Bulgari Made The Thinnest Tourbillon Watch In The World. Then, It Made It Thinner
Much like the rope-veined bruisers of a pre-fight weigh-in, luxury watches run the whole gamut of size. There's the same hi-spec ceremony, too. In the blue corner stands Hublot: chrome, futuristic, and heavyweight, like Deontay Wilder in his now infamous flashing android suit. There's TAG Heuer: nippy, modern, a middleweight and proud. And lest we forget Rolex: the closest thing to a Swiss-made Ali. But where many marques experiment in watches of all shapes and sizes, in recent years Bulgari has stuck to flyweight and flyweight only. So much so that they created the world's thinnest watch in 2017. And 2018. And 2019. And now, its prize fighter—the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Watch—has taken the title home again. Ladies and gentlemen: here stands the thinnest watch in the world. Again.
In fact, the storied marque has broken the record six times in as many years, with the latest edition of Octo Finissimo clocking in at a barely-there 7.40mm. Which may seem relatively standard to onlookers by normal watch standards. But this isn't a normal watch. Bulgari's marquee timepiece is a tourbillon: a watch defined by its own staggering complexity, and one in which the escapement and balance wheel are housed within a rotating cage to ensure accuracy, and thus prevent gravity sending the spring off-kilter. Look we told you it was complex. So all that said, 7.40mm isn't much room at all to fit such fiddly hardware.
The latest iteration has doubled down on Bulgari's knack for forward thinking. It's a chronograph, with a visible skeleton dial, and that's very modernist indeed. But that doesn't mean the Octo Finissimo is inelegant. On the contrary, it's a robust yet fine-tuned piece that counters the common tropes of a dress watch, but still manages to blend in with its black tie contemporaries. Find you a watch that can do both.
Unveiled at Geneva Watch Days—now an online spectacle as Switzerland socially distances—the Octo Finissimo is in strong company at the marque. "We already launched last January in Dubai [the] Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon, the smallest ladies watch tourbillon on the market," said Bulgari's CEO Jean-Christophe Babin of the latest release. "Complication and records are without genders at Bulgari."
If you want to take the title home, the October Finissimo is scheduled for an October release at a £130,000 price tag. Prize fighters cost, kid.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.