HANDS-ON: The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted – same Octo, completely new look HANDS-ON: The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted – same Octo, completely new look

HANDS-ON: The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted – same Octo, completely new look

Sandra Lane

Bulgari blew us away last year with their Octo Finissimo Automatic – that mind-boggling thinness; the incredible lightness of being at one with its titanium case and bracelet, feeling it drape around the wrist. For Baselworld 2018, it’s back – this time in full gold. And if you think “solid gold bracelet watch” means 1980s-style bling, think again.

Vital statistics

In all respects, except the case and bracelet material, the new model is the same watch as before – equipped with that super-skinny (briefly record-breaking) manufacture self-winding calibre BVL 138. At only 2.23mm thick with a single barrel, it packs in a power reserve of 60 hours. The 5.15mm thick, pink gold case has a matching crown with a ceramic inlay and it’s water-resistant to 30m. The dial has a gold finish that exactly matches the case material, with printed black numerals and faceted black hands.

On the wrist

Having briefly worn the first, titanium version last year and marvelled at its almost unworldly lightness on the wrist, the relatively hefty weight of the gold feels almost strange for such a super-slim watch. But after that momentary surprise, it feels very good indeed. The bracelet has the same fluid-as-a-ribbon feel but with the undeniable presence of the gold’s extra weight. The way it drapes around the wrist feels almost absurdly comfortable – thanks to the shape of the links and the ingenious design of the buckle. Near the clasp, the inside of the bracelet is hollowed out, so that it folds completely flush with the underside of the links, so that nothing disturbs the visual purity or the seamless fit.

The case plays a different visual trick: barely there, at a squeak over 5mm thick, its play of angles and ridges – particularly the drop from the bezel to the lugs – makes it look, from certain angles, like a much thicker and more substantial watch.

The real killer, though, is the way those clean-cut angles and sharp planes contrast with the ‘soft focus’ powdery effect of the sandblasted finish. The whole effect is warm and luminous and simply drop-dead gorgeous (to use the technical term). Solid gold watch? Flashy? Not this one, oh no.

Funnily enough, the shiniest part of the watch is the part you don’t see when it’s on your wrist. The movement is beautifully finished with Côtes de Genève stripes, chamfered bridges and circular-grained baseplate, all of which glint in the light.

Who’s it for?

Aficionados of 21st-century design – especially those who may have harboured a (dirty little) secret longing for a gold watch but couldn’t bear the bling.

Any surprises?

Hearing ourselves describe a solid-gold watch as subtle and classy. At a stroke, Bulgari have rescued the gold watch from the cool-or-not-cool style limbo where it has (with a few notable exceptions) languished for the past couple of decades.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted Australian pricing

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted, in pink gold, $63,800.





Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted

Case Size


Case Material

Sandblasted 18ct pink gold


Sandblasted 18ct pink gold


BVL 138 Finissimo