This year, Bvlgari celebrates a decade since the launch of the Octo family, which debuted in 2012 with the Octo L’Originale. Distinguished by its round bezel and octagonal case, that timepiece was the precursor to the ultra-thin Octo Finissimo sub-category that was introduced in 2014. In March, the brand released a pair of special 10th-anniversary Octo Finissimo models, a time-only Automatic and a Chronograph GMT.
Both titanium timepieces featured dials embellished with the original pencil sketches of Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Bvlgari’s chief watch designer. Watch collector Nop Srinara shares why he decided to purchase the Octo Finissimo Automatic 10th Anniversary, why he’s such a fan of the Octo Finissimo, and how the modern icon has influenced his design process for his microbrand, Vilhelm Watches.
What drew me to the Octo Finissimo Automatic 10th Anniversary:
“I find the sketch dial very unique and a perfect complement to the original raw feel of the sandblasted titanium Octo Finissimo. This Octo Finissimo marks the 10th anniversary of the Octo line, which is a significant milestone for Bvlgari as a true haute horology maison, and not just a jewellery brand that also sells watches. I felt that I wanted a piece of history, and what better way to capture it than with this special edition?”
What the wearing experience has been like:
“With all Octo Finissimos, I compare the wearing of the timepiece to feeling like a second skin because it wraps so well around your wrist and the ultra-thin profile allows it to slide under any shirt cuff. (Editor’s note: The Octo Finissimo Automatic 10th Anniversary watch has a thickness of 5.15mm.) When done in titanium, as for the 10th anniversary watch, it feels almost weightless and you sometimes forget you’re wearing a watch because it’s so light. The dial has such a raw and unique aesthetic with its laser-engraved sketch details, and at certain angles, it looks almost like a digital display. It’s truly mesmerising on the wrist.”
Other Octo Finissimo models I own:
“Right now, I have the 10th Anniversary model with the sketch dial, the Perpetual Calendar in platinum, and the Skeleton in black ceramic. I can’t rule out buying plenty more (laughs)! I love what the Octo Finissimo signifies: record-breaking innovation and the constant pushing of the envelope. It’s challenging the status quo of the established brands and making passionate watch enthusiasts really sit up and take notice — and seriously consider Bvlgari’s achievements, as well as how stylishly handsome these timepieces look on the wrist while being very reasonably priced in relation to other models in the same category.”
Why I own Octo Finissimo watches in different case materials:
“I first bought the satin-brushed steel time-only Automatic with a black dial, which is now with my father as he got hooked on it after he saw me wearing it. (Laughs.) I love the matte ceramic of the Skeleton as it feels so stealthy and cool, and also, it is very scratch-resistant, so it’s a joy to wear. The platinum of the Perpetual Calendar is just stunning in its finishing, along with its sunray dial, and I like how the weight of platinum feels so substantial while still being subtle and elegant.
“I went with titanium for the 10th-anniversary model as it’s a homage to the original Italian design aesthetic that Fabrizio (Buonamassa Stigliani) their chief designer had envisaged for the Octo Finissimo. Also, the sketch dial works so well and really pops and balances the titanium perfectly. Could you imagine the sketch dial against a satin-brushed steel case? I think that would look so weird; that’s where I have to give kudos to Fabrizio and Italian design ethos in general — it’s always so well thought out.”
How the Octo Finissimo influenced my design process for my own watch brand, Vilhelm:
“The Prism, which I launched a couple of years back, is inspired by my love of integrated bracelet sports watches — and the Octo Finissimo is one of my favourite integrated-bracelet timepiece designs.”
All images of watches courtesy of Nop Srinara.