Bulgari expands its horological canvas with the Octo Finissimo Sketch watches

The limited edition Octo Finissimo Sketch watches elevate the art of illustration and high-end watchmaking

Ask any watch designer on the origins of their creations and most will tell you that it all begins with a sketch. Whether on well-thumbed notepads or on restaurant napkins, those flashes of inspiration sometimes result in the most spectacular of watches—and when re-examined can offer profound insights to the creative process.

Bulgari’s new Octo Finissimo Sketch watches seem to articulate this sentiment well. Though they come fully formed—encased in steel or rose gold depending on the model, and bearing the Octo Finissimo’s signature ultra-svelte movement and profile—the watches bear a whimsically unfinished quality, courtesy of dials decorated with pencil sketch illustrations.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch in steel. Photo by Bulgari

This design concept isn’t new to Bulgari, though. In 2022, the Italian marque commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Octo Finissimo collection with exclusive models that bear similar pencil sketch dials. On these models, the dials were depicted with sketches of indexes and displays reproduced from the initial drawings made by the design chief of Bulgari’s watch division, Fabrizio Buonamass Stigliani.

This year’s creations, the Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch and the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Sketch, feature dials that again showcase Stigliani’s design drawings—but now depicting views from the back. By transposing the look of the movements to the front, the watches offer direct access to their mechanical heart, along with the sense of providing insight into the genesis of the watches, as the Sketch collection does.

Limited to 280 pieces in steel and 70 pieces in rose gold, Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch depicts Bulgari’s automatic BVL 138 caliber, which is conceived and manufactured entirely in-house. The 2.3mm-thin movement with micro-rotor and 60-hour power reserve is rendered in Stigliani’s bold, purposeful strokes, complete with notes on the use of materials and finishing.

The Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Sketch in steel, limited to 140 pieces, takes on a more considered approach. The dial features key elements of the dial and the back of the movement, so that the user can still ascertain the chronograph and GMT displays—an amalgamation excels on both aesthetic and functional fronts.

The Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Sketch features key elements of the dial and the back of the movement. Photo by Bulgari

Although the pencil sketch dials work a treat, nothing beats flipping the watches over to admire the movements in the metal. The timepieces are all equipped with open sapphire casebacks that grant full view to the beautifully decorated and finished mechanical engines, etched with “EDIZIONE LIMITATA” and “1884 – 2024” to commemorate Bulgari’s 140th anniversary.