Since 2014 Bvlgari has set itself the challenge of producing some of the thinnest watches ever created. Following the thinnest tourbillon watch, the thinnest minute repeater watch, or the thinnest automatic movement, the Rome-based brand decided to focus on the chronograph complication, and in 2019 it presented the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic, the world’s thinnest chronograph watch and Bvlgari’s fifth record in the ultra-thin arena. Following the same recipe as the automatic watch last year, today the brand introduces the Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT Steel, a sportier, more robust watch with increased water-resistance and bolder looks.
In its quest to produce ultra-thin watches, Bvlgari adopted a decidedly modern and contemporary approach merging traditional watchmaking codes with design cues from the hottest watch category these days: the luxury sports watch with an integrated bracelet. And this road has been paved with success; the Octo Finissimo is now the signature collection for men by Bvlgari just like the Serpenti is a cult watch for women. After complex models (tourbillon and minute repeater), the brand also introduced its Finissimo concept on simpler models, such as the Automatic and in 2019, a chronograph. And of course, it was packed with horological firsts as the world’s thinnest chronograph movement and watch every created. And if that wasn’t enough, we’re talking about an automatic chronograph with a GMT function.
The Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic was introduced two years ago. The 42mm x 6.90mm case was made of sandblasted titanium paired with a tone-on-tone dial, a classic look for Bvlgari since most Finissimo models were first presented this configuration. Monochromatic but bold, ultra-thin but contemporary, sporty but also finely executed, it made headlines with its 3.30mm movement with a peripheral rotor. However, such thinness comes with compromises, the main one being limited water-resistance (30m in this case). In 2020, the Rome-based brand inaugurated a new sub-collection within the Octo Finissimo family. Known as the Octo Finissimo S, these watches are defined by sportier looks and specifications, contrasting dials, a more traditional case execution and closer to the codes of the luxury sports watch category. Following the automatic models, this year Bvlgari has applied the same concept to its stopwatch with the new Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT Steel.
The idea of Bvlgari is simple: make the Octo Finissimo a more daily-oriented and leisure-compliant watch, with more texture, sportier-looking, but also a bit more traditional in execution. The Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT is built around the same movement as its 2019 counterpart, but its specifications, measurements, and overall design have evolved in the “S” concept. In addition to being crafted in stainless steel, the case is finished with a complex combination of textures including a radial-brushed bezel, vertically satin-finished surfaces on the case and bracelet and multiple polished accents to enhance the architectural look of the watch. What doesn’t change is the shape itself, with its more than one hundred facets and its 8-sided profile.
Bvlgari also introduces more robustness on board the Octo Finissimo S Chronograph thanks to its enhanced 100m water-resistance – which is more than enough for the weekend or a jump in the pool. The water-resistance is achieved by adding a larger screw-down crown and by redesigning the case. The dimensions have increased slightly, now with a 43mm diameter and a height of 8.75mm (an increase of 1mm and 1.85mm respectively). Nevertheless, this new model remains one of the thinnest chronographs on the market, and the difference, even if noticeable, doesn’t drastically alter the renowned slenderness of the Octo.
The watch is worn on a stainless steel integrated bracelet with vertically satin-finished surfaces and polished accents. Large but thin, it contributes to the overall look and comfort of the watch. It is closed by a concealed folding clasp.
Another evolution, which matches this new Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT’s sportier vocation, is a new dial with contrasting colours and new textures. Instead of a matte grey dial, this new version features a sunray-brushed blue dial with silver-coloured sub-counters, the latter featuring a concentric stamped pattern. In the same vein, the markers now have a bolder shape, are applied on the dial, and feature luminous material, and so do the hours and minutes hands. All the printings are bolder and more contrasted to underscore the sportier look.
However, the display doesn’t change, and this new model retains the functions found on the classic titanium version. This includes a tri-counter layout, with small seconds and a 30-minute sub-dial. In addition to the time and the chronograph, this Octo Finissimo S Chronograph also includes a highly practical GMT function, with a second time zone displayed in the sub-counter at 3 o’clock. In addition, the pusher at 9 o’clock lets you quickly adjust the local time in one-hour increments.
The other aspect that hasn’t changed is the movement. The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT is equipped with the in-house developed and manufactured Calibre BVL 318. This 3.30mm thin movement (the thinnest chronograph movement ever) has an integrated architecture with a horizontal clutch and column wheel. To achieve such thinness, the movement is wound by a peripheral rotor rather than a centrally mounted oscillating weight or a micro-rotor. The movement is also larger (37.2mm in diameter) than most chronographs, so the parts are distributed horizontally rather than vertically. The movement runs at a 4Hz frequency and boasts a comfortable 55-hour power reserve. Finishing is typical Bvlgari, with thin Geneva stripes and machined bevelled bridges.
Availability & Price
The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT Steel (Ref. 103467) will be part of the brand’s permanent collection. It will be available in June 2021 and priced at EUR 17,000 or USD 16,500.
For more details, please visit www.bulgari.com.