This year, Bulgari continues its streak of record-breaking, ultra-thin watches with the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic ($17,600), the brand’s fifth world record within the sleek and sculpted Octo Finissimo collection.
The faceted, sandblasted titanium 42mm case measures a mere 6.90mm thick and houses the wafer-thin BVL 318 Caliber automatic chronograph movement. At 3.30mm thick, the movement is the thinnest mechanical chronograph ever made.
“A chronograph is probably the most difficult thing to develop after a minute repeater,” says Guido Terreni, managing director of Bulgari’s watchmaking division, who adds that making one so thin was especially daunting. “It is an integrated chronograph that we designed from scratch, from a white piece of paper. It took us two and a half years to get to this beauty.”
Bulgari was able to accelerate the timeline by building off its prior record-setters, with features such as a peripheral winding rotor that not only streamlines the movement, but also provides an unimpeded view of the column-wheel construction through a sapphire-crystal case back.
But Bulgari did not stop with a chronograph, as the company also added a practical GMT function for good measure. When you are traveling, a 24-hour sub-dial at 3 o’clock keeps track of the time at home, while you set the central hours and minutes hands to the local time.
The GMT also underscores Bulgari’s goal of updating old-fashioned notions of ultra-thin watches and making them contemporary and relevant for the modern man who travels for work and leisure.
“This is something refined, something for a gentleman who is into aesthetics but likes luxury and needs the craft to express that luxury,” says Terreni, who calls the flagship Octo Finissimo collection “a true game changer because it is taking ultra-thin watches into the 21st century.”