Bulgari flexes their mechanical mastery with new Octo Roma models

Bulgari flexes their mechanical mastery with new Octo Roma models

Borna Bošnjak

Bulgari has become increasingly known for their achievements in chasing down thinness records and contributing to the craze of integrated bracelet sports watches. Introduced in 2012 with its now synonymous round bezel framed by an octagon, the Octo is the brainchild of Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, head of watch design at Bulgari. The Octo Roma was initially offered as a more familiar alternative to the Finissimo, which became celebrated for its ultra-thin profile on the wrist.  During Geneva Watch Days 2021, Bulgari added many a complication to the Octo Roma collection. The Octo Roma WorldTimer was touted as the perfect one watch to take travelling, while the Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon was a piece of high complexity that again demonstrated the brand’s mechanical mastery. Now, we’ve got two more additions to their technically impressive line-up in the form of a new duo of high-complication Octo Roma models.

Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon

bulgari octo roma models

The first expansion to Bulgari’s Sinfonia della Meccanica collection comes in the form of the platinum-clad successor to the watch Thor Svaboe attributed to a particular Sith Lord. Since it remains part of the Octo Roma line, the shape is the same, though there are numerous other design changes to take note of.

Bulgari has taken great care to produce the same kind of resonance and quality that the previous Carillon Tourbillon was well known for. This asked for a radical case design, where every element comes together to help sound transmission. To reduce the amount of metal through which soundwaves would have to travel, the caseband and caseback have been hollowed out, going as far as to include openings on the caseband for each gong. The aforementioned platinum case maintains a large 44mm diameter to further aid sound transmission, with the gongs attached directly to it.

The openworked top plate that doubles as the dial retains its vertical bar-like structure, but gains Arabics at 12 o’clock and stick indices all around akin to those found in simpler executions of the Octo Roma. The tourbillion at 6 o’clock is suspended by a skeletonised bridge, with that skeletonisation extending to the rest of the mainplate and bridges, all graced by a vibrant, ALD-treated blue colour. The chiming elements and tourbillon visible on the dial side are executed in a polished steel finish that contrasts well against the vibrant blue.

Three hand-crafted gongs are tuned to play a distinct note each for the hours and minutes, with all three gongs striking for quarters. Formed and bent by hand, they go through two separate heating processes that imbue them with ideal resonance qualities. The pusher-operated chiming mechanism is powered by a spring separate from the main barrel, which ensures a healthy 75-hour power reserve when fully wound. Finely executed and complicated movements have been Bulgari’s specialty, and this watch is no different. The sapphire caseback offers a look into this mechanical madness, where a complicated concoction of cams and levers spring into action and dance at the wearers behest.

The Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon is available as a limited run of 30 pieces, all accompanied by a colour-matched blue alligator strap with platinum buckle.  Bulgari has gone to great lengths to overcome any potential compromises in creating such a watch. Openings and cavities in the case are specially designed to avoid the potential dull, muted sound of a platinum-cased repeater. A button activating the movement feels like a more elegant solution than a slider seen on many striking watches, while the entire movement is finished in a high, though not overly flourished fashion, fit for a futuristic watch.

Octo Roma Emerald Grande Sonnerie

bulgari octo roma models

With the Octo Roma Emerald Grande Sonnerie, Bulgari combines its craftmanship in high-end jewellery with their watchmaking nous for an all-out exercise in excess.

The white gold 44mm case features a bezel adorned with a ring of 72 baguette-cut Zambian emeralds, with diamonds covering the angular lugs, pushers and octagonal crown.

Concentric circles of more baguette-cut diamonds make up the dial, bringing up the total diamond count to 374. Bulgari opted to go with more traditional green indices and Arabic numerals, rather than increasing the carat number with more emeralds. Two sub-dials take up the spaces between 1 and 2 o’clock and 4 and 5 o’clock to inform the wearer of the power reserve of both the main and chiming movements.

Featuring a grande et petite sonnerie, the watch has a power reserve of 24 and 28 hours, respectively, while the movement itself features a 48-hour reserve. Depending on the user-adjustable sonnerie setting, the watch will sing with a four-gong Westminster Chime. If so desired, the chiming can be silenced with a push of a button. The complication is a rare sight within Swiss watchmaking, and happens to be Bulgari’s most complex movement to date. Hidden from view on the dial, and visible alongside the gongs and hammers is the tourbillon regulator. Interestingly enough, Bulgari does not make any mention of it when describing their in-house calibre BVL703. Then again, there’s already quite a lot going on…

Perched on a matching green alligator strap with a white-gold, baguette-diamond studded clasp, this piece is unique both in design and execution. Only one will be produced, serving as the central crown jewel in Bulgari’s shimmering Sinfonia della Meccanica line-up.

2022 Bulgari Octo Roma models pricing and availability:

The new 2022 Bulgari Octo Roma models are available now for enquiries. Price upon request

Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon

Case Material
Platinum case; openworked titanium middle-case
Case Dimensions
44mm in diameter, 12.83mm thick
Water-Resistance 30m
Dial
Blue, Openworked
Movement
BVL428 calibre
Power Reserve 75 hours
Complications Minute repeater, three-hammer carillon tourbillon and power-reserve indicator
Strap
Blue alligator strap with platinum triple-blade folding clasp
Availability
30 pcs. Limited Edition

 

Octo Roma Emerald Grande Sonnerie

Case Material
White Gold
Case Dimensions
44mm in diameter, 15.42mm thick
Water-Resistance 30m
Dial
Diamond-set
Gemsetting Case, bezel and lugs set with 72 baguette-cut emeralds (~ 7.28 cts) and 374 baguette-cut diamonds (~22.86 cts), 15.42 mm thick, transparent case-back, white gold crown set with baguette-cut diamonds and 1 round rose-cut diamond, baguette-cut diamonds on the dial
Movement
BVL703 calibre
Power Reserve 75 hours
Complications Grande and Petite Sonnerie, 4-hammer Westminster chime, Minute Repeater and power-reserve indicator for the striking mechanism: 24 hours in Grande Sonnerie mode, 28 hours in Petite Sonnerie mode
Strap
Green alligator strap with white gold folding clasp
Availability
Piece Unique, 1/1