The spiral is one of the oldest and most widespread symbols in all of human culture. With a repeating pattern that seems to continue into infinity, the spiral at various times has represented longevity, spirituality, and even time itself. While the spiral is one of the oldest symbols of time, perhaps mankind’s oldest timekeeping tool is the moon, with its regularly changing phases forming the basis for many calendar systems. Bulgari pays homage to both these early markers of time with its latest release, created in partnership with renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. With a serenely minimal dial design mated to the dynamic and modern Octo Finissimo case, the limited edition Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando is one of the most unique and striking offerings in the brand’s core integrated bracelet line.
For the Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando, Bulgari renders the intricate and angular 40mm Octo Finissimo case design in sandblasted black ceramic. This soft, even, slightly faded black shade allows the multiple planes, angles, and chamfers of the design to stand out without the harsh reflections and flash of a polished finish. This softer, more muted take on the modernist design is equipped with a sapphire display caseback, showcasing the microrotor movement and sporting a signature from Tadao Ando himself. While the Octo Finissimo has at times been a sporty series, water resistance for this particular model is markedly low at only 30 meters.
The dial is the real highlight of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando, with a minimalist design intended to evoke the look of the night sky and the traditional Japanese concept of mikazuki, or the crescent moon on its way to becoming full. The skeleton dauphine hands and matching small seconds hand of the Octo Finissimo line are preserved here in matte black, but every other visual element has given way to a stylized rendering of the night sky. The matte midnight blue lacquered dial surface is shot through with a deep black spiral pattern, seemingly emanating from the small seconds hand to symbolize the endless flow of time. The nocturnal motif is completed with a simple gold crescent moon at 5 o’clock. Carefully proportioned against the rest of the dial elements for a simple and elegant visual balance, this moon not only adds a sliver of complementary color but also traditionally represents hope and prosperity in Japanese symbolism.
Bulgari powers the Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando with its in-house Calibre BVL 138 microrotor automatic movement. Measuring in at only 2.23mm thick, the wafer thin Calibre BVL 138 features nearly full bridges handsomely decorated with striping and polished chamfers. The platinum microrotor is flanked by tight perlage on the baseplate, as is the narrow balance bridge. Performance is solid, with a 60 hour power reserve at a 21,600 bph beat rate. Like many Octo Finissimo models, Bulgari pairs the Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando with its wide integrated bracelet. This flat and angular design flows directly into the complex geometric case, with a matching matte black ceramic finish that should soften the sometimes brilliantly reflective design.
Minimal, contemplative, and cleanly symbolic, the limited edition Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando adds a poignant new artistic statement to the brand’s most design-oriented line. Only 160 examples of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando will be made, available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $18,100. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.