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Since the collection’s inception, the Octo Finissimo has held a unique position in modern watchmaking. The saga begins in 2014, with the world’s slimmest tourbillon watch. By pioneering the art of miniaturization, combined with a design approaching purity, the collection has given life to veritable icons of modern times.

Over the past decade, the Octo Finissimo series has set nine records, including the world’s slimmest three-hand watch and the world’s slimmest automatic chronograph.

Today, Bulgari celebrates its 140th anniversary. For this special occasion, the Manufacture ventures into uncharted territory as it introduces a watch with an illustrated dial, revealing the movement’s back in lieu of the dial – as if you were admiring the watch from the other side, through an open case back.

Sketching a mirror effect

Esquisse, from the Italian “schizzo”: sketch. It has been used throughout the history of art, particularly since the Italian Renaissance, in painting, sculpture and architecture. Why is this so? Because, from the Renaissance onwards, Italian artists kept their Schizzi preciously for their students, for their archives and to improve the final piece. Sketches were, at the time, deeply associated with the discoveries of their time (such as anatomy or perspective).

Bulgari has naturally contributed to this cultural tradition for 140 years, perpetuating its spirit both in the technical mastery of hand-drawing and in the technology-assisted development of new calibers, for example.

The sketch thus reveals the soul of a watch, just as its movement will become its mechanical soul. Hence the brilliant intuition of the Bulgari creative studio: to fuse the sketch and the back of the movement, art and technique, on the dial.

Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch: Minimalism, revisited.

The inaugural Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch series will be available in two limited editions –280 pieces in steel and 70 in rose gold. Here, the ‘dial’ uniquely showcases the watch’s micro-rotor, escapement, bridges, rubies, and intricate finishing details (such as Côtes de Genève, circular graining). In other words, the intimate mechanics sketched by Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani. With lively, natural, and spontaneous strokes, it emphasizes the key features of the Finissimo icon, blending technical mastery with artistic expression.

Each series, whether in rose gold or steel, expresses a distinct sensibility. The 18K 5N rose gold version unfolds in monochrome splendor, from its polished and satin-finished case and bracelet to its captivating dial. This radiant piece subtly incorporates shades of gray on its hands and on the sketch, enhancing its elegance. The dial, akin to a blank canvas, allows the sketch to unfold without boundaries.

The steel version, monochromatic as well, presents a more modern and urban look. Here, shades of gray are the dominant: off-white for the sketch background; carbon as if drawn by Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani’s pencil; charcoal for the hands; and, of course, steel for the case and bracelet. The interplay of polished and satin finishes, along with the characteristic sunburst-brushed bezel, gives the piece a unique brilliance that captures the transitional light at dusk.

Each piece measures 40 mm in diameter and 6.4 mm in slimness, powered by the in-house BVL 138 caliber (2.3 mm in height, automatic, with a 60-hour power reserve). The sapphire case back is uniquely etched with “EDIZIONE LIMITATA” and “1884 – 2024” to commemorate Bulgari’s 140th anniversary, making each watch not just a timepiece but a celebration of heritage and craftsmanship.

Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Sketch: The Art in the Mechanics of Time

The Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Sketch continues the innovative approach, featuring a 43 mm polished steel case with a slimness of 8.75 mm to elegantly house its GMT chronograph complications. The automatic manufacture movement with a peripheral oscillating weight provides  a 55-hour power reserve. This design, pivotal for the watch’s record-breaking thinness in 2019, incorporates a caliber measuring a mere 3.3 mm in height that not only includes a 30-minute chronograph and central second but also displays a second time zone at 3 o’clock.

Limited to just 140 pieces, this edition showcases a sketch featuring key elements of the dial and the back of the movement. Skillfully blending the iconic Tri-Compax chronograph display (GMT at 3 o’clock, 30-minute counter at 6 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock) with a balance represented between 4 and 5 o’clock, the emblematic column wheel at 8 o’clock, and exquisite finishing details on the bridges and gears. The open caseback reveals the original BVL 318 caliber with the special markings “EDIZIONE LIMITATA” and Bulgari’s anniversary, “1884 – 2024.”