Hands-On: The New Titanium Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days

Even though it didn’t break records like so many watches in the fascinating Octo Finissimo collection, the Skeleton 8 Days is, nonetheless, quite an impressive watch, to say the least. Managing to extract close to 200 hours of energy from a movement that features a single barrel and that measures only 2.5mm in height is nothing but spectacular. First released in a luxurious gold version with anthracite grey movement and worn on a leather strap, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days comes back this year in the signature monochromatic style of the collection, with its integrated bracelet and made of titanium all around. 

In the ever-growing Octo Finissimo collection, Bulgari’s modern and highly technical take on ultra-thin watchmaking, we’ve had time-only Automatics, GMT Chronographs, Tourbillons, Minute Repeaters, Perpetual Calendars and more. And the more here personifies with a watch that has, for a few months, been the thinnest mechanical timepiece ever created. The most recent addition to this marvellous collection didn’t break any records. It’s (slightly) thicker than a classic Octo Finissimo Automatic, despite being hand-wound. It doesn’t feature complications either. But what it gives away in terms of thinness (relatively speaking, of course) it takes it back when it comes to power. Because this watch, which measures less than 6mm in height, comes with a lot of power. Like week-long power. So yes, it doesn’t break records, but it doesn’t really matter either.

Following the initial model in a pink gold case, with satin-brushed finishes and a brown leather strap, Bulgari now brings the real deal. Not that the gold model wasn’t attractive, but I fear that the Octo Finissimo only really does it to me when it’s rendered in monochromatic grey. And this is what the brand is treating us with, the classic full-titanium look, case and bracelet, and dial too.

Compared to the gold model, the basics are the same. The case has the signature, highly complex (more than 100 facets) design of the Octo Finissimo collection, combining octagonal and round shapes. It measures 40mm across, with a height of 5.95mm, which makes just about a hair thicker than the record-breaking, award-winning Perpetual Calendar, and about 0.5mm more than another Octo Finissimo Skeleton hand-wound, but one that doesn’t have such power. The main novelty here comes from the use of sandblasted titanium, the metal of choice for most of the models in the Octo Finissimo collection.

The dial, if we can speak of a dial in this context, is also using the same design principles, with the bridges coated in a titanium colour. The chapter ring has a complex shape that includes markers and Arabic numerals, and frames a movement that is equally intricate and modern. Time is read by the means of polished silvered hands, which contrast enough with the rest of the watch. As always with openworked watches, legibility isn’t ideal but here, it remains pretty acceptable. The display is complemented by a small seconds between 7 and 8 o’clock, and Bulgari has placed a spoked wheel underneath the small seconds hand that has an extended bar on its outer perimeter. As the watch is wound, this bar slides into view through the cutouts to indicate the movement’s power reserve.

The other major change in this new and sportier edition of the Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days is the use of an integrated bracelet made, of course, of sandblasted titanium. Light and flexible as always, it is closed by a 3-blade folding buckle.

Inside the case is the in-house Calibre BVL 199 SK. This movement is modern in design and conception, with sharply opened bridges for a masculine touch. The surfaces are matte treated in a titanium colour, bringing a consistent look together with the case and bracelet. What matters here is the power… 8 complete days or 192 hours of power reserve, all stored in a single barrel that has been made as big as the movement could get (the limit is that of the hands’ axle). This is possible thanks to a strategy that has long made the success of the Octo Finissimo range; large movements with a horizontal layout for the technical elements. The movement indeed measures 36.60mm in diameter, while only 2.5mm in thickness. From the back, it fills almost entirely the case.

Availability & Price

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days Titanium will be available from boutiques and retailers in late May or June 2023 and priced at EUR 23,360. For more details, please visit www.bulgari.com.


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