Bulgari’s watch collection has developed into an extraordinary range, and the new pieces presented at Baselworld 2014 were very interesting: Lucea, the new women’s watch, Octo Velocissimo, a chronograph with a dramatically faceted case, Ammiraglio del Tempo, a grand complication, and many more. These watchmaking riches reflect the fact that this an important year for the brand: its 130th anniversary. Bulgari was founded in Rome and it is very proud of its Italian heritage, which emerges in its smart design, even though the watch division is based in Switzerland. The process of vertical integration began 14 years ago, and comprised the purchase of the small but significant brands Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth, which enabled Bulgari to rapidly develop its resources of expertise.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon reflects the Octo design by Gerald Genta, with its clever blending of a square outer profile, a circular bezel and an octagonal dial. It is the thinnest tourbillon in the world, with a case 5 millimetres thick. To achieve this, the Bulgari watch designers were able to work on all the components, because everything is made in-house. So, hour indices are not applied, but painted; in the movement, for many pivots, ball bearings are used instead of jewels; regulation is performed on the balance wheel and not on the spring. The barrel is guided by three ball bearings, and the horizontal space saved enabled a longer spring leaf to be used, increasing power reserve to 55 hours. The tourbillon cage itself is just 1.95 mm thick, and this in fact determines the thickness of the entire movement. There are just two bridges, one for the tourbillon, one for the minute wheel.
The 40-mm case is in platinum, with a black leather strap. The overall piece is sleek, very flat, with the one-minute tourbillon providing the dominant note of visual interest. The price of the watch is about CHF 130,000.
Of course, the most appropriate place to buy the watch is Rome, in the historic Via Condotti store:
Via dei Condotti 10
Tel. +39 06 696261