Bulgari attaches the appropriately Italian ‘Ultranero’ designation to the watches it chooses to darken with its deep black Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) treatment. This past week Bulgari added two new models to that stealthy bonus collection: the Octo Finissimo Skeleton and Octo L’Originale in a chronograph version, both of which can now be had with a total black outfit.
The latter model, the Octo L’Originale, was seen earlier this year with a 41mm grey titanium skin, which hinted at its potential as a darker version of its sporty self. This watch is powerfully driven by the Manufacture Bulgari self-winding BVL 328 Velocissimo caliber, Bulgari’s remake of the Zenith column-wheel El Primero chronograph movement. The caliber, which like all El Primeros beats at a high frequency (36,000 bph), is equipped with a silicon escapement to help ensure stability while considerably reducing the need for lubrication.
This new all-black version of the Bulgari Octo L’Originale is fitted with a black rubber strap and the matte black dial features black hands, numerals and hour-markers.
In recent years we’ve seen Bulgari skeletons take top billing within the company’s award-winning and record-breaking ultra-thin Finissimo collections as well as in several new open worked Lvcea and Divas’ Dream models. Bulgari’s sapphire tourbillon watches have also long been superb examples of how well this firm balances open work movements with other technical flourishes.
Bulgari didn’t need to add its already beautiful Octo Finissimo Skeleton to the Ultranero family, but I am impressed that it has. The dark eight-sided case and gold hands only enhance the illusion of depth here. I say illusion because in reality the entire watch is a wispy 5.37mm thick, with an ultra-thin 2.35mm Finissimo BVL 128 SK manual-wind caliber inside.
Those karat gold central hours and minutes hands appear to be suspended above the caliber, which also powers a small seconds, located between 7 o’clock and 8 o’clock, as well as a power-reserve indicator between 9 o’clock and 10 o’clock. Even this thin, the classically decorated movement nonetheless ensures a generous 60-hour power reserve.
Bulgari has perfectly matched the 40mm-diameter Diamond Like Carbon (DLC)-treated black titanium to a lightweight black titanium bracelet.
Prices: $10,200 (Octo L’Originale Chronograph) and $23,600 (Octo Finissimo Skeleton).
Bulgari OCTO L’ORIGINALE CHRONOGRAPH—all-black version
Movement: Mechanical self-winding high-frequency (5Hz) movement equipped with a silicon escapement, BVL Caliber 328, chronograph function controlled by a column wheel, steel parts circular-grained and adorned with Côtes de Genève; 50-hour power reserve; indication of the hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph sweep-seconds hand, date window
Case and dial: DLC (Diamond Like Carbon)-treated 41.5mm stainless steel case; transparent sapphire crystal caseback, black DLC-treated screw-lock crown with ceramic inlay; water-resistant to 100 meters; matte black dial, hand-applied black hour-markers, cut-out facetted black hands
Strap: Integrated rubber strap with DLC-treated stainless steel pin buckle.
Bulgari OCTO FINISSIMO SKELETON– all-black version
Movement: Mechanical hand-winding movement, skeleton-worked BVL Caliber 128SK Finissimo, black mainplate and bridges, indication of the hours, minutes, small seconds and power reserve; 65-hour power reserve, 36mm in diameter, 2.35mm thick.
Case and dial: DLC (Diamond Like Carbon)-treated 40mm sandblasted titanium case; transparent caseback; DLC-treated screw-lock titanium crown with ceramic inlay; 5.37mm thick; water-resistant to 30 meters; open worked dial, cut-out facetted 18-karat pink gold hands;
Bracelet: Black DLC-treated titanium bracelet fitted with a folding clasp.