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High five for the men
PERHAPS marking the Octo's 5th anniversary this year, Bulgari has added five new models to its main line of watches for men - and they look great: the world's thinnest self-winding watch; a skeleton-worked interpretation of the brand's super-slim tourbillon; a see-through tourbillon complication; a handsome dress watch; and a cool timepiece with red hands and indices.
Bulgari unveiled the world's thinnest tourbillon three years ago and last year it introduced the world's slimmest minute repeater. This year, the Italian brand presented the world's slenderest automatic timepiece.
The new sleek Octo Finissimo Automatic measures just 5.15mm slim, powered by a new anorexic 2.23mm self-winding movement. The previous record holder was a 5.25mm thin Piaget watch with a 2.35mm slender movement.
It has taken Bulgari several years to achieve the new record. To trim the Octo Finissimo Automatic down to this size, everyone of the approximately 130 components in the movement has been significantly reduced to its minimum.
"Each element - even the tiniest of them - must be conceived and designed right from the outset so as to contribute to the extreme overall slenderness of this exceptional timepiece," Bulgari says. "This implies not only the parts of the mechanical self-winding movement, but also the entire set of elements composing the case and dial."
The watch retails for S$17,700 with black alligator strap, or S$19,100 in matching titanium bracelet.
Proving it can do more than just making ultra-slim watches, Bulgari has retrieved the super-thin tourbillon complication it produced in 2014 and turned it into a piece of skeleton art work as well.
"The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton is driven by an ultra-thin, entirely open-worked tourbillon comprising 253 parts, featuring 13 jewels and eight ball bearings serving to reduce the overall thickness of the calibre," the brand says. The in-house movement is encased in platinum. Price of the watch? Bulgari says it's only given upon request.
With the Octo Tourbillon Sapphire (price is also given only upon request), Bulgari is in quest of balance and beauty. It has taken a larger 44mm Octo case and allowed light "to flood in so as to showcase mechanism through a beautifully modernistic and innovative approach".
Fans are offered a full view of the inner workings of the watch, made of titanium with a black diamond like carbon (DLC) treatment - and it has a transparent casebook and dial.
"The mechanical manual-winding flying tourbillon movement, Calibre BVL 206, appears at the heart of the watch with green bars of ITR2 - a single composite material laden with carbon nanotube particles and a hardness comparable to a metal - and SLN, a high-tech luminescent material enabling the watch to give off at night all the light it has received during the daytime," Bulgari gushes.
Octo timepieces are recognised by their octagonal case comprising 110 facets, which introduced a powerful and innovative design. The new Octo Roma dress watch takes the case a step further with "an elegant, modern and urban version bothering on absolute purity, while respecting the formal fundamentals of the model", according to Bulgari.
It says the Octo Roma focuses on essentials with undeniable style: an ideal 41mm case that's "highly contemporary in terms of its presence on the wrist, as well as extremely easy to wear because of its measured aesthetic".
The case has been subtly reworked to ensure greater comfort and ease, while retaining its inherent strength.
The Octo Roma comes in five versions with three dial variations - white, black or brown - and several steel, gold and steel or gold case finishes. Prices range from S$8,210 to S$25,900.
Finally, the Octo Ultranero - Bulgari's epitome of modernity which is attired in totally black or almost so. The latter offers red accents on its hands and hour-markers to create a striking contrast with its mostly jet black surface. The case in both versions is DLC treated. Price is S$10,050 for both versions.