Geneva Watch Days takes place in the Swiss cultural capital from Monday, August 29, to Thursday, September 1, 2022, so stay tuned to HODINKEE in the days ahead for detailed coverage of all the top releases, from brands such as Bulgari, MB&F, Oris, Urwerk, and many more.
What We Know
Earlier this year the good folks at Bulgari released two slightly funky, titanium ‘Sketch’ Octo Finissimo watches, an Octo Finissimo Automatic and an Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT, to celebrate 10 years of the Octo line. The party isn’t over as the brand rolls out new variations of both the Chronograph and the Automatic in precious metal. The GMT Chronograph gets a rose gold makeover while the Automatic gets punched up in either rose or yellow gold.
The Chronograph GMT Automatic is a cool 3.3mm thick (still the slimmest chrono out there, honey) and runs on the automatic BVL Calibre 318, just like the ‘Sketch’ GMT from March. The 43mm case is satin-brushed rose gold, with a brown lacquered dial, applied rose gold indexes, and a brown alligator strap.
The Automatics in rose and yellow gold, while not entirely new, are new to this version of the OFA, and in the case of the yellow gold, very limited. James went hands-on with the brushed gold Octo Finissimo Automatic in 2020 and there are a few very subtle changes (the new version of the BVL 138 movement has a new automatic winding system and structure for the escapement and balance, according to Bulgari) as well as a few more obvious updates (the dial is brown now! The bracelet and case are a mix of brushed and polished!).
The yellow gold version of the OFA is an extremely limited American-only LE of 50 pieces to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first Bulgari boutique in the States. So many anniversaries! It shares the same thinness as the rose gold (2.23mm), 40mm case size, and notably brown lacquered dial. Both variations have a transparent caseback so you can watch that new escapement structure do its thing.
What We Think
While there really isn’t much to say from a technical innovation standpoint (the watches are still thin!), the material upgrades are nicely done and will, I think, draw more folks into the Finissimo fold. From the pictures, the combination of the rose gold and brown lacquered dial gives the GMT a pleasantly ’70s (almost “Root Beer”) vibe and warms up what can be something of a cold watch.
Nothing is more celebratory than decking oneself out in gold and cultivating an air of exclusivity, so I think the yellow gold automatic is about as on-the-nose as you can get for an anniversary watch. To my eyes, the brown dial plays better with the rose gold and, at least in the press images, the texture of the brushing and polishing comes through a bit better on the rose, as well. But I am a fan of rose and red golds so my personal bias is showing and the gold still looks good, don’t get me wrong.
I am curious to see how the wrist presence of the watch changes with the precious metal. Octo Finissimo watches do take up a fair amount of real estate diameter-wise and I wonder if the rose and yellow gold will draw more attention to that fact. I think both the rose and yellow gold add a cheeriness and flashiness to the world-famous wafer-watches that you don’t always get in the steel and titanium versions, and those who like a little peacocking with their record-breaking might find exactly what they need in this release.
Model: The Chronograph GMT Automatic, Octo Finissimo Automatic, Octo Finissimo Automatic Limited Edition
Reference Number: 103468, 103637, 103717
Diameter: 43mm for the Chronograph and 40mm for the Automatics
Thickness: 8.75mm for the Chronograph and 6.4mm for the Automatics
Case Material: Satin-polished rose gold for the Chronograph and Automatic and satin-polished yellow gold for the Automatic Limited Edition
Dial Color: brown lacquer with sunray finishing across all models
Indexes: Rose gold applied indexes with Super-LumiNova on the Chronograph; gold-colored hands and indexes on the Automatics
Water Resistance: 100m across all models
Strap/Bracelet: Brown alligator strap with rose gold pin buckle on the Chronograph; satin-polished rose gold and satin-polished yellow gold on the Automatics.
Caliber: BVL 318 for the Chronograph and BVL 138 for the Automatics
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve, and local time zone for the Chronograph. Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve for the Automatics
Thickness: 3.3mm and 2.23mm
Power Reserve: 60h
Winding: Automatic for all models
Pricing & Availability
Limited Edition: Yes, 50 pieces for the yellow gold Automatic.
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