Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon
While Bulgari has been focusing on its Octo range over the past few years, it has definitely stepped up its game in 2014. The best ultrathin timepiece to come out of BaselWorld with a Bulgari-made hand-wound movement measuring only 1.95mm high and a platinum case of just 5mm thick, the flagship Octo Finissimo Tourbillon holds the current record for the world’s thinnest tourbillon by far (the movement is over one millimetre thinner than the last record-holder). The Octo is actually the brainchild of the late legendary watch designer Gerald Genta, whose design Bulgari acquired with its inclusion of the Gerald Genta label; it released its first fully in-house branded version of the Octo in 2012. While super-slim watches are all the rage right now, they usually come in round cases, rather than octagonal, which makes the highly-architectural Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, balancing technique and beauty, extra special. The 40mm case with 110 different facets is paired with a clean, elegant black lacquered dial with simple hour and minute display. Both case and movement were specifically engineered for thinness. In fact, the strap almost feels thicker than the case! One of the main ways space was saved in the 249-component, 21,600-vph movement with 55-hour power reserve, was through the use of ball bearings for the moving parts where other types of components may have been traditionally used, and it was decided that the movement would only be as thick as the tourbillon cage. The one-minute flying tourbillon offers an original appearance as Bulgari eliminated the regulator assembly, adjusting the timing directly on the balance wheel instead, thereby contributing to the movement’s overall slenderness.