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.

MY WEEKEND WITH: The Bulgari Octo Ultranero

When it comes to watches, I’m very big on buying watches that suit your lifestyle, for the simple reason that if they suit your life, then you’ll get maximum wear out of the piece — and therefore maximum enjoyment. So, when I was flicking through Bulgari’s catalogue and spotted the Ultranero, I knew I had to give it a test drive. With a name like ‘Ultranero’, how could I not? And so, a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending a weekend with the Bulgari Octo Ultranero. Not-so-coincidentally my blacked-out weekend happened to come shortly after I’d spent the week with another far more golden Octo. My first impression was … yeah, this thing is cool, I could definitely get used to this. And, sure enough, the Ultranero really grew on me! Usually, I find myself naturally drawn to dive watches, so it was quite refreshing to give them a weekend off, and wear something completely different. I actually think this added to the appeal; it was like living out a horological fantasy. Once I put it on, it felt … ultra comfortable. The rubber strap is super soft, and with a 100m water resistance, I see this as… Read More

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MY WEEK WITH: The Bulgari Octo Roma

A few weeks ago, I spent the Melbourne Cup long weekend with some extra company, specifically two references from the Bulgari Octo collection. Now, let me just say right off the bat, when it comes to the Bulgari timepieces, the Octo Finissimo collection has had pretty much all my attention since the Automatic dropped earlier this year at Baselworld. So when the opportunity arose to test drive a couple of ‘other’ Octos, I was keen to explore what else was on offer. I decided on two (very) different pieces, with both work and play in mind, which stood out to my particular tastes. For ‘work’, I opted for the Octo Roma in 18 karat rose gold. I love gold, so it wasn’t exactly a hard choice. For my ‘play’ option, I grabbed an Octo Ultranero, which you can read about later this week. My first impression was … a big ‘wow’ when I took the brown dial into the sunlight. ‘Brown’ doesn’t do justice to this charismatic, dynamic, ever-changing dial. Depending on lighting, the lacquered surface would change from a very dark brown to more of a chestnutty colour. And, in the brightest of sunlight, even a rich burgundy. It really… Read More

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VIDEO: The watches of Bulgari’s record-breaking Octo Finissimo collection explained

It’s probably a cliché to say that the Italian jewellery house of Bulgari is going through a watchmaking renaissance, but it’s hard to argue with the sense of renewed vigour and energy that’s flowing through their unashamedly modern designs. And at the core of this rebirth is one design – The Octo. What began life as one of Gérald Genta’s characteristic octagonals has evolved into something more stripped-back, focused, and much, much thinner. The man who has driven this evolution is Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Director of Bulgari’s Watches Design Center, a designer who’s swapped fast cars for something much, much smaller. We recently caught up with Fabrizio and discussed Bulgari’s record-breaking journey, which began in 2014 with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon and continued in 2016 with the incredible Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater. The most recent leg in the trip is the thinnest automatic on the market, the Octo Finissimo Automatic. And based on the critical success and popular appeal of the line, we’d be surprised if we don’t see a lot more of the industrial-chic aesthetic of the Octo Finissimo.

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MY WEEKEND WITH: The Bulgari Octo Ultranero

When it comes to watches, I’m very big on buying watches that suit your lifestyle, for the simple reason that if they suit your life, then you’ll get maximum wear out of the piece — and therefore maximum enjoyment. So, when I was flicking through Bulgari’s catalogue and spotted the Ultranero, I knew I had to give it a test drive. With a name like ‘Ultranero’, how could I not? And so, a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending a weekend with the Bulgari Octo Ultranero. Not-so-coincidentally my blacked-out weekend happened to come shortly after I’d spent the week with another far more golden Octo. My first impression was … yeah, this thing is cool, I could definitely get used to this. And, sure enough, the Ultranero really grew on me! Usually, I find myself naturally drawn to dive watches, so it was quite refreshing to give them a weekend off, and wear something completely different. I actually think this added to the appeal; it was like living out a horological fantasy. Once I put it on, it felt … ultra comfortable. The rubber strap is super soft, and with a 100m water resistance, I see this as… Read More

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VIDEO: Just how thin is the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic?

It’s not too hard to appreciate how thin 5.15mm is in abstract terms – it’s a shade thicker than two 20 cent pieces, FYI – and pictures of the Octo Finissimo Automatic get you a little further along the path to understanding. But short of actually having the watch in your hand or on your wrist, the best way of contextualising just how incredibly slim this watch is is through the medium of video. Luckily, we’ve put this short video review together so you can get a sense of how it wears in glorious HD. The only thing we can’t convey? The way this watch manages to feel as light as a feather and solid as a rock at the same time.

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IN-DEPTH: The slender sexiness of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic

The story in a second: Forget bling: thin is in, and Bulgari are king. The Octo Finissimo Automatic is the latest in Bulgari’s trio of record-breaking ultra-thin watches, and perhaps the greatest. We have a look at the watch’s barely-there beauty, and find out why it’s such a standout. The case Any discussion of the Octo Finissimo Automatic has to start with some specs. And for the case, the key figure is 5.15mm. That’s slight, no matter how you slice it, but it manages to avoid feeling frail on the wrist. The level of finishing is very high, and you can see how anything superfluous has been pared back or – in the example of the caseback – removed completely.  For me, though, the real surprise about this case wasn’t how thin it was, it’s the weight. On the excellent bracelet (more on that later), the Octo Finissimo clocks in at only 73 grams, thanks to the titanium construction. It’s so light that I did an almost comical double take the first time I picked it up. But the benefit of the titanium case extends beyond its lightness; it’s exceptionally thermo-conductive, meaning it very quickly matches your body temperature, making… Read More

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HANDS-ON: When your hands are tied, consensually – Bulgari Serpenti Skin collection

Ancient Greek and Roman mythology furnish Bulgari with emblems from across the epochs, but their love affair with bold women in history also holds sway on their aesthetic. Like serpents, these dangerous beauties are sinful and sinuous — and nothing less than paradoxical. Fittingly, their latest Serpenti watch is a timepiece that can literally shed its skin. I regret not unravelling my tape measure to record the length of the thin double tour strap of the Bulgari Serpenti Skin, but it just felt so at ease on me I was happy to let it linger a while, almost unobtrusive except for its expansive curvature. This watch is a subtle charmer, and that was the point. Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Director of Bulgari Watches Design Centre in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, was evidently looking to diverge from the statement dressing of the potent Tubogas and explore personalisation and transformability with this first release on a leather or skin strap. Beyond choosing watch elements and one of the two straps the watch is accompanied by, the way your Serpenti Skin is wrapped to your wrist is uniquely your own. Whether anticipating a combatant or work ally, your snake head dial may be tilted towards a… Read More

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