March 23, 2019
by Kenny Yeo
Bulgari has been chasing after Piaget in the realm of ultra-thin watches. Such titles are hard to keep track of, but Bulgari has had an impressive run over the past couple of years with watches like the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon (world’s thinnest tourbillon movement) and the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater (world’s thinnest minute repeater). For 2019, Bulgari is breaking more records with its new Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic watch. This is now the thinnest mechanical chronograph in the world, with the world’s thinnest automatic chronograph movement. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
Model: Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic
Dimensions: 42mm × 6.9mm
Water Resistance: 30 meters
Case Material: Sandblasted titanium
Movement: BVL 138
Frequency: 4 Hz
Power Reserve: 55 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Sandblasted titanium
Price & Availability: $17,600
Bulgari’s advancements in the realm of ultra-thin watches are truly remarkable, and the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic only goes to show that none of its previous efforts were flukes. This new watch has the unmistakable case profile of an Octo Finissimo watch. Highly angular and detailed, it’s 42mm-wide and only 6.9mm-thick. To put these numbers into perspective, consider that the previous record holder, the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph, was 8.24mm thick. This means Bulgari shaved 1.34mm, or 16%, off the previous record-holder. The case is sandblasted titanium, as are the dial and bracelet, giving the entire watch a uniform gray look. It should also make the watch extremely light and comfortable to wear.
The movement within the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic is the new caliber BVL 318, and it’s visible through a sapphire display caseback. It measures just 3.3mm-thick, which makes it the world’s thinnest automatic chronograph caliber. It has a column-wheel but with a horizontal clutch, instead of a vertical one, to reduce thickness. To further reduce thickness, it has a peripheral rotor. What’s more, it even packs a useful GMT complication. Finally, it has a modern beat rate of 4 Hz, and a very decent and usable power reserve of 55 hours, which is impressive given the thinness of the mainspring and the high-drain of the 28,000vph operating speed. It’s a thoroughly impressive movement.
The new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic is a stunning offering that cements the company’s reputation for ultra-thin watchmaking. Obviously, its aesthetics are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but its horological achievements are irrefutable. What’s equally incredible is that the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic is not going to be some piece of limited-edition unobtainium. It’s going to be a regular production piece (albeit with a very long waiting list, I suspect), and it’s even priced quite sensibly. The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic will retail for $17,600. Learn more at bulgari.com