Hands-On With The New, Redesigned Bulgari Octo Roma Automatic

Rome, la città eterna, exerts a strong gravitational pull on all Bulgari‘s products. The iconic Octo family, which takes its octagonal geometry from Ancient Roman architectural motifs, has many branches, including the invincible legion of ultra-thin record-breaking Octo Finissimo models. The Octo Roma, introduced by Bulgari in 2017, upholds its proud octagonal heritage but exhibits softer lines and displays only 58 facets compared to the dramatic razor-sharp edges produced by the 110 facets of its Finissimo brothers. For 2023, Bulgari refreshes its Octo Roma Automatic Time-and-Date model with a host of updates and a new Clous de Paris dial, a nod to the Swiss blood (movement) animating the collection.

The beguiling juxtaposition of an octagon surmounted by a circle that characterises the Octo family was inspired by the octagonal coffering found on the vaults of the 310 AD Basilica of Maxentius in the Roman Forum. The more rounded, softer lines of the Octo Roma reflect a distinctive Italian flair for being sophisticated yet laid back at the same time, for being elegant but not stuffy. To get a feel for the versatility of the Octo Roma, compare this sleek black contemporary black DLC Worldtimer to this impressive Octo Roma Monete, complete with a Roman coin on the dial and ultra-thin tourbillon movement inside.

The dimensions of the 41mm stainless steel case, with its thickness of 9.15mm, and the alternating satin-brushed and polished surfaces of the new Octa Roma trilogy haven’t changed. However, the Octo Roma is now equipped with a clever interchangeable bracelet/strap system. Placed on the reverse side of the case between the lugs, a simple click of the pusher releases the bracelet or strap. Bulgari includes a stainless steel bracelet and rubber strap in the package. Other upgrades include the new crown protector to ensure the increased water-resistance of 100m.

Surmounted by the satin-brushed bezel with its polished octagonal base, the round dial echoes the case structure by incorporating another octagonal shape on its periphery. Perhaps the most salient difference over earlier Octa Roma models is the new Clous de Paris dial replacing the sun-brushed dials. Available in three colours – blue, anthracite and white – the classic Clous de Paris dials reference the Octo’s dual nationality: conceived in Italy but powered by a movement made in Bulgari’s manufacture in Switzerland.

Increasing legibility, the applied metallic indices and Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock are now filled with Super-LumiNova and the markers on the minute track are somewhat more pronounced. Previously openworked, the hour and minute hands are also treated with Super-LumiNova.

The one thing that hasn’t changed is the in-house automatic calibre BVL 191 Solotempo powering the hours, minutes, seconds and date. With a bidirectional central rotor, a frequency of 28,800vph, 26 jewels and a 42h power reserve, the movement is produced by Bulgari’s manufacture in Switzerland and is pleasantly finished with thin Geneva stripes on the bridges and rotor and chamfered angles.

Availability & Price

The 2023 Octo Roma Automatic replaces earlier references and will be available in July 2023. Presented on an interchangeable steel bracelet with a folding clasp and accompanied by an additional rubber strap, the Octo Roma Automatic retails for EUR 7,900. More information at Bulgari.com.

Technical specifications – Bulgari Octo Roma Automatic

Case: 41mm diameter x 9.15mm thickness – stainless steel, brushed and polished – screw-in crown with ceramic tip and crown guards – sapphire crystal front and back – 100m water-resistance

Dial: blue, anthracite or white with Clous de Paris decoration – applied indices and Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock treated with Super-LumiNova – hour and minute hands treated with Super-LumiNova – date window at 3 o’clock

Movement: calibre BVL 191 Solotempo – in-house automatic (made at Bulgari’s manufacture in Switzerland) – 28,800vph/4Hz – 42h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date

Bracelet/Strap: presented with a stainless steel bracelet and an additional rubber strap – new DIY interchangeable bracelet/strap pusher on reverse side of case

References: 103739 blue dial
103740 anthracite dial
103738 white dial


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