And this is neither the first nor the third time it is setting and shattering records with its luxury timepieces. The Octo Finissimo Ultra is actually Bulgari’s eighth successful attempt.
When Bulgari launched the Octo Finissimo collection in 2014, unbeknownst to many of us, it had a major goal in mind: create the classiest and the best ultra-thin timepieces in history. So far, it has been successful every year with releases such as the world’s thinnest tourbillon, minute repeater, self-winding timepiece, self-winding tourbillon, chronograph (which was also self-winding with second time zone), tourbillon chronograph, and perpetual calendar.
And now, for the year 2022, the luxury Maison is giving us yet another record-breaker: the Octo Finissimo Ultra, which, at a thickness of 1.80mm thick, is the world’s thinnest mechanical timepiece, edging out the former record holder, the 2018 Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept timepiece at 2mm thick.
The Octo Finissimo Ultra utilises the same strategy Piaget used to make its ultra-thin timepiece. Every component was suppressed as much as possible while the back of the case doubles as a movement plate. But this is where the similarities stop.
Bulgari used tungsten carbide for the back/mainplate, a material that was chosen for its general toughness, but especially for its rigidity as any flexing of the case could cause gear teeth and pinions to bind enough to stop the timepiece (tungsten carbide is about twice as stiff as stainless steel).
The case is joined to custom titanium bracelets that are half as thin as the standard Octo Finissimo bracelet, and the folding clasp also had to be redesigned to meet the new parameters. The crystal is just 0.3mm thick and the space between the underside of the crystal and the hands is 0.1mm. As a safety measure, there are two round silicon bumpers under the dial (at 3:00 and 6:00) which prevent the underside of the crystal from making contact with the movement if undue pressure is applied.
The 40mm sandblasted, titanium, record-breaking mechanical timepiece also unsurprisingly features an unconventional time display, separating hours, minutes, and seconds. In keeping with the collection’s aesthetic, the seconds display on the wheel at 6 o’clock is off-centred in relation to hours and minutes, which are indicated on two regulator-style counters.
Crowning it all is a QR code etched on the ratchet wheel, which when scanned, Bulgari says leads to an exclusive NFT artwork and a video that contains interviews, production details, and a 3-D deep dive into the movement of the timepiece. It also bestows the Octo Finissimo Ultra with an unmistakable mark of authenticity as the two authentication certificates—one for the artwork and one for the piece—are linked to the code.
The Octo Finissimo Ultra is as rare as it is unique – priced at €400,000, only ten pieces are available for purchase, making it a truly valuable acquisition for a select few.