back to top

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

The hottest men’s watch collection within Bulgari is the Octo, and within that, the hottest sub-family is the very thin (in fact record breaking thin) Octo Finissimo – with its several variants. At Baselworld 2017 Bulgari added another very important model into the Octo Finissimo family with the Octo Finissimo Automatic (hands-on here). That supplements the original Octo Finissimo and Octo Finissimo Tourbillon that I am reviewing together here. Don’t forget of course the impressive Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater.

Bulgari’s main appeal for those seeking high complication – or at least high-effort – mechanical watches is a mixture of technical competency and refined design. These are nerd-approved watches for contemporary fashionista tastes, something that is not entirely the norm in the watch world where traditional conservatism usually reigns supreme. Bulgari arguably leads the pack for “fashion house” brands that are deadly serious about their horological credibility – despite the fact that the majority of the overall company’s profits comes from men’s goods such as jewelry. If that fact bothers you as a potential male consumer, all I can say is that you are missing out.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo originally came out in 2014, and this includes the manually-wound time-only version as well as the tourbillon models – each of which I am reviewing here. Of course, the Octo Finissimo needs to be understood within the larger context of the Octo watch family. Originally designed by Gerald Genta (“Octo” implying the eight-sided dial design) the Octo as we know it today was redesigned and incorporated into the Bulgari brand (that at one point purchased and fully incorporated all that was Gerald Genta into itself). Since becoming fully “Bulgarized” the Octo, with its squared case and rich assortment of curves and angles has become the most popular timepiece collection for the brand.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

What makes the Octo so popular is its modern, almost architectural sense of visual fascination, which heralds classic form, but is entirely contemporary in its appeal. Masculine yet refined, a design like this, even as a dress watch, matches modern urban landscapes from buildings to automobiles in a way that most traditionally-designed timepieces simply do not. The specialty of the Octo is in its ability to blend curves and angles, as well as brushed and polished surfaces in a way where the contrast between the various elements is as eye-pleasing as the harmony between them. That delicate balance is very Italian in my opinion, and of course as a Rome-based brand, that isn’t something that should be strange for a Bulgari watch.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

The timepieces are produced in Neuchatel-Switzerland, with the movement production and design being in-house. What Bulgari introduced with the Octo Finissimo was an “ultra-thin” version of the standard, thicker-cased Octo. At 40mm wide, the Octo Finissimo is a 5mm thick “pancake” version of its girthier relative. Given this extreme thinness (especially for a mechanical watch) the Octo Finissimo maintains the interesting angles and depth of the Octo design. It also happens to be quite comfortable on the wrist – just don’t accidentally sit on it…

Advertisement

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

Aside from about $100,000 in price, little separates the Octo Finissimo from the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon in visual design other than the tourbillon-based movement of the latter. The cases are for the most part the same, and the appeal – as modern “high character” dress watches – makes the preference for each a matter of taste and how important it is that you show off your disposable income. Neither is an accessible watch when considering value-conscious budget timepieces available, but neither feels absurdly-priced given the quality and competition.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

With the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, customers get the added benefit of saying that their timepiece is the “thinnest tourbillon” in the world. For a while it was Piaget who kept making strides to make the “thinnest” this or that around. Piaget still has some records for thinness – such as the thinnest mechanical watch with the Piaget Altiplano 900P. That means it beats the Octo Finissimo by a little margin, but I have to be honest – once you wear the watch it doesn’t matter. At about under 6 or 7mm thick, all very thin watches feel about the same. It is really just a matter of personal style at that point. If your street cred hinges on whether or not you have the thinnest mechanical watch around – you run with some odd cats for sure.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

When Bulgari released the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon the company they beat wasn’t Piaget but rather Arnold & Son, who came out with the UTTE in 2013. Now at just 5mm thick, with an even thinner movement that is just 1.95mm thick, I don’t think anyone will want to make a movement that is more svelte and still use metal. This is just getting into “dangerously fragile” territory. What you need to know is that the Octo Finissimo is a precious metal wafer on your wrist, and still manages to be masculine – a difficult thing to do in the watch world.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

Bulgari Octo Finissimo & Tourbillon Watches Review Wrist Time Reviews

One design element which allows the Octo Finissimo movements to be thin is the fact that they can also be wide. All Octo Finissimo watches have expansive sapphire crystal case backs which offer a view into the Bulgari-made movements. The relatively wide area offers room for the parts to be laid out without having to be stacked on one another, which allows for the thin profile. In an era where watches are bigger in diameter it is a clever solution, and one that doesn’t make the watch feel as though the case is too large for the movement contained within it.

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 5893765831

  • Mikita

    Bulgari became a pretty serious name in watchmaking. While these models aren’t my favorite, I must admit that some of their other models are growing on me; especially this one:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2223e62088f0990b55331c6869c99ad1b756d9f373ed27e27ac50a394150e752.jpg

    You know, some kind of irrational attraction 🙂

    • Moonraker

      …growing on me too. And I think Hodinkee Jack Forster has one of them. That’s not why it’s growing on me, though. I swear.

      • Mikita

        I must confess, JF played some role in why it hooked me 🙂

        • Word Merchant

          When it comes to watches, I only ever listen to John Meyer. His seminal discussion with Ben Clymer on how cool it was to get a Daytona before the plebs did still strongly resonates with me in a very deep, spiritual and real sense. For those few who haven’t read this fine article, here it is: https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/ben-clymer-and-john-mayer-talk-about-the-new-daytona

          • Moonraker

            Like the Armenian Genocide, we should never forget that this happened.

          • Phil leavell

            I think they should just sign a watch together to commemorate this special moment they all had

          • Moonraker

            Just to clarify, are you talking about the (very real) Armenian Genocide or the (very made up) Ralph Lauren Daytona threesome?

          • Phil leavell

            Yes ma’am I’m not totally ignorant just get a lot of brain fart

          • Phil leavell

            And originally I was trying to post to Mikita. But in the long run this still works

          • Moonraker

            This entire episode will not reflect well on your application to become a Knight of Dilbezeldo. We are a very unforgiving order. 🙂

          • Phil leavell

            Daz okay it’s just like at the club of the expanding intellect. I was first in line too bad they made me hold the door open for the rest.

          • Berndt Norten

            In the long run, we’re all dead. Just ask Glenn Keynes Frey.

          • Phil leavell

            LOL he was a great guitarist

          • Moonraker

            None of us will make it, in the long run…
            Well, we’re scared, but we ain’t shakin’
            Kinda bent, but we ain’t breakin’
            In the long run…

          • One of my favorite lines from Frey’s lyrics:

            You Yankees are so silly in matters of the heart. Don’t you know that women are the only works of art?

          • Mikita

            Oh, the legendary dialogue of the two titans will go down in the annals of history. They aptly reminded all the plebeians about their place in society, while enjoying some private time with the new ceramic bezel.

          • Moonraker

            What is not widely known is that right afterwards, Ralph Lauren picked both of them up in one of his vintage saloons and they went for a spirited drive through the countryside before having an orgy in one of his castles.

          • Mikita

            They did it Liberace style: started in a flower garden with golden canaries, then they rode Ralph’s unicorns to the sacred lake deep in the forest followed by running around naked in their new ceramic Daytonas. The glory day finished with bacchanalia in Ralph’s throne room where he beknightened Ben and Jonh into the knights of Dilbezeldo.

          • Moonraker

            To be honest, Clymer doesn’t strike me as a frolicker. But the rest, including the unicorns, sounds legit.

          • Moonraker

            “Ralph’s Unicorns”—great death metal band name

          • Mikita

            Yeah, way better than “Ralph and the Unicorns”

          • Moonraker

            “Ralph and the Unicorns” is more kids’ TV show. “Ralph’s Unicorns” is more badass.

          • Mikita

            And “Riding on the Corn of Ralph’s Unicorn” is only after midnight on the cable TV.

          • Word Merchant

            And more ceramic…

          • Berndt Norten

            And more wood involved

          • Moonraker

            Rich, hand-cut amboyna burlwood?

        • Moonraker

          Speaking of Hodinkee, did you notice that James Stacey is over there? I wonder if he’s still here too. https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/halios-seaforth-value-proposition

          • Mikita

            Hmm, what happened? Did he have a better offer from H / or some misunderstanding here?

          • James also writes for print magazines, so this is not the first time you might see his writing outside of ABTW. And he is a fan of Halios, which like himself, is located in “Van”.

          • Mikita
          • James is a very cool guy and I’m proud to be a friend of his.

          • Mikita

            He indeed looks like a cool guy to be friends with. I enjoy reading his travel-watch articles a lot.

          • Yeah and when it gives an opinion on a dive watch it is based on his needs as a scuba, not desk, diver. He and I don’t always like the same watches, but I always respect his opinions.

          • Moonraker

            James? I love his voice. He has a really smooth Jon Hamm kinda voice.

  • MEddie90

    Love em or hate em Bvlgari have carved out unique and recognizable aesthetic over the years. I’m not their biggest fan but to develop such a unique and still appealing design is a difficult task in an industry where it can sometimes feel like everything’s been done. Decent technical chops too, I prefer a little more meat on my watches but that tourbillon is certainly an achievement and serves as a decent halo piece.

  • Moonraker

    “Bulgari arguably leads the pack for “fashion house” brands that are deadly serious about their horological credibility”
    Just wondering if Chopard is considered a fashion house brand and if so, where you think they’d rank?

  • Word Merchant

    Not keen on the tourbillon, but I’ve never been a fan of cutaway dials. However the Bulgari design is definitely growing on me. If I was to get an Octa, it would be this one, as it has a pleasing level of simplicity and I much prefer the dial colour to the one in this article: https://www.bulgari.com/en-gb/products/102711-e.html

  • Pete Pete

    very (!) impressive stuff. would be much easier to digest though, if they were still labeled gérald genta. the bulgari label is just the biggest possible turn-off.

  • Phil leavell

    ?. (. ). Oops missed the Box

    100000 for all that CNC work. I rate Bulgari right up there with Michael Kor Guess, Calvin Klein, Armani. But if the robots machines are in Switzerland I guess it still classifies as Swiss made but in the end is still just a fashion watch. Give it a realistic price by moving the decimal point. 100. aaah
    PS can you tell I’m not into fashion

    • Ben

      Most ridiculous comment I have read on this site… and G knows there are a lot of ignorant ones… Where in the world do you see Bulgari as a fashion brand? They have been in Switzerland longer than most recent brands.

      • Phil leavell

        I am truly glad if you like this Brand as is an open site and everyone’s feelings and thoughts can be read. And I personally feel Bulgari are wrist turds.
        I have never enjoyed their attempt at stylization I would probably prefer to stare at rocks
        They also have some great Baubles and Beads available in high end fashion stores please feel free to enjoy all

        • Ben

          Wow is all I will say. My time is too precious to waste it any longer on this site. Enjoy your life.

          • Phil leavell

            Too bad just a lot of good people here with a lot of knowledge and intelligence when it comes to watches.
            Bulgari watch I did like was one they did with it was knights holding your swords out on the dial as the markers I can’t think of the name of it right now no worries in the end it was feminine and fierce at the same time. And I am more than certain there are people that can give you the reference number and second on this site but it’s not me toodaloo

          • Moonraker

            You mean this Roger Dubuis? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/198647d27cb90d89d480cfeceebd95c97de0d42fdcc6d6f8c61ac26bebd0858f.jpg So you still hate all Bvlgaris then. 🙂

          • Phil leavell

            Thank you Moonraker I may be a computer idiot but you got my back I mean illiterate

          • Mikita

            Cool Bvlgari there!

          • That’s a nice Breitling you have there friend!

          • Moonraker

            Actually, it’s a Carl T. Buckerman.

  • Yan Fin

    What is this 11 jewels movement?

  • BNABOD

    I think Bulgari sure has its own style and you can’t say this too much these days.
    However the strap, the width that is I just can’t wrap my head around it. When combined w the thinness of the case to me makes it look like a over-sized pair of pants. It just doesn’t fit but then a narrow strap wouldn’t look right either….go figure

  • Bozzor

    Any thinner, it would have to me a carbide / ceramet to ensure the stiffness of the case…

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Sorry, but i like a bit more meat on my bone.

    • Mark1884

      And too pointy!

    • Shinytoys

      I feel that it’s the octagon shaped case that makes it such an eye catcher and sets itself apart from the round watches of today.

    • As much as I like some Genta designs a lot, I’ve always had mixed emotions about the Octo. An interesting case design but the round bezel seems to be fighting the octagon dial and the outer case design. Plus I hate that the octagon dial itself, by its nature, seems at odds with the baton hour markers (except at 3 and 9). And yeah, the wide strap might have a case matching look but it might also be a less comfortable design choice.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Nothing might be about it. Unfortunately i’m never going to get the chance to try it on but doesn’t look comfortable at all

    • Mohamed Nasrallah

      ??Don’t waste your money anymore!??
      ??Grab your FREE watch right here??

      Order your watch now: http://www.trendywatch.store

  • SuperStrapper

    An Octo review not written by David? I’d heard they existed…

    • Mohamed Nasrallah

      ??Don’t waste your money anymore!??
      ??Grab your FREE watch right here??
      ??
      Order your watch now: http://www.trendywatch.store

  • Shinytoys

    That’s a gorgeous time piece….masterful design.

    • Mohamed Nasrallah

      ?Don’t waste your money anymore!??
      ??Grab your FREE watch right here?
      ????
      Order your watch now: http://www.trendywatch.store

  • Ben

    Always so much fun to read the comments of all the know-it-all watch snobs… please accept there is a brand doing something else than Rolex or PP… and they are doing it well. Aren’t you tired of reading posts about kickstarter knock offs?

    • Mohamed Nasrallah

      ?Don’t waste your money anymore!??
      ??Grab your FREE watch right here??
      ????
      Order your watch now: http://www.trendywatch.store

  • Marius

    In my opinion, the Octo Finissimo is an interesting and slightly eccentric alternative to the classical dress watch. The fact that it uses a technically interesting movement is another plus. Nevertheless, my big problem with this watch is that I don’t see the very high price being reflected in the watch.

    From a branding perspective, Bulgari has made a constant progress over the last years, especially if you look at their complicated timepieces such as minute repeaters and tourbillins. However, let`s be honest: Bulgari is not exactly the first brand that comes to mind when spending almost $30,000 on a watch. For me, Bulgari wouldn’t even make it in my top 40.

    From a fit & finish and decoration perspective, I’m also not convinced. The case and dial have a decent finish, but it’s nothing spectacular. Similarly, the movement is technically challenging, but its decoration is machine-applied, and rather lackluster and unconvincing.

    Lastly, from a market positioning perspective, I also have a problem with this watch. I mean, ultra-thin timepieces such as the JLC Tribute 1907 and the Lange Saxonia 37 cost around $15,000. Granted, these two watches have a traditional round design, whereas the Bulgari has a more interesting & different look. Yet, I still don’t understand why the Bulgarian is almost twice as expensive, especially considering that the Lange has a better fit&finish as well as a hughly-finished caliber. In any case, my favourite ultra-thin dress watch in the $26,000 category would clearly be the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Extra Plat with the fantastic 2120 caliber, which to this day is the thinnest full rotor movement in the world.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a983cc2df5d4779513be25686303fdc17d2698ae5e883b383fd003d13c432943.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9f2516093b12817200ff6450a6eb70eda9a16c8f9cad4c909174e740439a2065.jpg

  • Ulysses31

    It has a weird ugly Eighties aesthetic, not helped by the use of black and gold in some versions. I also don’t get what makes super-thin watches so appealing; I find the proportions unpleasant.

    • Mohamed Nasrallah

      ??Don’t waste your money anymore!??
      ?Grab your FREE watch right here??
      ????
      Order your watch now: http://www.trendywatch.store

  • Buy and Sold

    The text Swiss Made being split kills the aesthetic for me.

    • Mohamed Nasrallah

      ??Don’t waste your money anymore!??
      ??Grab your FREE watch right here?
      ????
      Order your watch now: http://www.trendywatch.store

  • Mark1884

    I like it and want one in 18k red, sans tourbillon. (don’t like the hole in the dial) This watch gives off a weird vibe, with it’s square/round/octo case and angular lines. Maybe I like it because it is so different. I even like the wide strap.
    I do not like looking at the buggered up lug, that someone damaged while taking off the strap.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a3cd54f955a57fbfb67e48b7a1fb4f6babf7fc0be2afdea87992dd49d854ef8b.jpg
    I do have one concern with this watch: When I am wearing this watch, it must be perceived as a trophy watch….. or I do not want it!

    • Mohamed Nasrallah

      ??Don’t waste your money anymore!??
      ??Grab your FREE watch right here??
      ????
      Order your watch now: http://www.trendywatch.store

  • Moonraker

    So many angles. I think I might have a bad dream tonight about being naked in geometry class.

    • Phil leavell

      Just had brain fart, Blue Angel wasn’t the longine gold leaf thiner than this.

    • Phil leavell

      Angel was a centerfold

    • Mohamed Nasrallah

      ??Don’t waste your money anymore!?
      ??Grab your FREE watch right here??
      ????
      Order your watch now: http://www.trendywatch.store

      • Moonraker

        No virgins for you! Come back, one year! But please don’t!

  • Simon

    This is my ultimate tuxedo watch

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.