If you were to describe the Octo Finissimo, the first words that come to mind are “modern” and “innovative,” not “retro”. Afterall, this is a collection that includes record-breaking watches like the Ultra and it’s a collection (the Finissimo sub-sect anyway) that has only been around for 10 years. Yet now Bulgari, in collaboration with the auction house Phillips, are launching a retro-themed Octo Finissimo Sector Dial.
At its core, the new limited-edition collaboration is a reimagining of the base Octo Finissimo Automatic. It has the same 40mm diameter case with its circle inside a square layout, made in one of the Octo’s signature materials, titanium. Plus, it’s just as ultra-thin as a Finissimo should be at 6.4mm.
What the collaboration brings is a redesigned dial. It introduces a sector design to the watch’s face with a peripheral railway track minutes scale encompassing a segmented chapter ring and hour markers. All the markings are presented in a pale taupe colour that gives it a vintage vibe that highlights the Art Deco elements that are native to the core Octo Finissimo, such as the style of its typography.
A key part of highlighting these dial design elements is the removal of the small seconds subdial that ordinarily occupies a position at 7 o’clock. I think it was a good decision considering that the new dial design is much more complex than the model’s traditional bar indexes and having a subdial on top would make the whole piece feel a lot more crowded.
However, while they’ve done away with the small seconds, it’s still exactly the same movement inside, namely the Calibre BVL 138. An impressive movement with a 60-hour power reserve despite being just 2.23mm thick. The calibre itself and its platinum micro-rotor are visible through the exhibition caseback.
As a collaboration with Phillips, it’s little surprise that all 50 watches that make up this limited edition will be available exclusively through the auction house. I find it hard to make up my mind about whether I like this release. The simplicity of the original design is tough to beat and the Art Deco style of the sector dial struggles to live up to that. On the other hand, it does emphasise a characteristic of the Octo that’s easily overlooked and that should be celebrated. I’ll probably make up my mind once all 50 have been sold. So not long.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Bulgari x Phillips Octo Finissimo Limited Edition
- Ref: 103709
- Case/dial: 40mm diameter, sandblasted titanium case, laser engraved sandblasted titanium dial
- Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
- Movement: Bulgari calibre BVL 138, automatic
- Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
- Power reserve: 60h
- Functions: Hours, minutes
- Strap: Sandblasted titanium bracelet with folding clasp
- Price/availability: Limited edition of 50 pieces sold via Phillips Watches.