Bulgari’s Octo designs, the foundation of many Bulgari collections, feature complex eight-sided cases topped by round bezels. You’ll see the Octo base anchoring several successful recent Bulgari introductions, notably Bulgari’s Octo Velocissimo chronographs (with its El Primero-based calibers), dressy Octo Solotempo and ultra-thin Octo Finissimo models. The latter collection, you may recall, includes the world’s thinnest minute repeater (which debuted last year, as we showed you here, and an ultra-thin tourbillon here, which this year has been also made in a skeletonized version.
For 2017 Bulgari expands Octo family with Octo Roma, a pared-down collection that offers the dress/casual demeanor of the Octo Solotempo line, but with a thinner, less angular design.
With the new design, Bulgari has smoothed the edges of the octagon case layers and reigned in the lugs to emphasize the round bezel and has reduced the number of facets required to finish the case from 110 to 58. Just as critical to the less fussy feel of the new collection is the thinner lug width (to 32.5mm) to echo a strap size that, while still wide, is closer to a traditional dress/casual watch size. Nonetheless, the case size of the new collection remains a comfortable 41mm. The movement inside is in-house, specifically the BVL 191, a caliber also found in existing Octo Solotempo 38mm models. (My guess is we’ll eventually see a 38mm version of this new collection next year.)
After examining these Octo Roma watches I can report that the model with the rich sunburst polished brown dial is particularly eye-catching, while the two-tone model on a strap ($7,150) is beautifully finished and right on trend.
The Bulgari Octo Roma collection will be available in five versions with three dial variations – white, black or brown – and several case finishes, in steel, two-tone gold and steel, or gold alone. The collection’s pared down case translates to lower prices, which means Octo Roma is now the entry level Bulgari Octo collection. The model with a steel case and leather strap will retail for $5,950 (compared to $7,700 for a 41mm Octo Solotempo with strap) and rise to $18,800 for a rose gold-cased edition. The handsome steel case Octo Roma with a slimmed down (very comfortable) Bulgari steel bracelet is priced at $6,500.
Technical Specifications for Bulgari’s new Octo Roma collection
Bi-directional mechanical self-winding movement, Calibre BVL 191 Solotempo, driving indications of the hours, minutes and seconds, date window at 3 o’clock; Côtes de Genève motif, chamfering and snailing; 42-hour power reserve.
Case and dial
58-facet case in pink gold, steel or pink gold and steel, 41mm in diameter, transparent caseback, screw-lock crown in pink gold or steel with a ceramic insert; water-resistant to 100 meters.
Steel bracelet or black or brown alligator leather strap with folding or pin buckle depending on the version; black lacquered, silver-toned or sunburst polished brown dial, facetted skeleton hands, hand-applied hour-markers.