Italian luxury goods maker Bulgari is bringing a bit of color to one of its most recognizable timepieces. The Bulgari Octo Finissimo line has, for much of its existence, been one of gray and blue, with only the occasional variation into black. From time to time, the brand has gone absolutely wild for a limited edition, like the mirror-finish Sejima Edition or the CarbonGold or the one-off green marble for OnlyWatch. Only recently have you been able to get the watch in yellow gold, and then always with a (lovely) brown dial. This year, for LVMH Watch Week 2024, Bulgari is introducing two regular-production models that bring a few more colorful options to the line: the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Yellow Gold and the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tuscan Copper.
The form factor here remains the same (the Finissimo case isn’t something to idly retool). At 6.4mm thick, the 40mm-wide watches are noted for their svelte wrist presence and almost bracelet-like appearance. The Yellow Gold, as the name suggests, is offered in 18k yellow gold, including its bracelet. One thing I like about the Finissimo line is that the finishing remains consistent regardless of the model. On both the gold and 904L stainless steel models here, you see that the case and bracelet are crisply brushed save for the namesake octagonal bezel that peeks out from the round main bezel, a few chamfers, and the center of the links. Despite the thinness, the watches sport a rather impressive 100m water resistance. Both watches have black ceramic inserts in the crown, I suppose for a bit of edginess.
If you’ve been thinking, “Wait, haven’t I already seen that pink dial?” you’d be right. Last year, Bulgari released the Tuscan Copper as a 50-piece LE for North America. This is interesting for two reasons. First, the Tuscan Copper, which the brand further describes as a salmon hue, is inspired by 16th century Italian art (which I’d describe as stretching credulity about 500 years), not by anything even on the continent of North America. Perhaps it was meant as a test run; the brand describes it as an “experimental and disruptive” design, despite salmon/pinkish dials having been wildly popular for the last five years and bordering on commonplace now. Second, I’d hate to be one of the people who own the original 50-piece watch after the model was moved into regular production.
For the Yellow Gold, Bulgari has moved away from the sunburst brown dials usually paired with this case and swapped in its signature blue dial, which has been seen on many Octos (not just the Finissimo). To ensure cohesion, the applied indices and hands are all in matching gold. This is the superior of the two watches for me, as it balances warm and cool tones, whereas the Tuscan Copper leans a bit too far toward blush.
Both watches have a sapphire caseback crystal to show off the automatic in-house BVL138 caliber. Measuring just 2.23mm thick, the movement features a platinum micro-rotor that winds a 60-hour power reserve with the movement’s 21,600 vph. The movement features an almost Germanic architecture, with three striped plates that leave only the rotor and the balance exposed. The rotor itself gets gold branding, a sunray finish, and perlage for its housing.
These may not be the most scintillating releases at LVMH Watch Week 2024, neither across the show or from Bulgari. However, they do demonstrate a bit of expansion to the Octo Finissimo line that I think is very welcome. Bringing color to regular production models won’t hurt the brand or the collection, and I’m hopeful that these two models are signs of things to come. The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Yellow Gold is priced at USD 45,500, while the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tuscan Copper is priced at USD 13,300. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.