Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

For 2017, Bulgari adds a new flavor to its popular Octo watch collection with the new Bulgari Octo Roma. At first glance, you'd be totally forgiven for not knowing that it is new or exactly what is new about it. Despite having a new case and dial, the magic Bulgari wanted to lend to the Octo Roma was that it look as though it was part of the Octo collection all along. Starting in 2012, the Bulgari Octo became a mainstay of the brand's men's watch collection, offering a combination of Gerald Genta-designed case and Bulgari dial combined with a rich level of design refinement. The Bulgari Octo Roma is meant to be the comfortable and classy dress watch variant of the Octo, with its narrower-feeling case - even though, like other Octo models, the case is still exactly 41mm wide.

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

In addition to some updated style and wearing options, what the Bulgari Octo Roma really does is narrow the placement of the lugs as part of the modified case. To the eye, the once square case becomes more round, while maintaining the faceted construction style which defines the core Bulgari Octo look.

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari also uses the Octo Roma collection to introduce a new brown dial color. Similar to the blue they offer, the brown dials are produced in-house (see here how Bulgari makes watch dials here) and done using a careful multi-layer lacquer varnish technique similar to how car body panels are painted, but in a more miniature and careful manner. The warm metallic brown dials offered on the Bulgari Octo Roma watches are offered in the steel case, as well as looking very fitting in the 18k pink gold case.

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Numerous small changes have been made to the original Octo for the Bulgari Octo Roma, including the case and dial. The face on the Bulgari Octo Roma looks more or less the same as that of other Octo models but the proportions of the hands and hour markers are different. Again, the differences are subtle but important to ensuring the Octo Roma feels like an Octo, but looks as good as possible in its own skin. Such design refinement helps define many of the most elegant high-end watches out there, but this is almost totally transparent in the wearing experience for most consumers who aren't trained in the nuances of analog watch design.

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

The wide-brimmed round bezel of the Bulgari Octo Roma is brushed, while most of the other visible elements of the case are polished - adding to the dress watch look. Given the narrower lugs, the strap or bracelet is now 32.5mm wide, which is still wide but more comfortable to wear. The strap and bracelet still have a nice taper which allows them to look better on the wrist, but also wear more comfortably. What you really have is something more traditional-looking (and -wearing) in the Bulgari Octo Roma as compared to the original Octo, but not without having a design that conveys a particular and bold sense of style and personality.

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

The 58-facet cases are (again) 41mm wide and water-resistant to 100 meters with a screw-down crown (that has a small ceramic insert in it). Dial colors are black, brown, and silver, with some two-tone steel and gold options. The two-tone Bulgari Octo Roma is interesting given that the center ring of the case is in gold while the rest is in steel. It's a very clever design, and while it doesn't replace the original Octo in any way, Bulgari meaningfully adds to the collection with the Bulgari Octo Roma.

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

The all-steel Bulgari Octo Roma with the black dial further is available with a matching steel bracelet that I think is going to be a hit with a lot of people. This is an ideal watch for those who liked the steel Octo on the bracelet but felt that the proportions of the standard Octo on the bracelet are not appropriate for their wrist given the wider bracelets on those models. Those who like the Bulgari style but have been wanting a good brown dial option will easily gravitate toward one of those models on the matching brown alligator strap.

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

With the Bulgari Octo Roma, the brand finally offers a character-rich dress watch for those who find more traditional round watches (like the Bulgari Roma) to be a bit lacking, and who find the original Octo to be a bit too loud. The Bulgari Octo Roma is a "medium" watch meant to sit right in the middle for those customers who feel it offers the best of both worlds, in a wearable, comfortable, and legible dress watch with a versatile character.

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Bulgari Octo Roma Watch For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the Bulgari Octo Roma is Bulgari's in-house-made caliber BVL 191 automatic movement which can be seen through the back of the case through the sapphire crystal window. The movement operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) with about two days of power reserve. The BVL 191 "Solotempo" movement offers the time with second and a date indicator window at 3 o'clock (that doesn't cut off the hour marker). Prices for the Bulgari Octo Roma watches are $5,950 in steel on an alligator strap, $6,500 in steel on a steel bracelet, $7,150 in steel and 18ct pink gold two-tone, and $18,800 in full 18ct pink gold. bulgari.com

What do you think?
  • Classy (20)
  • I want it! (12)
  • Thumbs up (11)
  • Interesting (8)
  • I love it! (6)
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  • r_s_g

    Absolutely beautiful–a much more wearable and refined Octo. At $6500 on the bracelet, with an in-house movement, that’s a pretty compelling proposition.

  • Word Merchant

    Date window has rough edges.

    • wallydog2

      And I thought I was picky.

  • eRZé

    I too would take this over the standard Octo, it’s much sleeker. The date aperture looks small and cheap so Bvlgari should either rework it or drop it altogether.

  • A_watches

    i like these a lot, on a steel bracelet I would have this over the Piaget never mind its significantly lower price, also looks great on the leather strap.

  • IanE

    Personally I hate the half-hearted mix of octagonal and round, so I’m out.

  • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    I like ’em all!

    • wallydog2

      What’s not to like? (Except for that large number behind the $ sign.)

      • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

        True dat !

  • The two tone rocks!

  • Chris Bos

    Beauty is always surprising you!

  • I think if I had to have an “everyday dress watch” the rose gold and steel would be it. In a sea of Datejusts, it’s a lighthouse.

  • BrJean

    Very cool, they somehow managed to integrate octangular and circle shapes as well as different materials in extremely elegant way!

  • BILL*

    Ooooh, a ceramic crown insert.
    Now that’s luxury.

  • Jerry Davis

    Understated elegance. Timeless. Love it. I’ll also take the two-tone.

  • IG

    Less Vulgari than used to be.

  • SuperStrapper

    This is nice, and a logical evolution of the octo, but I think I prefer the previous iteration better, with its more dedicated shapes and distinct look. I do like that they’ve reduced the strap width though.

  • Sevenmack

    The case. The dial. The hands. The indices. Just gorgeous!

  • Shinytoys

    Love that 8 sided case. Plus the execution is clean and the price is not astronomical.

  • wallydog2

    Gorgeous. Expensive. Why do those words happen so often together? Unfair.

  • Pete L

    Elegant and understated but with character. Very nice.

  • Marius

    This is not a bad watch, but I don’t quite understand where the $6,000 are going.

    As a watch brand, Bulgari is a rather weak and soft name. Sure, Bulgari is making watches for quite some time, and they also have the high watchmaking atelier (although that doesn’t have much to do with their regular watches), but overall, if I had a budget of $6,000, Bulgari would occupy the last spots on my list.

    The movement might be in-house, but it looks terribly pedestrian and poorly finished — especially if you look at the completely undecorated base plate. Form me, this caliber is pretty much on the same level with an ETA, if not slightly under.

    The design of this watch is interesting, and as Valannin mentions, it’s certainly more exciting than the ubiquitous Datejust. However, I handled a few Octos in person and I can’t say that I was much impressed by the fit&finish. The overall quality level is acceptable, but in my opinion, rather poor for a $6,000 watch. It’s definitely under the level of a JLC, Breitling, Rolex, or IWC.

    • Juan-Antonio Garcia


    • Kuroji

      I’d like to see better power reserve on this price range.

  • ProJ

    Interesting case coupled with a very bland dial. Overall not that bad I guess.

  • DanW94

    Prefer the distinctive blockier case of the normal Octo line. Rounding out the case is just stripping it of its unique personality.

  • HectorAsuipe

    Need some pics of it on the wrist from further out to get a sense of proportion with the strap, but I think I like it. I am very close to buying the Octo Solotempo 38mm on bracelet; this gives me a little pause.
    Wish they would match date wheel colors.

    • spiceballs

      Ditto for date wheel colors which are poor against brown/grey faces at these prices.

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    Not a brand I’m normally that keen on. But here they’ve made a wearable and pleasant watch.

    Nice to see the quibbling over mind-meltingly small details and generalizations, in the Traser article, haven’t been carried over here.

  • Shawn Lavigne

    it must be an acquired taste.

  • Yanko

    Weak…very weak.

  • Boron

    Again with the bullshit use of Gerald Genta’s name!
    For the second time, in case the previous time wasn’t clearly understood…Gerald Genta had F.A. to do with the design of the Octo line, including the discontinued models bearing his name!
    The case AND bracelet/strap design was wholly and completely created by Bvlgari’s own internal design dept.
    Now, for the love of God, can we CEASE with the bloody association of GG and the Octo range of watches produced since the mid-2000s by Bvlgari — there isn’t one, PERIOD!!

    • Marius

      You are absolutely right. Genta had nothing to do with the Octo design. I simply cannot understand why ABTW keeps repeating ad nauseam that Genta designed the Octo line. The only Bulgari that Genta designed was the Bulgari Bulgari, which was inspired by a Roman coin. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/15fecfc3f6b57148a32882dbe7542abbdee430ed9ad6678b1a4a9111aae99b32.jpg

      • Ariel Adams

        OK, we hear you everyone. Thanks for the feedback.

        • Marius

          The article continues to state that “…offering a combination of Gerald Genta-designed case.”

        • Boron

          Excellent! It only took being told twice for it finally register!
          Now you can correct this article, David’s from back in July last year, and any other previous ones in which you wrongly attributed Mr Genta’s input to the creation of the Octo case designs since their introduction by Bvlgari in 2004.
          As journalists (supposedly) and industry insiders (also supposedly), you’re expected to do the research yourselves before you post it up on the site – it’s called integrity.

          Don’t worry, you’re not alone – Hodinkee has a staffer who can’t count and therefore thinks octagonal means the same as hexagonal!

          • Ariel Adams

            Like everyone we learn as we go. Trust us, it would be a lot easier to get a lot of these facts straight if we weren’t presented with (at the least) incomplete information from the sources. This occurs with many brands on a regular basis. Even internally they can’t always keep track of all the details. For this reason I applaud the efforts of the community to “fill in the gaps” here in the comments. I’m very honored to have people who not only pay close attention, but are knowledge in these areas who can make the content here even better. Thanks again.

          • dookee

            I think Ariel’s generous response here is frankly above and beyond. Boron, you are right about the Genta thing, and it is indeed a myth that has been far too easily propagated. But why cannot such information be shared in a positive, generous manner, in the spirit of building knowledge and understanding? Why be so pompous and sneering?? This is watch stuff – it’s not politics, it’s not life and death; and it’s a shame that enjoying it has to come with such a thick slab of unpleasantness at every pass.

    • Ariel Adams

      Thank you for the feedback. It is most appreciated.

      • Sheez Gagoo
      • Sheez Gagoo

        Bvlgari bought the brands Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta decades ago and tried to include them in their collection. For a while, there were some Roth and Genta inspired watches, but they faded into oblivion (Like Paul Picot, Bunz or Ikepod). I think, after the purchase, Roth and Genta had nothing to do with Bvlgaris design.

  • ??????

    I like it. Never thought that merging of Octo and Roma could work, but, surprisingly – it does. The brown/brown version is my fav from the bunch.

  • benjameshodges

    The Finissimo is the only nice Octo range.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Weird. This design looks horribly outdated and unrefined to me but everybody seemes to love it in the comments. Horrible date window (No frame, black date wheel with a brown dial), weird edges under the glass and a barock design that looks very feminim. I wouldn`t complain if we were in 1987, but now? A little bit of Santos feeling. Nobody loves JLCs Masters but this? Can`t understand.

  • Ulysses31

    I know this may sound like heresy to some but all I see is a somewhat fashionable generic three-hander.