Clearly now to Bulgari what the Royal Oak means to Audemars Piguet or the Big Bang to Hublot (I could go on) the Octo Finissimo has just gotten two new materially innovative treatments in the form of a time-only and perpetual calendar model — both in ‘CarbonGold’.
A composite material Bulgari first applied to its watchmaking in 1993, carbon gold has a distinctive marbled aesthetic that fits seamlessly with the Italian luxury house’s universe of Greco-Roman-inspired high jewellery and accessories.
Anthracite in colour and with numerous accents in pink gold, Bulgari’s inclination toward reviving Carbon Gold has been mostly motivated (somewhat surprisingly) by practical concerns.
Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, the brand’s chief watch designer, has been vocal in utilising materials that “enhance the dynamic tension” between the Octo Finissimo’s robustness and thinness. Being tough, lightweight and with an aggressively specific sort of appearance, Carbon Gold fits that bill to a tee.
Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Automatic
Starting with the more ‘affordable’ of these two new releases, the time-only Octo in Carbon Gold clocks in at $41,900. It features a design language more or less consistent with what you’ll find in the standard steel Octo Finissimo: the 40mm sizing and offset sub-seconds being the most obvious giveaways.
Like the perpetual calendar, this simpler model contrasts its slightly techy carbon casing with pops of gold. By definition, the absence of dates or other complicated information displays means that these precious metal accents are largely confined to the crown and indexes (the latter are gold-plated).
Under the caseback, you’ll find Bulgari’s mainline BVL138 movement. Powered by a platinum micro-rotor (which also appears to have been plated in pink gold) the architecture that’s visibly on display looks to emphasise the bridgework of the BVL138. In light of the smaller winding mass, the power reserve is pitched at a reasonable 60 hours.
Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Perpetual Calendar
Inarguably busier (on both a visual and technical front) than the Octo Finissimo Automatic, the other new CarbonGold release is this perpetual calendar: equipped, true to name, with day; date; month; and leap year indications.
Leaning much more heavily into the ‘Gold’ theme implicit in the Carbon Gold material, the unmissable talking point underpinning this reference is its usage of the calibre BVL305. Originally introduced in 2021, this integrated perpetual calendar movement measures a mere 2.75mm — only marginally thicker than a 50¢ coin.
In recent years, watch writers have already lavished a ton of praise upon this “irrepressibly free-spirited but also extremely legible” calendar movement. I’m not sure there’s much more I can add that wouldn’t be repetitive.
Suffice to say: the BVL305’s hyper-complicated nature squares up well against the cyber-baroque material that is CarbonGold; and I look forward to seeing one of these new incarnations of the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar in the metal in order to confirm that knee-jerk assessment as soon as possible.
AUD pricing has yet to be confirmed.