At the recently concluded Geneva Watch Days timepieces fair, founding brand Bulgari must have been feeling somewhat upbeat, especially given the fact that its Octo Finissimo CarbonGold models are making the news again. Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin showed off the new watches on a Zoom call with us, including the amazing Serpenti Misteriosi high jewellery watch. The latter watch deserves its own space and we may yet get to it. The model certainly features prominently in our upcoming interview with Babin.
For this story though, we want to bring you the news about two new Octo Finissimo CarbonGold watches, the Automatic and Perpetual Calendar. While the Octo Finissimo has always been known for its ultra-thin movements and cases, this time it is grabbing headlines for material innovation. As the name CarbonGold suggests, the cases of both watches are in a combination of carbon and gold.
Carbon composite cases are humdrum affairs you might say, but for the Bulgari Octo Finissimo, it really is a different story. The reason is the very slim structure, with the automatic and the perpetual calendar measuring 6.9mm and 7.6mm thick respectively. Bulgari resolved this engineering challenge with some kind of titanium chassis to provide structural integrity; this one is not in the specifications and was noted in the Monochrome report on the watches. Given that titanium is more elastic than steel, it brings a degree of flexibility to cases that might be strong but brittle. Bulgari confirmed the presence of this chassis on the sidelines of our conversation with Babin.
Those of you familiar with Bulgari’s penchant for material innovation will recall that the brand debuted a combination of carbon and gold in 1993, not to mention its early experiments with aluminium and even magnesium. In the new CarbonGold Automatic and Perpetual Calendar watches, the watches are primarily cased in a carbon composite, with rose gold featuring only in the crowns. Indeed, the bracelet and dial are also in carbon. The hands and markers are gold-coloured, most likely plated, and the screws securing the exhibition case back are in gold, bringing us to some truly quirky elements of the watches.
Both the automatic calibre BVL138 and the perpetual calendar calibre BVL305 feature impressive rose gold bridges paired with platinum micro-rotors, the latter of which are rose gold-plated. This is quite audacious and difficult to parse, so we will have to wait to see the watches in person. The information at present is incomplete and mixed, with some media even reporting that the hands and markers are in full gold when they are spelled out as gold-coloured.
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