Within seven years of its debut in 2017, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo is already a modern-day classic, its slender and aggressively architectural shape transforming the finesse of the O.G Octo from 2012. Every Octo Finissimo with its paper-thin movement is a feat of engineering, akin to the art of building a scale model galleon in a bottle. This time we’ve set our sights on the fabric-strapped version of the black dial Bulgari Octo Finissimo Titanium GMT Chronograph, the most street-tough Finissimo family member.
The fact that we could even consider a 6.9mm thin chronograph one of the simpler versions of the Octo Finissimo speaks volumes of our view of Bulgari’s Swiss Atelier. With a 42mm diameter and a 48.8mm lug-to-lug, the 30-metre water-resistant chronograph will sit impossibly close to your wrist, but it’s no diver. Still, as Finissimos go, we’ll consider this the more rugged and ready member of the family.
But hang on, this is no mere chronograph as its three-register layout would have you believe. The register at 3 o’clock is in fact a full 24-hour register for a second-time zone, setting this sandblasted titanium sports watch up to beat a fair few travel favourites. With its tough matte exterior, the delicate juxtapositions within the Finissimo Chronograph GMT are plainly visible.
It’s a seemingly delicate creature given its impossibly thin case, but it’s also a no-excuse sports watch. The view of a platinum micro-rotor through the transparent caseback gives the game away as you discover the haute horlogerie within, and like any Finissimo, might blow your preconceptions to bits. Legibility is superb with its silver cool print on a matte black dial, though with a 30m depth rating, its fabric and rubber strap is not going on any of your deep sea dives.
Barring that minor detail, this is a rock-solid piece of wrist candy. The only problem is that it feels decidedly delicate and lightweight for a 42mm chronograph, so you’ll continuously be checking to see it hasn’t fallen off.
But what can we possibly match this piece of delicate sports luxury with, to give the same delightful combination of soft feel and tough looks? How about a pair of super soft black leather hi-tops from Louis Vuitton, perfectly matched in both material feel and colours to your ultra light sports chronograph. French savior faire meets Roman panache, via Switzerland.
The is a perfect example of the laser-focused direction Louis Vuitton has under the helm of artistic director Virgil Abloh, injecting a dose of urban grit into the storied French brand of luxury travel accoutrements. With their cheeky mix of soft black logoed leather and silver cool details, the Rivoli are a delectable pairing for the Italian cool Bulgari.
With a suit? Hell yes, these kicks want you to dress the part. And no matter my warning, you will continuously check that the Finissimo is still on your wrist. It is, by the way, and will become your ultra light sports watch flex of choice.
The Bulgari Finissimo Titanium Chronograph GMT is available for $17,200 USD from Bulgari, and the Rivoli Sneaker Boots are available for $ 1,050 USD from Louis Vuitton