Italian jewellery house Bulgari became a watchmaker accidentally when, in 1975, they made 100 unique watches as gifts for important customers. The popularity of this limited release meant that the iconic Bulgari Bulgari followed soon after. Today their watches include the popular Octo and the Lucea lines. Explore Bulgari’s timepieces at Time+Tide.

IN-DEPTH: The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton Titanium Blue

The story in a second: So thin you can see through it. If you were to summarise Bulgari’s approach to design and modern-day watchmaking, the Octo would be the result. In less than a decade, the Italian manufacturer has turned a single striking case design into an entire collection, evolving with each new model, and breaking records left, right and centre. One of this year’s newest additions is the Octo Finissimo Skeleton Titanium Blue, and although it’s not exactly a record-breaker, it does not disappoint. The case What more can I say about the case of the Octo Finissimo that we haven’t already said? It’s thin (boy, is it thin!), but slenderness is not the only thing; it’s about the entire package. This Skeleton’s lines are sharp, gliding across its barely there profile like skates on ice. Only that ice is sandblasted titanium, and there’s no mixing of finishes to dazzle and distract; instead it’s all left to the case’s multiple facets and angles to impress – and impress they do. Here, the 40mm Octo case is also slightly thicker than the record-breaking Octo Finissimo Automatic – 5.37mm compared to 5.15mm … to put that in perspective, however, that’s less… Read More

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HANDS-ON: A butterfly flaps its wings … Bulgari Daniel Roth Papillon Heure Sautante

To talk about this watch, we need to talk about Daniel Roth. Daniel Roth is an immensely talented watchmaker, making his name at Audemars Piguet and honing his skills at Breguet until he left in 1987. After that exceptional grounding, Daniel Roth decided to found his own, eponymous brand, which launched in 1989. With a focus on high-end, complicated offerings, heavy on tourbillons, repeaters and chimes and, of course, that unique squared-off oval shape. And while the Daniel Roth brand — like so many small watchmakers — didn’t make it in the long run, the name lives on. The brand — along with those distinctive cases — was acquired by Bulgari in 2000. Which brings us to this particular Bulgari Daniel Roth. With a large 45mm rose gold case, in the aforementioned elliptical shape, this watch has undeniable presence on the wrist. It’s chunky and masculine, but also unusual and possessing distinctive charms. Charms that extend beyond the refined lines of the case. While most watches make do with conventional hands, this Papillon is not most watches. It’s a jump hour with wandering minutes display — the tip of either of those central lozenge-shaped indicators points to the current minute. It’s… Read More

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INSIGHT: Is the Octo Finissimo really a ‘game changer’? Bulgari MD Guido Terreni gives us three reasons

If you take the term ‘game changer’ at its most literal, it is a development, a breakthrough that changes the game. No matter how you interpret the term, it’s a big call. And the watch world in particular is a big game to have any meaningful impact on, given the vastness of its history and the giants in its immediate and distant past. At a recent event in Shanghai, Bulgari unveiled their most complicated watch ever, the Octo Grande Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar, which combines grand strike and perpetual complications – no mean feat, and an achievement appreciated by an Asian collector who bought it within a month of its first release in Rome in July at a price that we cannot disclose (but was more than $1 million AUD). But this new pinnacle for Bulgari is not the subject of today’s interview. It is a forthright challenge to the Bulgari Managing Director Guido Terreni about the ongoing — some might argue increasing — association of the term ‘game changer’ with the Octo Finissimo collection. I asked him for three reasons it’s justified. 1. Because it makes ultra-thin watches contemporary “To me, Finissimo is a game changer because it takes the tradition of ultra-thin… Read More

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IN-DEPTH: The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton Titanium Blue

The story in a second: So thin you can see through it. If you were to summarise Bulgari’s approach to design and modern-day watchmaking, the Octo would be the result. In less than a decade, the Italian manufacturer has turned a single striking case design into an entire collection, evolving with each new model, and breaking records left, right and centre. One of this year’s newest additions is the Octo Finissimo Skeleton Titanium Blue, and although it’s not exactly a record-breaker, it does not disappoint. The case What more can I say about the case of the Octo Finissimo that we haven’t already said? It’s thin (boy, is it thin!), but slenderness is not the only thing; it’s about the entire package. This Skeleton’s lines are sharp, gliding across its barely there profile like skates on ice. Only that ice is sandblasted titanium, and there’s no mixing of finishes to dazzle and distract; instead it’s all left to the case’s multiple facets and angles to impress – and impress they do. Here, the 40mm Octo case is also slightly thicker than the record-breaking Octo Finissimo Automatic – 5.37mm compared to 5.15mm … to put that in perspective, however, that’s less… Read More

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ANNOUNCING: Our shop is the only place in Australia you can buy the limited Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Blue

What a way to start a Monday. We are so proud and privileged to announce that we have the full Australian allocation – just two watches of 200 ever produced – of a very special watch to offer in the Time+Tide shop. It is a Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic with blue nuances that we have taken to calling ‘Electric Blue’. The price is AUD$19,750. The purchase price of the watch also includes a year of watch insurance, which protects you at home and on the road, in Australia and abroad. As of this morning, after a pre-sale for subscribers over the weekend (if you’re not in our newsletter squad, sign up here to avoid missing out next time, which will be very soon) there is just one watch remaining. This watch is electric by name and electric by nature – taking what many are rushing to call a modern classic, the Octo Finissimo with titanium bracelet – to sky-blue heights care of hand-applied blue highlights to indices, hands, marque and oversized numerals at 12 and 6. We opted to represent this watch as a movie star, because in our circles that’s precisely what it is. “A home run,” says one journalist, “Stealth luxury,” says another. “A serious competitor… Read More

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HANDS-ON: Skeleton thin – the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton Titanium Blue

If you’ve been following us, or Bulgari for that matter, you’ll already know that this year is the year of the Octo. From solid gold automatic thinness, to ultra high-tech insides, the record-breaking collection has gone from strength to strength. And one of this year’s barely-there hits sees the Octo Finissimo Skeleton – which we first saw in 2016 – made available in a titanium case and set off with surreal highlights of blue. This is going to sound cliché, but considering that the case design of the Octo is inspired by the uniquely octagonal lines of the Roman Maxentius Basilica, you’re going to have to bear with me. In its skeletonised form, the Octo Finissimo is pure architecture. The linear lines of its 40mm by 5.37mm thick case are only intensified by the geometric bends of the open-worked BVL 128SK movement inside. While manually wound, it does make this still-very-thin Octo slightly thicker than its automatic and closed-dial brethren (which measure 5.15mm), due to the addition of a dial side indicator that keeps track of its 65-hour power reserve while sitting neatly above the small seconds subdial. The big difference that sets this version apart, however, are the accents… Read More

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INSIGHT: Flipping perceptions – why Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo is so significant and such great value

Every now and then, among the hundreds of new watches I get to see and handle each year, one will stop me in my tracks. That happened with Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Automatic when I first encountered it in early 2017 – and it’s what happens again and again every time I see it, handle it, put it on my wrist. To know it better is to love it more. This goes beyond its record-breaking thinness (truly impressive intellectually, but not emotionally) and beyond the design – although I can feast my eyes for hours on those pure, strong lines. I’d go as far as saying that it’s one of those rare items that fundamentally changes the “order of things” – that flips preconceptions on their head. How? Well, there’s the idea of what defines “luxury” in a watch: a beautiful, big chunk of precious metal, perfectly polished, heavy enough that you feel the luxury – right? The Finissimo is none of those things: matt-finished titanium, no shiny surfaces, so light that it’s almost surreal. Wrapped around the wrist, it feels more like a piece of grosgrain ribbon than a watch. It’s so absurdly (weirdly) second-skin comfortable that you could forget… Read More

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