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Will the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic take...
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Will the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic take the top spot at the GPHG?

Thursday, 01 November 2018
By Ashton Tracy
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4 min read

This year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève takes place on November 9th. In a week’s time, the anticipation will be over and we will know who came away with the top spot in their respective categories. Competing for prizes this year are some incredible watches, with a handful of the categories displaying truly complex and extraordinary offerings.

Some of the fiercest competition is in the Men’s Complication category, where one of the watches in the running is the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic. This latest incarnation of the Octo Finissimo was released earlier this year to great critical acclaim, and smashed three world records into the bargain. The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic is officially the world’s thinnest tourbillon, the world’s thinnest automatic tourbillon and the world’s thinnest automatic watch.

Bvlgari’s incredible achievements

The entire watch (case, crystal, movement and dial) comes in at just 3.95mm thin and the movement itself is an incredible 1.95mm. To put that into perspective, just the oscillating weight of a Rolex 4030 is around 3mm thick. The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic sits on the wrist at 42mm and displays the hours, minutes and seconds with a flying tourbillon gracing the dial at 6 o’clock. It boasts an impressive 52-hour power reserve and beats at 21,600 vph. The powerhouse movement behind this impressive piece is the Bvlgari BVL288 which automatically winds via a white gold and aluminum peripheral oscillating weight. It is this oscillating weight, combined with the layout, that helped Bvlgari create this extra thin, record-breaking movement.

Au Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, Bvlgari n’est pas une étrangère : en 2017, sa gamme Octo a déjà obtenu deux récompenses.

Bvlgari is no stranger to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève; the Octo range came up for two separate nominations in 2017. The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic took first place in the Men’s category; a well-deserved win for what was, at that time, the world’s thinnest automatic watch. The second category was the Tourbillon and Escapement Watch prize, with the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton, then the world’s thinnest tourbillon, taking the honours. Not the kind to rest on their laurels, Bvlgari decided to outdo themselves and smash their own records by combining the elements of the world’s thinnest automatic watch and world’s thinnest tourbillon into one super-watch of sorts, which means the Octo range has only been nominated for one category this year.

Destined to win?

The entry requirements for the Men’s Complication category as stated by the GPHG are as follows: “Men’s watches that are remarkable in terms of their mechanical creativity and complexity, featuring all kinds of horological complications and classic and/or innovative indications.” The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic certainly is remarkable in terms of its mechanical creativity and complexity, but the question remains: will it take the top spot?

Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic ©Bvlgari
Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic ©Bvlgari

There is no denying this watch is an incredible horological feat. It breaks three world records, some of which Bvlgari themselves set just one year earlier. It represents the finest horological engineering and pushes the boundaries in the current watchmaking climate, which is thrilling to see. With so many brands making reproductions of past models, it’s refreshing to witness ground-breaking innovation and a quest for constant improvement.

BVL288 movement © Bvlgari
BVL288 movement © Bvlgari

Whilst re-editions and homage pieces have their place, it is this forward motion which keeps mechanical watchmaking exciting and relevant in an increasingly digital world. So, will the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic be best in show? The answer is, I honestly don’t know. Whilst its achievements are undeniable, it is up against some incredibly stiff competition in the form of the Krayon Everywhere. It’s a tough race to call, and I think the judging panel will truly be split in their decisions; I know I would be. Whether or not the Bvlgari wins the category, one thing is certain – the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic is an incredible piece of both horological history and advancement at the same time.

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