Bulgari Breaks Yet Another World Record With The Razor-Thin Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC
Bulgari Breaks Yet Another World Record With The Razor-Thin Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC

The Italians have done it yet again, ringing in Watches and Wonders 2024 with another 'world's thinnest'

It's quite intriguing that watchmaking landmarks manage to offer a glimpse into cutting-edge developments while simultaneously taking us on a historical tour. The Octo Finissimo, with its distinctive eight-sided design by Gerald Genta, stands as a testament to this intriguing mix; a point brought home as Bulgari reclaims the throne for the world's thinnest watch from Richard Mille; a record that has stood for two years now.


The Octo Finissimo Saga (2014 - 2022)


In a race where every millimetre—nay, micrometre counts—streaks really mean something. 1.70mm is a significant number in watchmaking; the ninth record smashed by Bulgari and currently the pinnacle of modern watchmaking; in the brand's own words, it required a paradigm shift — a whole new set of concepts right from the drawing board. This is further underscored by the watch's COSC certification — making it not only the world's thinnest mechanical watch, but also capable of taking more than a few hits.


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Despite the Octo Finissimo Ultra already pushing the boundaries of movement slimness, the engineers at Bulgari embarked on an ambitious quest to achieve an even thinner profile. By reimagining the sapphire crystal's design and making precise, incremental modifications, they succeeded in shaving off an essential tenth of a millimeter, thereby setting a new world record. This accomplishment was not merely about slimming down but enhancing the watch's intricate architecture. The case back doubles as the mainplate for the assembly of the 170 components of the manually wound BVL180 manufacture caliber, chosen with unparalleled precision to ensure the perfect dimension, courtesy of 1/10-micron optical measuring systems. This level of precision, combined with the COSC certification of the mechanical movement, underscores a novel complexity within the Ultra line.


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Bulgari have made pretty major advancements in materials science — think last year's one-off Octo in marble — and this came in hand  utilizing tungsten carbide for the case back/mainplate. This material's density and resistance were key in maintaining the structural integrity of such a slim profile. Ingeniously, the design maximizes the watch’s surface area, arranging the hour and minute dials, the large barrel for a 50-hour power reserve, and the escapement to complement the circular geometry of the bezel opening. This attention to detail extends to the integration of technology with tradition. Two years after its introduction, the Octo Finissimo Ultra has embraced connectivity, offering a personal journey into the Bulgari universe via a miniaturized Datamatrix code that unlocks exclusive content, further enriching the ownership experience.

Bulgari also redefines the experience of setting and winding with a dedicated case for the Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC. This innovative case, equipped with a digital display, allows for the watch's time to be programmed and adjusted with the touch of a button, providing a level of convenience and precision akin to having a personal watchmaker. This development is emblematic of Bulgari's commitment to not only advancing the mechanical artistry of watchmaking but also enhancing the user experience in meaningful ways. 


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Watchmaking division director, Antoine Pin, reflects, “The Octo Finissimo is a vast playground of innovation and design – and a source of unprecedented challenges – for Bulgari’s R&D department. This marks the ninth occasion our engineers, watchmakers, and designers have defied the laws of physics to offer complex timepieces of unparalleled slimness. These accomplishments go deeper than the watchmaking prowess they represent: they define our DNA."

“What makes us so proud of the Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC is not just that it represents a remarkable triumph over the constraints of physics, but the spirit and depth of mechanical ingenuity behind it that so perfectly encapsulate the ethos of our Maison,” concludes Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO. “To break new ground, to think differently in seeking to achieve greater reliability, performance, and elegance, that is what propels us forward.”

Expected to cost $529,000 (Rs 4,40,74,118), the Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC is being introduced as a limited series of 20 pieces.

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