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Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC Reclaims Title as World’s Thinnest Watch

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC 104081 Limited Edition

It must have been something of a slap in the face when Bulgari introduced the world to the Octo Finissimo Ultra at 1.8mm thick in March 2022 only to have Richard Mille squeeze in and take the crown for world’s thinnest mechanical wristwatch barely four months later with the RM UP-01. Now though, it’s Bulgari’s turn to fire back with their latest creation challenging for the title. Meet the 1.7mm thick Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC 104081 Limited Edition

Cutting right to the chase, the Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC’s case is an extraordinary 1.7mm thick, which is frankly absurd. Fitting an entire mechanical watch movement into a space thinner than a 2p coin. On top of that it’s not just a mechanical movement, it’s a chronometer movement – the thinnest chronometer ever produced to be precise, adding yet another string to the watch’s bow.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC 104081 Limited Edition
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC 104081 Limited Edition

In order to achieve such staggering feats of thinness, they’ve had to use a combination of several strong metals throughout the design. The case, which is 40mm in diameter with the Octo Finissimo’s signature facets and octagonal design, is made from titanium. The main plate of the watch (which is also the caseback) is made from tungsten carbide, giving the watch and incredibly strong backbone. And then the winding and time setting wheels are in steel. However, all this is true of the original Ultra, the extra thinness actually comes from shaving off 0.1mm from the height of the sapphire crystal glass.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC 104081 Limited Edition

Aesthetically, it’s more or less identical to the original Ultra with the small exceptions that the hour and minute subdials are black and the barrel cover features a cool radial pattern instead of a QR code. That QR code was perhaps the biggest misstep of the original but you can forgive Bulgari because 2022 was a wild time when NFTs and digital assets were all the rage. The new barrel is much, much nicer.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC 104081 Limited Edition

In terms of movement, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC is powered by the BVL 180. It’s a manual-wind chronometer movement with a 50-hour power reserve and regulator display. A regulator is the natural fit for an ultra-thin watch because it eliminates the need to stack the hours, minutes and seconds on top of each other and creating a tall hand stack. They are each presented on their own subdial. The seconds is located at approximately 5 o’clock, slightly overlapping the minutes subdial.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC 104081 Limited Edition

When Richard Mille released the RM UP-01, a lot of people questioned whether it would be possible for watch technology to get even thinner. Yet here we have the Finnissimo in its Mark-II iteration proving that it can be done. If Bulgari were able to finesse their design to make it even thinner, perhaps Richard Mille can iterate on their watch as well. As ever, only time will tell.

Price and Specs:

Model: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC 104081 Limited Edition
Dial: Skeletonised
Movement: Bulgari calibre BVL 180, manual winding, COSC-certified
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 50h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Titanium bracelet with folding buckle
Price: €600,000 (approx. £514,546), limited to 20 pieces

More details at Bulgari.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.