The new Bulgari Octo Roma collectionFergus Nash
- The new Bulgari Octo Roma collection pays tribute to the Swiss watchmaking side of the Italian brand.
- With dials featuring a hobnail pattern, their sportiness is accentuated.
- Both Automatic and Chronograph models come with a steel bracelet and extra rubber strap with a quick-release system.
Sneaking in just before 2023’s edition of Watches & Wonders, Bulgari have announced a new range of watches within the Octo Roma catalogue. The new Bulgari Octo Roma collection takes inspiration from historical Roman architecture as it always has, but also modernises the look for accentuated casual versatility and sportiness. Fresh colour schemes and satisfying textures are symbolic of Bulgari’s marriage between Italian design and Swiss watchmaking, culminating in three new automatic references and two new chronographs.
Starting with the model where change can be seen most drastically, the Bulgari Octo Roma Automatic is a powerful dose of the new collection’s character. The dial is formed with a Clous de Paris motif, also known as a hobnail pattern, meant to signify the Swiss watchmaking arm of the Italian fashion house. I feel this enhances the more industrial side of the Octo Roma case shape, with those multiple cascading facets all finished with intricate contrast. It also reinforces the sports watch capability of the model, as the 100m of water resistance does qualify it for swimming use.
The colours contribute to the contemporary feeling as well, with a vivid and classic blue, crisp and fresh white, or a light anthracite grey that blends the whole watch together from bracelet to case to dial. A 41mm case carries a lot of presence due to the general shape’s complexity, however the wearing experience is quite easy thanks to a lug-to-lug of approximately 42.5mm and a thickness of just 9.15mm. The movement is the Bulgari in-house BVL 191, which is a simple time-and-date calibre with a 48 hour power reserve and a smooth 4Hz beat rate.
The Bulgari Octo Roma Chronograph models lean even harder into the sports category, but not just because of the additional three subdials. The angled date display at 4:30 gives off a sense of aggression, especially on the black dial model when paired with a rubber strap. The pushers are also integrated into the case incredibly well, situated between the lugs and the crown guards for a near-seamless blend. The case is just as capable for swimming as the other models with 100m of water resistance, and the bump up to 42mm in diameter is met with the moderate bump to 43.5mm lug-to-lug. The use of an automatic chronograph movement does lead to an increased thickness of 12.4mm, but that’s still quite slender considering the specifications on offer. The new BVL 399 is an in-house calibre with a 42-hour power reserve and 4Hz beat rate.
The new Bulgari Octo Roma collection pricing and availability:
The new Bulgari Octo Roma collection will be available from Bulgari boutiques, authorised dealers, and their website. Price: €7,900 (Octo Roma Automatic) / €9,900 (Octo Roma Chronograph)
|Octo Roma Automatic / Octo Roma Chronograph
|41mm x 42.5mm x 9.15mm / 42mm x 43.5mm x 12.4mm
|Blue, grey or white / blue or black
|Steel bracelet and colour-matched rubber strap
|BVL 191 / BVL 399
|48 hours / 42 hours
|€7,900 (Octo Roma Automatic) / €9,900 (Octo Roma Chronograph)