Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater
Following in the wake of the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, which is the thinnest in the world, this development sets a new standard combining extreme slenderness with the most elaborate horological complication, as a complement to the Octo Finissimo Skeleton and the new Ultranero models.
The Octo continues exploring the theme of extreme slenderness. After the world’s thinnest tourbillon model launched in 2014, enter the latest newcomer to the world of superlative horology: Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, which earns the title of the smallest on the market. Bulgari is taking a new step in this ultra-selective field, by pushing the absolute limits of the striking watch.
Octo is not just any watch. Already an iconic model, it reinvents itself in 2016 with a new collection featuring a new record-breaking watch design with the world’s thinnest flying tourbillon, an intricately skeleton-worked ultra-thin movement and a highly contemporary black interpretation.
Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater belongs to a proud line of ultra-thin watches developed by Bulgari. After the tourbillon and the mechanical hand-wound movement simultaneously launched in 2014, the Maison is laying a new milestone in the field of incomparably slim timepieces. The minute repeater remains to this day among the most complex of all horological complications and the exclusive preserve of a handful of prestigious brands.
A striking watch implies a number of specific construction constraints and full command of certain distinctive skills in order to achieve the best possible outcome: an intense, crystal-clear chime with a perfectly uniform and regular cadence when the mechanism is activated. While that might seem straightforward, it is anything but achieving this set of parameters calls for a rare and sophisticated breed of expertise and a degree of experience that very few watch brands can still claim to possess.
Moreover, these principles generally apply to striking watches that are large enough to provide sufficiently generous interior volumes enabling optimal diffusion of the sound within the case, and thus ensuring optimal acoustic quality. In the case of the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, everything was different right from the start, since the aim was to achieve perfect sound within the smallest possible space! The numbers speak for themselves: the in-house developed and produced BVL Calibre 362 measures just 3.12mm thick and the overall case thickness amounts to only 6.85mm.
All of this meant starting with a clean slate when it came to the inherent technical characteristics of a striking mechanism. The Manufacture in Le Sentier solved the problem by working on several different fronts at once. Firstly, the case was to be made of titanium: in addition to its appreciable lightness, the properties of this low-density metal ensure the best possible sound diffusion. The hour-markers on the dial – also made from the same metal – feature an incised, cut-out design, as too does the small seconds counter at 6 o’clock: the openings serve to amplify resonance inside the case and thereby optimise the sound effect.
These solutions were backed up by another. The circular-section gongs directly affixed to the case are individually fashioned and finished by hand throughout the production process. Preparing and shaping the steel parts, defining the notes and the harmonics: many separate stages are involved in producing the completed gongs. The two hammers are also crafted with the same meticulous care. The extreme miniaturisation of the 362 components housed within this extremely slim case is vividly illustrated in the centrifugal strike governor, featuring a total diameter of just 3.3mm including its two inertia-blocks. The pusher activating the striking mechanism, fitted with an “all or nothing” safety device, is positioned on the case middle at 9 o’clock. It is designed to guarantee continuous water resistance to 50m. This exceptional hand-wound movement delivers a 42-hour power reserve once fully wound.
Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater embodies a complete paradigm shift in terms of slenderness and lays the foundations of a new approach to mechanics and to classic complications, all the while preserving the legendary status they command and cultivating the finest watchmaking traditions. With the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, exceptional horology has a new figurehead, issued in a strictly limited 50-piece edition.