In this year’s Best of the Best, we continue to honour the brands and people who have continued to create covetable products, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Here, we have Bvlgari as the watchmaker with the best ultra-thin movement
Mechanical watchmaking, by its nature, is built around turning extraordinarily complex and tiny parts into functional works of art. Reducing that know-how to its thinnest possible form is a technological achievement in mere millimetres that is practically a field unto its own.
Despite its broader recognition as a jeweller, Bvlgari has carved out a niche in ultra-thin watchmaking in the last seven years that has defied all of the odds. With six world records in the category already, Bvlgari brings the seventh this year with the slimmest perpetual-calendar calibre in the world, at just 2.75mm thick.
Incredibly, 408 components are packed into a case measuring 40mm by just 5.8mm. To achieve this level of micro mechanics, Bvlgari integrated the perpetual calendar into the initial
Octo Finissimo calibre, which added 150 components in a mere 0.4mm of additional thickness. It also required eliminating the moonphase function of traditional perpetual calendars. But even traditionalists should be able to appreciate the space-saving sacrifice as it allows for a minimalist appeal in keeping with the Octo Finissimo’s aesthetic. Likewise, the date and leap year are indicated through a retro- grade display, a nod to the forward- thinking design of Gérald Genta, a brand the company acquired in 2000.
And it feels as sleek as it looks. The platinum version, on a blue alligator-leather strap, weighs just 95g, while the titanium-bracelet model is only 74g. It would hardly seem believable, if it hadn’t already been proven year after year, that conquering the impossible is this horological Houdini’s speciality.