Bulgari breaks its own record for world’s thinnest mechanical watch


Not content with already having set eight records for creating the world’s thinnest mechanical watches, Bulgari has done it again, beating its own record of 1.80 mm thickness to produce a mechanical watch that is only 1.70 mm thick (and 40mm wide).
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch, is only 1.70mm thick. BULGARI

And not only does this Bulgari timepiece work, it works better than most standard mechanical watches.

The new Octo Finissimo Ultra is not only the thinnest mechanical watch ever produced: it is also the world’s thinnest COSC chronometer – which means it has been certified to keep time accurately to within -4/+6 seconds per day.

It’s an achievement, considering that the more scaled down the movement, the greater the potential instability. The trick is in the materials and the construction.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch, is only 1.70mm thick. BULGARI

The case back serves as the main plate, upon which the 170 components of the movement, the manually wound BVL180 calibre, are assembled. They are left open to view under the crystal, without a dial plate.

The main plate/caseback is made from tungsten carbide, which is particularly dense, hard and ultra-resistant. Shaving off the 1/10th of a millimetre also involved a reworking of the case by optimizing the sapphire crystal.

It’s spread out slightly too, with the barrel and the subdials jutting out into the bezel space.

The platinum version of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra. BULGARI

You can wind and set the watch manually, but there’s also a new method: you can place it in a special case equipped with a digital display. Punch in the time, push a button and the watch will set and wind itself at the push of a button.

There are two versions, one in titanium and the other in platinum with blue subdials, both with tungsten carbide main plates and both are limited to 20 pieces.

Octo Finissimo Tourbillon in pink gold. BULGARI

Bulgari has also introduced three new versions of its Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, the world’s thinnest tourbillon. Two have manual wound movements, in cases measuring 40mm x 4.85mm thick, one in rose gold, and the other in PVD-coated titanium.

The third is an automatic tourbillon with a platinum case measuring 42 mm x 4.95mm thick.

Automatic Octo Finissimo Tourbillon in platinum. BULGARI

The look of these ultra-slim watches is an unusual contrast of elegance (the slimmer the watch, the more it qualifies as an under-the-cuff dress watch, which is always described as “elegant”), but with a high-tech look that has been scaled down to one dimension, kind of like steamrolled steampunk architecture.

Either way, Bulgari has created a unique look that stands alone in the ultra-slim watchmaking category.

Octo Finissimo Tourbillon manual-wound in PVD-coated titanium. BULGARI

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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