It doesn’t often happen that a mere time-only watch takes away the limelight of a spectacular tourbillon, yet that is precisely what happened this Baselworld. Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Automatic did just that, and that is all the more reason to take a close look at the Octo Tourbillon Sapphire.
The Octo Tourbillon Sapphire can best be described as a sapphire watch for people who don’t like sapphire watches. Sapphire watches often bring out a “love it or hate it” kind-of-reaction, and the Octo Tourbillon Sapphire masterly unites the two sides like a very skilled diplomat. It does so by showing it all, yet not too much!
To accomplish this does the Octo Tourbillon utilizes a sandwich structure. A black DLC coated titanium case back holds a middle part that is made of sapphire with Luminescent bars that are made from greenish yellow Super Luminova combined with ITR2, a composite made of carbon nanotubes. The bezel is once again made of black DLC coated titanium. This allows a relatively unobstructed view but gives the watch at the same time a more substantial look than a watch completely made from sapphire crystal.
The movement itself has a very architectural design to it, with the same ITR2/SuperLuminova tubes, now serving as hour markers. This gives the in-house made caliber BVL206 a spectacular look, by day, but most certainly also by night. Especially the flying, one-minute tourbillon, is a true delight to admire. The movement also comes with a clever way of setting the time: press the crown and a red dot at three o’clock will appear indicating that you can simply move the crown to set the time. Push the crown again, and you enter the regular winding mode again.
The movement comes with a power reserve of 64 hours, which can be monitored on the back. With a diameter of 44mm, it is one of the larger members of the Octa collection. It can, however, take full advantage of the short lugs, which allow the watch to be worn comfortable on the wrist, even when you have a modest sized one.
While its colors make it bold statement, its Italian styling ensure that this happens in a very tasteful manner. Although more Lamborghini than Maserati, it is one of the things you just have to love about this watch. Also, the way that it approaches sapphire as a material, show that there is perhaps a wider use of this material in the watch industry, not to craft a whole watch from, but part of it. This allows for more freedom in design, and by giving sapphire lovers and haters both what they want in a single watch.