Bulgari Debuts the All Steel, Tone-on-Tone Octo Finissimo S

Contrasting textures.

Essentially a slimmed down and pared back version of its flagship watch, the Octo Finissimo has gained more fans than the first-generation model, thanks to a sleek profile along with newly-developed ultra-thin movements.

Though the Octo Finissimo lineup is as wide as the watch is thin, the base model remains the most compelling, being an original take on the integrated-bracelet sports watch – a crowded and fashionable segment. Now Bulgari adds a brushed, silvered dial to the Octo Finissimo S, creating a tone-on-tone aesthetic defined by subtle contrasts in textures but looks surprisingly casual.

Initial thoughts

The just-released watch isn’t entirely new, so it has all the appeal of the earlier variants, most notably a slim, elegant profile on the wrist. But it does incorporate many incremental changes that set it apart from the original Octo Finissimo that was entirely matte titanium, before also being offered in sand-blasted steel, and finally in polished- and satin- finished steel.

The original Octo Finissimo models in (from left) rose gold, steel, and titanium

The brushed-silver dial on the newest variant, however, has given the watch a less formal style that is appealingly industrial with its expanse of brushed and polished steel. And the monochromatic palette is also unusual, distinguishing it from peers that tend to have darker dials that are almost always blue.

Price-wise, the new dial costs US$100 over the earlier version, a modest hike that leaves the watch competitively priced still.

More broadly, the success of the Octo Finissimo makes a good case study of building brand equity. While the steel sport watch with an integrated bracelet is something seemingly every watch brand offers, not all entrants enjoy the same acclaim, both commercial and critical.

One characteristic that sets Bulgari’s creation apart is its technical achievement – the brand has made the Octo Finissimo synonymous with ultra-thin movements, breaking one after another in movement height. As a result, the Octo Finissimo is more than just a luxury-sports watch – where it would be one of many – but it is the thinnest luxury-sports watch.

Casual but capable

The only novelty of the Octo Finissimo S is the dial. Though not overly exciting, it is good looking and fairly unusual. Vertically -brushed dials are uncommon, with the industrial norm being a radial, “sun ray” finish.

It’s otherwise identical to last year’s steel model, and similarly rated to 100 m (in contrast, the ceramic and titanium versions of the watch are rated to 30 m due to slightly different internal construction of the cases).

That also means the case remains as thin, at just 6.4 mm high – because the BVL 138 within is under 3 mm high. A movement so exceptionally thin does, however, comes at a cost because of the trade-off between chronometric performance and thinness. That said, the BVL 138 maximises its potential, being one of the best-performing automatic movements measuring under 3 mm high, as detailed by our contributors Tim Lake and Brandon Moore.

The BVL 138 as seen in another version of the Octo Finissimo

Key facts and price

Bulgari Octo Finissimo S Silvered Dial
Ref. 103371

Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 6.4 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: BVL 138
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 60 hours

Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp

Availability: From Bulgari online shop, boutiques, and retailers

For more, visit bulgari.com.

Addition January 29, 2021: The case is rated to 100 m, as last year’s steel model was.

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