Watch & Jewellery
LEANEST, THINNEST, AND MEANEST: Bvlgari’s Octo Finissimo Ultra Watch
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of Bvlgari
Bvlgari's 'Octo Finisimo Ultra Watch' is the world's thinnest mechanical watch
Bvlgari's 'Octo Finisimo Ultra Watch' is the world's thinnest mechanical watch
Bvlgari's 'Octo Finisimo Ultra Watch' is the world's thinnest mechanical watch
Bvlgari's 'Octo Finisimo Ultra Watch' is the world's thinnest mechanical watch

In what is probably a hot minute away from us embedding a wristwatch-like chip under our skin, Bvlgari’s release of the Octo Finissimo Ultra Watch is a clear sign that the folks at the top mechanical timekeeping divisions in Switzerland are still not yet done in slimming down a wristwatch to its bones. The aforementioned watch holds the record for being the thinnest mechanical wristwatch in existence – it’s 1.8mm thin – making this 10th anniversary model of the Octo its most epic of epic upgrades. And for those wondering why thinness is held in such high regards in timekeeping, that’s simply because it takes a lot of engineering finesse to cramp all the gears, trains, springs, and what-nots into a limited space and one that is even flatter than usual which means every component has to be recalculated or remodelled to fit, and most importantly, to be legible and function at a high-level of precision. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you about how much work goes into ensuring that this entire package doesn’t snap like a twig upon handling (it will give a whole new meaning to the phrase breaking the bank if it does). Its manual-winding movement, which can be described as coin-esque thin, features over 170 components. And rather than design a housing to store these components, Bvlgari applied a familiar formula of doing away with the casing per se and reimagining the movement as the case. In other words, it looks and feels like you’re wearing the movement which is likelier a truer assessment of the matter. Bvlgari is aware of this thinness being vulnerable to the elements so it has created some of the more fragile parts such as the main plate in a more resilient tungsten carbide, hoping to add some assurance to its cause. Such Octo wristwatches are already considered ultra lightweight thanks to its deployment of a titanium hard shell for the bezel and bracelet construction but this scenario will feel even more so for lucky owners. As for legibility which is often a forgotten factor in the pursuit of technical excellence, Bvlgari has mapped out the dial wonderfully in spite of the challenges: the hour is displayed between the 1 and 2 o’clock position, and the minutes is displayed between 4 and 5 o’clock. A curious bit for most watch connoisseurs is a large gear that is imprinted with a QR code. Now, before you think this is some sort of an alien tracking device, Bvlgari lets us in that it’s a link to an original NFT artwork made by its chief watch designer Fabrizio Buonamassa, and the watch owner assumes control of that NFT too. This QR code is also a way to authenticate the ownership of the watch. Only 10 examples of this watch will be made and Bvlgari isn’t letting one go for chump change either with roughly US$439,000 being mentioned as a starting price which might not be crazy for what Bvlgari has vouched would be its final attempt at breaking the thinness margin for the Octo. Good luck to the next better player.

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