Geneva Watch Days 2022: Bulgari's novelties are all about material play

From Octo Finissimos in rose and yellow gold to black DLC-coated Seddutoris and Bvlgari Bvlgaris - and everything in between - here's a roundup of the new watches by Bulgari at Geneva Watch Days 2022
Over the past decade, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo line has brought home numerous accolades for the brand. Not only has it demonstrated the technical prowess of the Italian watchmaker, but also smashed several world records while at it. So it is only fitting that for the 10th anniversary of the Octo line, the fine folks at Bulgari have decided to really make it shine. That means gold makeovers and new movements in the Octo line, in specific the Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days and the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic, and a rose gold and yellow gold version of the Octo Finissimo Automatic.  These, along with new iterations of the Serpenti Seddutori and a focus on the colour black make up the new watches by Bulgari at Geneva Watch Days 2022

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days (Ref. 103667)
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days Ref. 103667

The first of the new watches by Bulgari is the Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days, a new watch in the Octo Finissimo arsenal with an impressive power reserve. To start with the technical, Bulgari has created a new manufacture movement in this watch – the Caliber BVL 199SK - that boasts the impressive 8 days / 192 hours power reserve. For some perspective, the previous iterations of the Octo Finissimo Skeleton were powered by the BVL 128SK with a power reserve of 65 hours. The new movement is undoubtedly a huge step up from the past iterations. 

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days is 5.95mm thick

To add to this, the brand has gone ahead and displayed the wonder workings of this ultra thin manual winding movement on the dial. The Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days features anthracite PVD-skeletonised bridges on the dial, which are perfectly contrasted against the rose gold of the applied indexes, the skeleton hands, and the case. A small seconds rests at 7:30, a part of which is surrounded by the power reserve indicator. At three o’clock is the ‘Bulgari’ branding, with the words ‘eight days’ in cursive underneath. The movement itself is 2.50mm thick and 36.60 mm in diameter, holding high the flag of thinness of the Octo Finissimo line. Much of it is visible under the bridges on the dial. The movement beats at 21,600 vph. 

The caseback of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days Ref. 103667, which allows a look into the movement

The Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days is a 40mm rose gold watch, with a satin-polished case that glistens at every angle. With a thickness of just 5.95mm, helped, naturally, to a large extent by the thinness of the movement, the watch has a rose gold crown with black ceramic insert, and a transparent caseback that further gives a look into the movement. The watch is water resistant to 30 metres, and is paired with a brown alligator strap with a pin buckle. 

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic 9 (Ref. 103468)
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic 9 Ref. 103468 in rose gold

The Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic first made an appearance in 2019, and at 3.3mm thickness, created the record for the thinnest mechanical chronograph in watchmaking history. Debuting then in a sandblasted titanium case, and earlier this year introduced in a shiny steel avatar, for Geneva Watch Days 2022, the watchmaker has created the watch in a rose gold and brown combination. 

Featuring a satin-brushed rose gold case and a sunray brown-lacquered dial, the 43mm watch has a 24-hour counter with a GMT function in a sub-dial at 3 o’clock; the local time zone can be adjusted via the pusher at 9 o’clock. The chronograph minutes counter is at 6 o'clock, while small seconds is at 9 o'clock. The rose gold applied indexes are set with Super-LumiNova®, as are the hands.

With pushers on either side of the case, the watch is powered by the original BVL Calibre 318 with a peripheral rotor, and 55-hour power reserve. A transparent caseback gives a view into the beautiful finishing of the movement, which features the Cotes de Geneve pattern. The watch is water-resistant to 100 metres, and fitted with a brown alligator leather strap secured by a folding clasp. 

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic
Octo Finissimo Automatic Ref. 103468 with a brown lacquer dial

Bulgari has introduced the ‘simplest’ watch of the Octo series in two iterations – the Octo Finissimo Automatic in rose gold (Ref. 103637), and the Octo Finissimo Limited Edition (Ref. 103717). With brown lacquered dials, apart from the material, the highlight of the watch is the finishing on it, with alternating matte and polished effects on the case and bracelet. The Octo Finissimo Limited Edition of 50 pieces has been specially made for the US market to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Bulgari boutique in the United States. 

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Limited Edition Ref. 103717

The 40mm watches feature a transparent caseback and are 6.40mm thick. The hands and indexes are gold-coloured, with the satin-polished bracelet featuring a 3-blade folding buckle. The watches are water-resistant to 100 metres.

Both models are powered by the automatic Manufacture movement BVL Calibre 138 with a platinum micro rotor. The new version, however, while retaining its record slimness of 2.23 mm, has a new automatic winding system, featuring the introduction of a closed barrel and a new structure for the escapement and balance. The watches have a 60-hour power reserve. 

Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition (Ref. 103710)
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition Ref. 103710

Last year saw an interpretation of the Octo Finissimo done by legendary Japanese architect Tadao Ando. This year, the brand is presenting its collaboration with another Japanese architect - Kazuyo Sejima. 

Sejima, the second woman ever to win the hallowed Pritzker Prize (2010) for architecture, and is known for the use of glass or slick surfaces, such as marble, in her work. Her aesthetic is clean and modern, employing elements such as squares, and cubes. This idea comes across in the Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition as well. 

The dot pattern on the sapphire crystal of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition Ref. 103710

Using the Octo Finissimo Automatic as a canvas, the 40mm watch features a strong mirror effect on the polished dial, along with rhodium-plated hands. The sapphire crystal on top flaunts a metallized dot pattern, reminiscent of a mesh, also designed by the Japanese architect. The steel crown has a black ceramic insert, and the case and bracelet (with 3-blade folding buckle) are polished steel. 

Like other Octo Finissimo Automatics, the watch is powered by the BVL Calibre 138, visible through the  sapphire crystal caseback, which is  inscribed with Sejima’s signature. The watch is water-resistant to 100 metres, and a limited edition of 360-pieces. It comes in a special packaging in steel with a mirror effect. 

Serpenti Seddutori Tourbillon (Ref. 103465) 

The Serpenti Seddutori was released in 2019 at Baselworld with a quartz movement, but within the short time of a year, a model featuring an in-house, manual winding tourbillon movement – the BVL 150  with a 40-hour power reserve had been introduced. This year, the Serpenti Seddutori Tourbillon continues with the same movement, albeit with aesthetic updates. 

Black spinels on the bezel of the Serpenti Seddutori Tourbillon Ref. 103465

Ref. 103465 is a 34mm, white-gold watch set entirely with brilliant-cut diamonds in a pavé setting on the dial and case. A new feature here are baguette-cut black spinels that are set on the bezel, and parts of the hexagonal scales-like bracelet, reminiscent of a speckled serpent. At 6 o’clock, one can see the tourbillon in motion. The BVL 150 measures 22mm x 18mm, with a thickness of just 3.65mm, which allows it to rest comfortably within the case. The watch is water resistant to 30 metres.

Black – the colour of the moment 
Bulgari Serpenti Seddutoris (Ref. 103706 and Ref. 103704) in steel with DLC treatment

The colour black is another highlight of Bulgari’s Geneva Watch Days releases, headlined by two 33mm Serpenti Seddutoris (Ref. 103706 and Ref. 103704) in steel with DLC treatment, resulting in a smooth, shiny black coating. The dial is black lacquer, and is paired with rose gold on the bezel; one iteration is studded with 38 round brilliant-cut diamonds, the other is plain. The watches run on a quartz movement. 

The 35mm Bulgari Serpenti Spiga Ceramic (Ref. 103199)

Next up in Bulgari’s lineup of black watches is the 35mm Serpenti Spiga Ceramic (Ref. 103199). Featuring a case, bezel, and bracelet in ceramic and rose gold, its rose gold bezel and links are set with diamonds,152 in total. The black dial features rose-gold plated hands, and the gold crown is set with cabochon-cut black ceramic. The bracelet, a double-link one, employs the Tubogas technique of metal craftsmanship to sit turn and sit on the wrist effortlessly. The quartz watch is a limited edition of 340 pieces.

BVLGARI BVLGARI Ref. 103540 and Ref. 103557

The last of the black watches from Bulgari’s Geneva Watch Days releases are two iterations of the BVLGARI BVLGARI (Ref. 103540 and Ref. 103557). The double-branded-steel-bezel watches are now available in Ref. 103540, a 41mm automatic watch (BVL 191) with a date indication at 3 o’clock, while  Ref. 103557 is a 33mm with a quartz movement. The watches feature a new lacquered dial with hand-applied indexes, a steel bezel, and a black bracelet that has both matte and polished surfaces. 

Images: Courtesy Bulgari

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