With this month marking the 100 year anniversary of an Italian automotive icon Maserati, a celebratory watch was naturally in order to mark the occasion. And thanks to Maserati’s collaboration with Bulgari this special piece is now offered. The two brands have officially been partners since 2012, though early efforts — like this one — were more brash than impressive. However today’s Bulgari Octo Maserati is a nicely styled, attractive chronograph that should appeal to Maserati and Bulgari enthusiasts alike, with tasteful elements of co-branding throughout the watch.
And lest you think this watch is all about fashion, take note of the movement as well: there is a 36,000 vph high-beat movement with silicon escape wheel, sourced from none-other than Zenith (maker of the highly respected El Primero calibers). Oh, and also don’t forget — the design of the Octo traces its roots back to watch industry legend Gérald Genta (Genta’s namesake brand was acquired by Bulgari in 2009/2010). In other words, there’s quite a lot to like here, if you ask me.
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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