2019 marked the year that the world’s thinnest chronograph title passed from the hands of one horological master to another. Italian watchmaker Bvlgari had many firsts under its belt up until last year, yet the slimmest chronograph was not one of them. Piaget took that title in 2015 and held onto it right up until the release of the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph in 2019 with its 6.90mm case. Now, the new Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT for Revolution & The Rake follows in the footsteps of last year’s Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT, but with a couple of updates in the form of its luminous dial and an additional tachymeter scale. The timepiece is created exclusively for online luxury watch magazine Revolution and luxury e-commerce menswear company The Rake.
Bvlgari first considered itself a serious contender in thin watch manufacture back in 2014. The Roman watchmaker began competing for ultra-thin complications with the 5mm thin Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, followed by the world’s thinnest minute repeater in 2016 with a case height of just 6.85mm. After succeeding at creating the world’s thinnest automatic watch – the Octo Finissimo Automatic (5.3mm), Bvlgari launched the 3.95mm Octo Finissimo Automatic Tourbillon and this year, the 7.40mm Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic was released.
The BVL 318 self-winding chronograph movement
The new Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT watch is a true contender when it comes to positioning itself amongst some of the world’s thinnest chronographs, since manufacturing a chronograph movement in its own right is no mean feat. To make chronographs affordable and to cut down on manufacturing costs, many companies rely on the precision and accessibility of ETA and Valjoux movements. But the 3.3mm thin Calibre BVL 318 is both slight and equipped with a column-wheel – again, a complex process that requires a considerable level of skill and patience.
In contrast to a central rotor, the watch is also fitted with a peripheral winding rotor, turning outside the movement to wind the mainspring so that not a single millimetre is lost. Saving space and enhancing efficiency, the movement provides a 55-hour power reserve and performs at 28,800 vibrations per hour. And best of all, it even features a practical GMT function.
The lightweight ‘thinny’
Just like the former Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT, 2020s new iteration for Revolution and The Rake keeps the same lightweight 6.90mm sandblasted titanium case with a transparent caseback. Aside from the classically positioned start-stop and reset push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock, the 30m water-resistant case also features a 9 o’clock pusher for adjusting the main central hour hand depicting the local time zone – by one-hour increments, of course.
Two main upgrades set the new Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT for Revolution and The Rake apart from its standard sibling. Firstly, a sandblasted titanium dial with black hour markers and hands is framed by an updated bezel, engraved and printed with a tachymeter scale for measuring speed based on distance. Secondly, during the daytime, the watch imparts a sporty, legible white chronograph dial with crisp counters offering small seconds at 9, a 30-minute totalizer at 6 and a 24-hour sub-dial at 3 o’clock. But by night, a dial entirely coated with Super-LumiNova delivers time in negative relief, with appliques and lettering remaining a jet black colour.
Easy to read the time, GMT indication and chronograph functions in low-light conditions, the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT for Revolution & The Rake on a titanium bracelet is a remarkably thin sports watch that combines legibility with an in-house movement.
Price & Availability
The watch is available exclusively from Revolution’s online boutique here and retails for USD 17,300.
Technical specifications – Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT
42mm diameter x 6.90mm height – sandblasted titanium case – sapphire crystal dial side and caseback – titanium crown and pushers – water-resistant to 30m
sandblasted titanium dial with black markings – indication of the hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph with 30-minute counter, second time zone, fully coated SuperLumiNova dial
calibre BVL 318, in-house – automatic with peripheral rotor in aluminium and platinum – 37.20mm x 3.30mm – 4Hz frequency or 28,800vph – 55h power reserve – 37 jewels – column-wheel and horizontal clutch – independent second time zone display
sandblasted titanium bracelet with folding clasp