In an impressive technical achievement, watchmakers at Bulgari have achieved a new world record for world’s thinnest tourbillon caliber. Yes, Bulgari. This watch — case and all — is 5.0mm thin (40mm diameter, made of platinum). The movement — a mere 1.95mm.
This bests recent “record holders” in the ultra-thin tourbillon category from Arnold & Son (UTTE – 2.97mm) and Breguet (tourbillon Cal 581DR – 3mm), both 2013 launches. Prior to this it was Piaget with the world’s thinnest tourbillon – the Piaget caliber 600P is a mere 3.5mm thick. Also in this category but now a few rungs down the ladder solely on the basis of dimension is JLC (their 1.85mm thin Cal 849 is the thinnest time-only/non-tourbillon hand wound in the world) and of course Audemars Piguet (their tourbillon Cal 2924 measures 4.46mm).
By the way, Bulgari is now led by the other “JCB” – Jean Christophe Babin. He was formerly CEO of TAG Heuer for about a decade.
And the world’s thinnest mechanical watch of any kind? The Piaget Altiplano 900P, an amazing creation in which case and caliber are one, measures in at a total 3.65mm.
New for 2013 from Bulgari is this classically styled piece, though with the “Roma” bezel notation rather than BVLGARI BVLGARI. 39mm rose gold case with black lacquered dial. Limited edition 250 pieces. Priced at 22,000 EUR.
Gerald Genta design lives on…
Did you know the original “Octo” was created by legendary Swiss watch designer Gerald Genta? Yup, and now the Octo lives on under the Bulgari brand. Bulgari acquired the Gerald Genta brand in 1999/2000, and in 2010 it announced that it would be fully “integrating” Gerald Genta (and Daniel Roth) into Bulgari. In other words, the Gerald Genta name would soon live on in spirit only. Now in 2010 Bulgari did showcase some pieces with both the Bulgari and Gerald Genta logos on them — I do not know if these pieces were produced as such or not, but in some number of years they might be worthy collector’s pieces. Anyway — back to the Octo. Originally created by Genta and named for its eight-sided case, the watch was produced with a wide array of complications including a Grand Sonnerie Tourbillon. But as you can see this new Octo from Bulgari is very simple and elegant whilst carrying on the Octo design. I’ve got more pics and video, below.
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Here is one of three new “Daniel Roth” pieces launched by Bulgari for 2012. The first thing that attracts the eyes is the tourbillon at 6 o’clock — fully visible through a cutout in the dial. The watch makes masterful use of the iconic Daniel Roth case shape, and there are several subtle details which I find particularly compelling (see pictures, video below). The in-house, manual wind caliber DR 3300 has 2 barrels providing a commendable power reserve of 75 hours. In addition, there are three stacked cathedral gongs, each of which individually shaped and bent by hand and then annealed at 900°C, cleaned and fired at 500°C. The gongs are actuated by three individual hammers and strike a C-note for the hours, an E-D-C sequence for the quarters and an E-note for the minutes. I highly recommend watching the video as it gives you a good walk-through of the watch — minute repeater in particular. A really, really marvelous timepiece!
Bulgari Daniel Roth Carillon Tourbillon Minute Repeater
Limited Edition 30 pieces
43mm pink gold case
Bulgari Daniel Roth Carillon Tourbillon Minute Repeater VIDEO (1080p)
Something I have never seen: the crown is engraved with the individual watch number — very clever, I like it:
Upon close look you notice that the dial is made of a sapphire disk which does not attach to the case band or bezel — to better allow for the minute repeater to be heard:
sits beautifully on the wrist: