Bulgari Octo Finissimo Middle East Edition 103023
BVLGARI OCTO FINISSIMO 103023 MIDDLE EAST EDITION
Titanium | Titanium dial
They say Italians do it better. A statement that not often holds up in the field of fine watchmaking, yet the Bulgari Octo Finissimo is the exceptional timepiece proving the rule. Before sketching the picture of this divine titanium watch, let’s time travel a bit.
Bvlgari was founded in 1884 in Rome by the Greek silversmith Sotirios Voulgaris, after having lived some years in Naples. His antiques and jewellery designs attracted a fine clientele and Voulgaris decided to set up shop in the chic Via Condotti – where it’s flagship still can be found today – while changing his name to Bulgari, the phonetic and Italianized version of his last name.
In the early 20th century Bulgari became a style destination in itself while wealthy Brits and Americans indulged in a stop during the Grand Tour. It is thought that during these years, inspired by the fashion of the day, the first wrist watches were crafted in Art Deco style.
Fusing Italian craftsmanship and bold aesthetics, the watch side of the business gained momentum in the late 1940s, with a collection inspired by serpents wrapped around the wrist and clients like Liz Taylor and Audrey Hepburn – completely in line with the boom in Italian cinema and the vigorous Dolce Vita era. As Andy Warhol used to say about calling on the Roman powerhouse: ‘It is as visiting the best exhibition of contemporary art’.
Bulgari extended their watch production in pieces suitable ‘from morning until night’, while creating a watch business unit in Switzerland in the eighties. Pursuing being a respected player on the pitch of haute horlogerie by developing in-house complications, Bulgari acquired Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta in 2000, including its manufacturing facilities in Le Sentier, in the heart of the Swiss Jura.
It was there, in the Vallée de Joux, the cradle of watchmaking, where the ultra-slim Bulgari Octo Finissimo was invented. Launched at Baselworld in 2014, a world record was set with the thinnest tourbillon movement on the market belonging to the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon. A new recorded followed a mere two years later with the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater.
The piece here at hand stems from the Octo Finissimo Automatic. It was presented in 2017 and belongs to the legendary series of records, as the slimmest ultra-thin self-winding watch measuring only 5,15mm in thickness thanks to a 2,23mm movement. It is known in the market as the special Middle East Edition limited to 100 pieces.
This highly advanced Bulgari Octo Finissimo Middle East edition, Ref. 103023, debuted in 2019 as part of what can be considered a tribute series to watchmaking feasibility, celebrates slenderness. It is a limited edition of 100, executed completely in titanium, making the timepiece not just a lean statement on the wrist but also phenomenally light to wear.
Its sandblasted, titanium case in octagonal design – inspired by the 310 AD Roman Massentius Basilica, so the story goes, priorly used for some Gérald Genta complications – measures 40mm and an ultra-thin 5,15mm in thickness. Even the dial is crafted from titanium with magnificently contrasting lacquered Eastern Arabic numerals, slightly raised and bringing British racing green to mind – as if Bulgari is hinting to its heritage, once charming Brits on the road during the Grand Tour.
Being the epitome of contemporary style, infused by resilience and finesse, the dial further features the Bvlgari logo, skeletonized center hands in matching green and a minimal small seconds sub-dial. The watch offers a transparent case back with a push down, titanium crown set with ceramic, making it scratch resistant.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo is further distinguished by its stunning titanium bracelet, recessed at its center, offering a stunning perception of depth on the wrist. It comes with a matching titanium folding clasp, expressing the watch cleverness from start to finish. The clasp folds flat into the bracelet, with the swing-arm sitting flush once buckled down on the wrist, making no compromises on the watch slenderness.
This timepiece, as a dichotomy between curves and angles with its rounded bezel and slanted facets, combines engineering excellence and a refined aesthetic. It was available only to retailers in the Middle East, yet is no longer on the market, making this modern icon a collector’s reverie.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Middle East edition, Ref. 103023 houses the automatic winding BVL 138 Finissimo extra-thin caliber (2,23 mm thick and over 36mm in diameter), known as the world’s thinnest automatic movement upon its debut in 2017.
This caliber has been crafted entirely in-house in the Vallée de Joux workshops, once belonging to Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta. It has a full balance bridge, 36 jewels, a frequency of 21,600 A/h and a power reserve of 50-55 hours, wound by a platinum micro rotor with ceramic bearings for high efficiency.
The BVL 138 caliber is decorated by hand with côtes de Genève, chamfering and perlage finishing and is water-resistant up to 30 metres.
This special Middle East edition, Bulgari Octo Finissimo, Ref. 103023, in titanium is in excellent condition and has perfect mechanical functioning. It comes as a full set, being a limited edition out of 100 pieces.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment.
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Calibre BVL 138 Finissimo