Characterised by its sleek, modernist form, the Octo Finissimo Automatic was introduced only in 2017 but is arguably the most successful new design in the luxury sports watch category. Its architectural case and bracelet has now been melded with a dial conceived by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, resulting in the most intriguing iteration of the watch to date – the Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando Edition.
Born in 1941, Tadao Ando is a self-taught architect whose minimalist yet monumental buildings demonstrate his mastery of concrete, geometry and light. Winner of the 1995 Pritzker Prize, Mr Ando’s notable works include the Church of the Light in Osaka; 21_21 Design Sight, a design museum in Tokyo; and most recently a lavender-planted hilltop shrine containing a giant Buddha in Hokkaido. While much of his work is located in his home country, he is also famed for several international projects, including the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Texas and 152 Elizabeth, a residential tower in New York City as well as the Cerro Pelon Ranch in New Mexico designed for designer Tom Ford.
In the Octo Finissimo Automatic, he relies on simple geometry to create an unusually distinctive dial, with a spiral motif that emanates from the seconds hand, creating the effect of a wave rippling across the dial.
Though the pattern is remarkably simple – it is printed in black lacquer on the dial – the effect is striking, especially when contrasted against the harsh, futuristic lines of the case. And in his signature minimalist style, the dial is entirely devoid of indices, numerals and logo.
Limited to 200 pieces, the watch is in titanium and measures 40mm wide and just 5.15mm high, making it one of the slimmest automatic watches on the market. It is powered by the automatic BVL 138 that is equipped with a platinum micro-rotor. Though it is painfully thin, it nevertheless offers a respectable 60-hour power reserve, due to its larger barrel and small balance wheel.
The movement is visible through a sapphire case back that is printed with Ando’s signature. And as with the standard models, the case fitted with an integrated bracelet that measures just 2.5mm thick.
Key facts and price
Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando Edition
Case diameter: 40mm
Water resistance: 30m
Movement: Calibre BVL 138
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Frequency: 21,600bph (3Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours
Strap: Titanium bracelet
Limited edition: 200 pieces
Availability: Only in Japan, from December 2019 onwards
Price: 1,800,000 Japanese yen, which is about US$16,500
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