Something of Bulgari’s Italian origins can be seen in the new Octo Ultranero pieces. They are black, but not all black. They are still intended as practical, legible timepieces, and so hands and hour markers are always in pink gold, contrasting with the deep black dial. The watch is powered by the self-winding “Solotempo BVL 193” movement, providing hours, minutes and seconds provided by skeleton hands and a simple baton hand respectively. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour, and power reserve is 50 hours. The movement can be seen through the sapphire caseback.
The date window is nicely incorporated into the dial design at 3 o’clock, with a correspondingly shorter hour baton at that point.
The case is in steel with a black DLC coating, perfect for the sleek, faceted lines of the case and its integrated lugs. These hold a rubber strap with black DLC-coated steel pin buckle. The bezel is available in pink gold or black DLC steel. The crown is in pink bold with a black ceramic insert, and it is screw-down, which helps the watch attain its water resistance of 100 metres. In short, it’s the sort of watch you can wear all the time, slim enough to escape knocks, and no worries if it’s raining or if you decide, on a whim, to jump into the Trevi fountain that is not far from Bulgari’s Rome flagship store. At 41 mm in diameter and 10.6 mm thick, it is wearable on most wrists.
Black dials is very much a fashion trend, fuelled principally by Hublot but now available from many brands. This watch, something of an entry-level piece for Bulgari, looks very different to most, a factor that is important to many purchasers. Who wants to have something on their wrist that looks identical to watches worn by millions?
The Bulgari Octo Ultranero “solo tempo” (hours, minutes, seconds, date) costs €6,950 in the version with black bezel (reference 102581), and €9,950 in the version with pink gold bezel (reference 102485).