Within the space of a decade, the Octo (2012) and then the Octo Finissimo (2014) have revolutionised the concept of the ultra-thin watch, setting one record after another. The saga has now concluded with the Octo Finissimo Ultra, the ultimate pinnacle of extreme thinness, yet the adventure continues. The timepiece is now delivered with an innovative presentation box and an unprecedented opening towards a digital future.
While some may not have noticed, the dial of the Octo Finissimo Ultra that won a prize on 10 November at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) featured a 10 instead of the traditional “12 o’clock” numeral. It was a final nod to an exceptional collection, the Octo, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary that evening in Geneva.
Seeing the Octo win a GPHG award has become a common occurrence. In previous years, Bulgari has been among the laureates at the Geneva ceremony every two years on average (2017, 2019, 2021, 2022). This latest vintage took on a special dimension, however, representing the end of a cycle that has broken every conceivable record (eight consecutive world records, more than 60 international prizes). And yet, behind the scenes, the story continues…
The Octo Finissimo is not in fact taking a final bow, far from it. Firstly, because the limited series of 10 timepieces for the 10th anniversary of the Octo with its 10 o’clock engraving is currently being delivered – a record in itself for this construction measuring just 1.80 mm thick and resulting in eight patent applications.
Secondly, because Bulgari has developed a unique experience associated with the heart of the Octo Finissimo Ultra 10th Anniversary: its presentation box. It is the first visual and physical contact that owners will have with the world of their Octo Finissimo Ultra, even before seeing and touching their watch. A bridge between tradition and modernity, the kind of hybrid watchmaking 3.0 creations particularly dear to the Manufacture Bulgari.
A unique experience
The idea is to offer owners a new experience of setting and winding their watch – two age-old operations that have remained unchanged but which Bulgari has completely reinvented. The Octo Finissimo Ultra can still be set by hand, but the presentation box offers a whole new interaction: collectors can place the watch in the box next to a digital screen on which they programme the desired time. A button is then pressed to start the cycle and as soon as the precious box is closed, the magic happens while hidden from sight. Upon opening it some 20 seconds later, the owner will find the watch perfectly set to the desired time and fully wound – silently, delicately and with infinite precision. It is no longer just a presentation but a kind of ‘at-home watchmaker’, optimally adjusting on demand the delicate mechanism of the Octo Finissimo Ultra.
Designed for modern lifestyle
The timepiece can of course still be hand-adjusted by the wearer. It has been designed for contemporary use and has passed all the tests required for urban use: resistance to micro-shocks and to magnetic fields, along with temperature and ageing cycles.
However, the In Real Life (IRL) world will not be the only playground for the lucky owner of an Octo Finissimo Ultra, as Bulgari is once again the boundaries between reality and virtuality, exploring the infinite horizon of virtual reality. A symbol of ultimate mechanical mastery that ushers watchmaking into a new era: one connecting the mechanical and digital worlds, that of NFT and the blockchain.
Thanks to the QR Code engraved on the ratchet of its barrel, the Octo Finissimo Ultra opens up contemporary haute horlogerie to these new connected worlds. By scanning this QR Code, each owner will be able to access a personal mini-website that will take them on a journey to discover the art that brought their watch to life, including videos and photos of the construction of their own timepiece, enhanced by sketches and interviews.
Each watch is also accompanied by an NFT artwork created under the artistic direction of Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Product Creation Executive Director at Bulgari Watches. This composition tells the story of his decades-long experience in the world of the Octo and the path that led to the birth of the Octo Finissimo Ultra. The timepiece itself thus becomes the vault of the corresponding NFT work, a timeless relationship guaranteed by Bvlgari Singvlarity technology, the eighth patent in this edition. Thanks to the blockchain, it certifies the indivisible link between a Bulgari creation and its associated NFT work of art, while preserving the authenticity and possession of both the physical and virtual creations.