The legacy of Gerald Genta lives on now with even more Bulgari-ness. The original Gerald Genta Octo was a fascinating timepiece with a range of complicated movements. The “Octo” name referred to the eight-sided case, and unfortunately there are no tentacles related to this product. While certainly unique, I have to say that the Octo looks quite nice on the wrist. Bulgari continues with the now iconic case with a new watch simply called the Octo.
Assuming the design of the case appeals to you, there is a lot to like about this product. First of all, it has an in-house made automatic movement called the Bulgari Caliber BVL 193. While not revolutionary, Bulgari hopes that it will help assert the product as unique and help the brand continue to position itself as a movement maker. To be honest, with some of the brand’s assets from its acquisitions, they produce some of the most interesting high-end mechanical movements around. I believe the BVL 193 is a new movement in the Octo watch, and should hint that Bulgari (like many other brands) is quite serious about a more mass-produced in-house movement. The BVL 193 offers the time and date, with a 50 hour power reserve (could have been a bit more given the two barrels).
For this watch, Bulgari offers the Octo case in a 41.5mm wide size. This will have the piece wear “largish” given the squarish shape. For now the piece will be available in an 18k pink gold or a steel model. This size is medium compared to what the Octo has been offered in at times during the past. I recall seeing Octo cases from 39mm wide to 43mm wide. I think 41.5mm wide is likely to be a very good size for most people given the shape of the case.
The dial is all about Italian aesthetic simplicity. I wish the press release was as well. In a glossy black lacquer, the dial has applied gold or steel hour indicators and hands. It instantly mimics the look we have seen in some other Bulgari timepieces. This is an excellent mixture of Gerald Genta and Bulgari DNA. I am further amused and impressed by the over two pages Bulgari’s marketing department spent waxing poetic on not the number eight, but rather things with eight sides… and how historically meaningful and awesome they are.
If you will allow me a moment to share something truly meaningful, here is a moving excerpt from their love note to the Octa, “More than a watch, the object transcends its pure function to acquire a broad dimension brimming with aesthetic and emotional significance. Its apparent formal simplicity carries a substantial complexity by conveying a wealth of values: equilibrium, perfection, immortality and eternity on the one hand, expertise and horological mastery on the other.” I think I know who I want writing my wedding vows.
According to Bulgari the new movement has some lovely finishing. I look forward to seeing their handy-work in the flesh. The Octo of course looks best matched with its fitted black alligator strap. With a complex case and simple dial, I think that this is overall a very satisfying timepiece that does justice to the brand’s image. Price for the steel Octo is $9,500 and $28,300 in 18k pink gold. Written by our friend Ariel Adams