that Bvlgari managed to figure out creating the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic’s BVL 288 movement with the same thickness as the hand-wound Finissimo tourbillon. By introducing elements like a peripheral rotor which swivels in the same level as the movement plate itself and using a flying tourbillon which doesn’t require an extra tourbillon bridge, the easiest way to develop an automatic Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph like what Bvlgari has done for 2020 is to literally add a chronograph module upon the existing BVL 288 – but that would be a totally inelegant, brutish solution, incompatible with the Italian brand’s sophisticated ethos.

What Bvlgari has achieved in the calibre BVL 388 of the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Automatic is essentially include all the elements while using a traditional rather than a flying tourbillon hence the presence of an upper bridge. Peripherally geared (as visible from the gear teeth on carriage) rather than via a lower pinion, it is from the tourbillon escapement that Bvlgari has organised the rest of its components, including a column wheel device which manages chronograph functions, around rather than on-top in a sandwich-style architecture – it’s ingenious really, since the lateral clutch is flatter than the vertical clutch, the clutch lever of the chronograph rests beside the tourbillon, on the same plane as the movement plate.

Bvlgari: Roman Jeweller of Time?

For the longest time, editorials surrounding jewellers who also have a hand in haute horlogerie have often had to answer questions on whether [insert brand] can be considered a legitimate watchmaker. Such questions stem from a place of provenance, given the centuries of history rather than as true investigation into whether a brand truly knows how to make watches. Where Bvlgari has carved its niche is a special one: having established itself as a master of L’Estetica della Meccanica, fusing its vivacious Italian soul with the technical expertise of Swiss watchmaking and mechanical movements and in doing so, it has led its own revolution in watchmaking, uniting cutting-edge aesthetics with technical mastery in a way that is utterly unique to the brand.

The Octo saga, and the continuation of the story with yet another world record breaking Finissimo, highlights the exceptional nature of Bvlgari: the new Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph is an example of what arises when technical mastery is joined with an unbridled visionary approach.


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