By Kim Parker
Bulgari has unveiled the world’s thinnest watch, the Octo Finissimo Ultra. The story of Bulgari’s Octo watches has always been one of firsts. In the ten short years since the Roman jeweller and watchmaker launched its Octo collection, the angular timepiece has become a bona fide design icon. It has garnered no less than 60 international prizes, including the coveted ‘Aiguille d’Or’, or Best in Show, at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – considered the Oscars of the watchmaking world.
The watch Bulgari introduced last night was its eighth record-breaking iteration of the Octo collection: the Octo Finissimo Ultra, which has been officially confirmed as the world’s thinnest watch. Measuring 1.8mm from its casebook to the top of its sapphire crystal, the Octo Finissimo Ultra is about as thick as a 20 euro cent coin.
“Can we do it? No sooner was the question asked three years ago than our teams answered: how are we going to do it?” recalls Antoine Pin, Managing Director of the Bulgari Watch Division. “This ability to meet challenges is embedded in the brand’s DNA. As for the word ‘ultra’, it expresses this desire to go beyond the limits, to play with extremes, an idea that we love in-house.”
When asked how Bulgari met the challenge of creating the world’s thinnest mechanical watch, Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Bulgari’s Product Creation Executive Director, stated:
“The challenge of this eighth record was the most difficult to overcome, since we had to break the rules not only in terms of movement design, but also of the case, the caseback, the bracelet and the folding clasp.” In order to achieve this feat, Buonamassa Stigliani revealed that Bulgari’s designers, engineers, and production team had to start from scratch. “You not only have to review your way of thinking, but you must also draw upon a wide range of skills, play with multiple materials and adapt to a multitude of new constraints.”
In all, it took Bulgari’s technical teams three years of research to achieve the super miniaturisation required to create the Octo Finissimo Ultra.
What’s more, Bulgari’s record breaking timepiece has inspired eight new patent applications, relating to everything from its glass assembly and barrel structure, to its bracelet and display. A unique QR code, engraved on the Octo Finissimo Ultra’s ratchet-wheel allows each new owner to scan and access special interviews, videos and virtual tours related to their timepiece. The ten limited-edition timepieces also come with exclusive NFT artwork, guaranteeing the authenticity of the watch and the link to its owner.
With this latest world record in the bag, and a slew of new patents to its name, Bulgar’s latest Octo proves eight really is the luckiest number. And it’s one that will ensure the brand’s place in the history of watchmaking for centuries to come.
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