With its intensely angular octagonal case, it’s easy to see why Bulgari’s Octo collection is a cult favourite. And the latest versions take the model down a darker path. We looked at the crimson-accented version earlier this year, and today we go even darker with the full-black Octo Ultranero.
The case is the same as always – 41 mm steel treated with a black DLC, and rated to 100m. But while its red-and-black companion plays with contrast, this version offers nothing but black. The matt black hands and indices all but disappear into the equally black dial, and leave the case to be the dark and brooding hero. In fact, unless the light is hitting the inky lacquered dial at just the right angle, you’re going to have trouble seeing those sleek, skeletonised, dauphine-style hands against it. But legibility isn’t the main concern here.
This watch manages to be both bold and understated, a difficult trick to pull off. The attention is on the Octo’s iconic Gerald Genta designed case. With razor-sharp lines and multiple facets, it’s a somewhat sinister play of light and shadow, reminiscent of a stealth fighter. Each of the many brushed black sides contrast or highlight each other. It’s especially hard to capture this dimensionality in photos, by the way.
Inside is Bulgari’s own in-house BVL 193 double barrel movement with a hefty 50-hour power reserve. But really, the movement plays second fiddle to the Octo Ultranero’s menacing all black design, which is really a statement of form rather than function.
Showing off the impressive roots of the Octo and making a powerful design statement, this new blacked-out Ultranero stands out precisely because its so stealthy.
Bulgari Octo Ultranero (ref. 102737) Australian pricing
Bulgari Octo Ultranero (ref. 102737), steel on rubber, $9950
Images by Ash Koek.