The Bulgari Octo Finissimo CarbonGold makes rugged carbon look suaveZach Blass
Bulgari have been making watches for decades, but the introduction of the Octo Finissimo in 2014 further cemented their place on the map for a broader spectrum of watch collectors. In the current marketplace, Genta-originated luxury sports watches are among the most beloved. When Bulgari’s Product Creation Executive Director Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani remixed Gérald Genta’s Octo to create the Finissimo, it became a distinct and serious competitor. Standing out with its sleek design and record-breaking ultra-thinness, the Octo Finissimo evolved massively over the last nine years. With a variety of complications and materials, there is an expansive, yet cohesive, range to dive into. The latest, introduced at Geneva Watch Days, brings carbon into the mix for the first time – the new Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Automatic and Perpetual Calendar.
Originating with a monochromatic sandblasted titanium model, the collection would later evolve into including stainless steel models alongside titanium, ceramic, and precious metals. Within the context of the base Automatic, the jump from the titanium’s 30 metres of water resistance to the steel’s 100 metres meant a few extra millimetres in thickness – up from a very thin 5.1mm to a still very thin 6.4mm.
With the new carbon watches, the diameter remains at 40mm for both configurations, with the thicknesses listed at 6.9mm for the Automatic and 7.6mm for the Perpetual Calendar. Within the context of carbon (or any material for that matter), that is simply incredible. Especially since both the CarbonGolds have 100-metre depth ratings. Yep, this is the first Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar with a 100-metre water resistance – making the 1.8mm jump in thickness from the titanium variant well worth it in my book.
In terms of design, the layouts remain exactly as they were – no reason to fix what ain’t broken (and award-winning). The real aesthetic remix here is what Bulgari calls CarbonGold. The majority of the watch – the case, bezel, and bracelet – are executed in carbon. But in a handsome and functional twist, both models are accentuated with rose gold indications on the dial along with a rose gold crown.
The natural white-ish swirls within the carbon create a marbled effect, giving it a sprezzatura sensibility only Bulgari can pull off. Most carbon watches feel very “tool watch-y”. The CarbonGold Finissimos give the carbon a sophistication I have never seen the material have before. Now, I know the Finissimo’s origins may have been more monochromatic, but against the carbon dial, the indications for both models would have been vastly less legible. So, again, the rose gold elements offer a greater sense of sophistication and legibility these models deserve.
In the same vein, the BVL138 inside the Automatic, and BVL305 of the Perpetual Calendar, are structurally and functionally identical to their predecessors. Bulgari, however, has visually updated the calibres with a rose gold plating to the bridges, balance, and micro-rotor to keep a cohesive CarbonGold look throughout the watch. And, while the mico-rotor is rose gold-plated, it remains a platinum mass for higher density and winding efficiency.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo CarbonGold collection pricing and availability
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo CarbonGold collection is available now. Price: A$41,900 (Automatic), A$145,000 (Perpetual Calendar)
|Model||Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Automatic
Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Perpetual Calendar
|Case Dimensions||40mm (D) x 6.9mm (T) (Automatic)
40mm (D) x 7.6mm (T) (Perpetual Calendar)
|Case Material||Carbon, rose gold and ceramic|
|Water Resistance||100 metres (Automatic)
100 metres (Perpetual Calendar)
|Crystal(s)||Flat sapphire front and back|
|Strap||Carbon bracelet with folding clasp|
|Movement||BVL 138, in-house, 2.23mm thickness (Automatic)
BVL 305, in-house, 2.75 thickness (Perpetual Calendar)
|Power Reserve||60 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, small seconds
Hours, minutes, perpetual calendar, retrograde date and leap year
A$145,000 (Perpetual Calendar)