The angular and powerful Octo Finissimo collection has deservedly dominated the watch division of Bulgari and in doing so has left plenty of room for a line with a softer touch on the Octo design. Enter the new-for-2023 Bulgari Octo Roma and Octo Roma Chronograph watch collections that deliver exactly that: A softer, more casual way of blending angles and curves.
Model: Octo Roma, Octo Roma Chronograph
Dimensions: Octo Roma: 41mm-wide and 9.15mm-thick; Octo Roma Chronograph: 42mm-wide and 12.4mm-thick
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Crystal/Lens: Sapphire crystal
Movement: Octo Roma: In-House BVL 191; Octo Roma Chronograph: In-House BVL 399
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Operating Frequency: 4Hz
Price & Availability: Octo Roma: €7,900; Octo Roma Chronograph: €9,900
The Bulgari Octo Roma is the three-hand version with a date that debuts with three dial color options that range between white, anthracite, and blue. The case measures 41mm-wide and just 9.15mm-thick, making the Octo Roma one of the slimmest 100m-rated watches in its segment. Every element of the Octo Roma has been restyled by Bulgari including the characteristic lugs, middle case, crown guards, and bezel.
The lugs are noticeably softer and more rounded, taking off much of the edginess that’s created by the combination of what appears to be the same bracelet but much more angular lugs on the Octo Finissimo. The massive applied hour markers, good dial contrast and legibility, and robust water resistance together hint at Bulgari’s intentions of making the Octo Roma a daily wearer — a requirement it has to perform exceptionally well if it wants to be successful in this highly competitive segment.
The Bulgari Octo Roma Chronograph sneaks two pushers into this updated design, making this addition arguably one of the nicer integrations of this feature in recent memory. There are just two dial variations here, a blue and a black one — a “panda dial” in white, although certainly not on-brand for Bulgari, would have been fun to see. The BVL 399 movement appears to be a modular solution given that the caseback reveals just a base caliber without any chronograph components on display — on modular movements these tend to be installed on the dial side of the caliber and are hence covered by the dial. Until recently Bulgari used to borrow LVMH sister brand Zentih’s El Primero, an enthusiast-enticing choice that also had an effect on the price.
The Bulgari Octo Roma is a tastefully executed, self-critical revision by Bulgari — a company that is clever enough to wish to avoid becoming a one-watch brand carried by nothing else but the Finissimo. While the Octo Finissimo has deservedly earned its outstanding reputation, it is also true that many will prefer a watch with a softer style and more volume from the brand. The new Bulgari Octo Roma watch is priced at €7,900 and the Bulgari Octo Roma Chronograph is priced at €9,900 and all references come with a stainless steel bracelet and a color-matched rubber strap included. You can learn more at the brand’s website.