The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon is, of course, the more ritzy of the two models, and its simple, elegant, symmetrical dial with the exposed tourbillon cage says everything you want it to. This is a sophisticated status display, and despite the fact that “tourbillons say money,” the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon is certainly a less brash way of doing it. The movement is the Bulgari caliber BVL 268. The flying tourbillon is mounted on ball bearings and sits on a sapphire plate. For a super thin tourbillon it looks lovely, and certainly more high-tech than most.
The BVL 268 movement operates at 3Hz (21,600 bph) with 55 hours of power reserve and is produced from 249 parts. Hand finishing helps it look its best, and a very modern look fits the overall Bulgari brand ethos. Attached to the case, as on the non-tourbillon Octo Finissimo is a matching thin, tapering black alligator strap.
The Octo Finissimo (Extra-Thin as they call it) contains the Bulgari in-house made caliber BVL 128, which for the most part is a more practical movement (unless in your life tourbillons are practical versus preferable). Also operating at 3Hz, and with 70 hours of power reserve, this movement comes with a useful power reserve indicator on the rear of the case, and features an off-centered subsidiary seconds dial on the face. Each of the two Octo Finissimo models suffer from similar dial issues, in that the glossy black lacquer dial is paired with polished hands and hour markers. This combination looks nice, but in a lot of lighting conditions the hands melt away into the dial, making legibility almost impossible.
Bulgari has since come out with various models of the Octo (Finissimo or otherwise) with matte-toned hands and hour markers which contrast better and make for excellent legibility. With that said, they feel a bit sportier versus dressier. So that means this particular look is going to be the ideal combination if you want a sleek and modern formal watch – for the guy who simply can’t see himself wearing something round and traditional.
Are you an Octo guy? Are you an Octo Finissimo guy? With my preference for edgier (in this case literally), non-conservative designs I love timepieces like this. You get a form that Bulgari obsessed over, and beyond that, you know they don’t want it to look like anything else. While the look is still new, the sheer distinctiveness of the Octo and Octo Finissimo cases easily puts them in a league with popular designs such as the Royal Oak and Nautilus. It could take years before the Octo reaches the level of collector appeal and awareness as those others, but I don’t see why it won’t happen.
As of now the Octo Finissimo and Octo Finissimo Tourbillon come in precious metal cases, 18k pink gold and platinum. Currently, there is no steel version of the Octo Finissimo, but the new Octo Finissimo Automatic does come in a sandblasted titanium case – making it the most affordable model. The Octo is here to stay and Bulgari knows it. This is the collection worth looking at if you are keen on a “new classic” or simply want something lovely and certainly not ordinary. Price for the 18k pink gold Octo Finissimo ref. 102371 BGOP40BGLXT is $26,300 with the platinum model ref. 102028 BGO40BPLXT priced at $29,800. Price for the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon in platinum is priced at $138,000. bulgari.com
>Model: Octo Finissimo and Octo Finissimo Tourbillon
>Price: Extra-Thin in pink gold is $26,300 and $29,800 in platinum. Tourbillon model in platinum is $138,000.
>Size: 40mm wide
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Luxury watch collector experienced enough to have enjoyed the classics, wanting to get into something a bit more distinctive and interesting that isn’t boring, but has timeless value.
>Best characteristic of watch: Beautiful design from a brand the mainstream respects and technical features snobs admire. Distinctive, comfortable looks on the wrist.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Polished on glossy dial elements can make legibility poor in certain light situations. Thin nature of the case and strap can make them delicate.