Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic
2017 GPHG Men's Category Finalist
Considering the diversity and the scope of innovation on display in the 2017 GPHG Men's category, it will surely take something very special to brush aside the opposition and walk away with the award. So does Bulgari's record breaking ultra slim Octo Automatic watch have that winning touch?
In more ways than one, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo could well attract the attention of the jury panel at this year's GPHG awards. Not only does it boast the world's thinnest self winding movement, the 2.23mm thick BVL 138 Finissimo, which is the product of the brand's in house watchmaking division, it is also by some distance the most accessible piece pricewise among the six category finalists, at CHF 12,900. Although previous results would suggest a tendency to set pricing to one side, the Octo Finissimo has certainly generated a lot of enthusiastic critical interest through 2017, and it could be a dark horse here.
In that it has particularly distinctive styling, Bulgari's Octo could never be thought of as 'generic'. Sure, it's design is bold and assured, but it won't be to everyone's taste, yet couldn't those previous few words almost be a pressé of what Bulgari (sorry, BVLGARI) are pretty much about anyway? Thanks to its incredibly thin movement, the case too is remarkably slim at only 5.15mm. Its angular and multi faceted titanium case is super light, and the sandblasted surface and grey dial have a muted and almost demure monotone appearance.
But this is not a review, and you want to know do I think it might win. Well, if pushed, I don't know if I would put my own money over the counter into a new one myself, but of course taste is personal, although it does prompt a reminder that the jury are individuals too, and it's likely that the winner here will be a watch which appeals to their majority. Add to that the fact that previous winners in recent years have been Voutliainen (twice, in 2013 and 2015 - and back here again this year), Urban Jürgensen (2014) and the Grönefeld brothers in 2016, one would think that we will probably be looking elsewhere for a winner in 2017.
The Watch Press prediction
Despite its boundary pushing, record setting, in house movement, the Octo Finissimo comes up short on mass appeal, and so I don't think the jury will be calling out the name Bulgari when the award is announced.
BUCKLE: Folding clasp
MOVEMENT: Self winding mechanical. Power reserve: 60 h, 21'600 vph
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Seconds
SIZE: 41 x 46 mm
THICKNESS: 5.15 mm
WATERPROOFNESS: 30 m
PRICE EXCL.VAT: CHF 12'900