Another year and another record broken by serial offenders Bvlgari as the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar becomes the world’s thinnest automatic perpetual calendar (with micro rotor), at 5.80mm, with the thinnest automatic (micro rotor) movement, with calibre BVL 305 measuring just 2.75mm thick (or thin as Bvlgari watchmaking boss Antoine Pin noted in his presentation). We caught this news at the same time as everyone else, of course, but in the couple of days since that reveal, the Internet has done its thing and spread this news far and wide. Knowing we were reserving Bvlgari coverage for the weekend made us seriously consider leading with something else, but the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar has earned its leading news position. We will end with a bit of coverage on one other highlight that we hope to come back to later in the year.
Not exactly a plain vanilla perpetual calendar, Bvlgari has put its own spin on things with this 40mm Finissimo Perpetual Calendar, even as it opted for somewhat traditional construction. We can actually truncate the name this way because the Finissimo collection never housed a perpetual calendar before this, which is surprising in itself. So what is on the dial here? It is pretty busy, with the top half of the dial occupied by retrograde date. This means the bottom half of the dial includes day of the week and month subdials, while the leap year indication is at 6 o’clock, also in retrograde format. The retrograde indication simply means that when the hand finishes traversing its sundial, it jumps back to the start. Bvlgari has a lot of experience with this sort of indication, thanks to the old days of Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth. The know-how of both manufactures is thus evident here.
We love this tremendously, but we do wonder if the leap year could have been excluded here, or executed as a window, because it crowds the dial a bit. Another thing that might bother some collectors is the lack of a moon phase display, but we think this is perfectly acceptable here (so says WOW Thailand Editor and moon phase enthusiast so ‘nuff said for me). Honestly, with this dial configuration, including a moon phase display seems impossible. It is worth remembering that ultra-thin movements are complications themselves (according to everyone who matters, but also the mighty Jack Forster at Hodinkee), and one could even make the case that the retrograde indicator is a complication (we will not be leaping down this rabbit hole today).
Something interesting here is that there are two versions from the get-go here, one in titanium with matching bracelet, and another in platinum with a leather strap. Mr Pin says the brand might consider offering the platinum watch with a matching bracelet, which would be exciting indeed. Finally, we reserve a sentence or two for the other masculine offering from the manufacture, the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando. This is the second collaboration between the Japanese architect and the watchmaker, and this one features a pseudo moon phase display. It is actually a representation of the crescent moon ala Mikazuki, and represents Ando’s feelings of hopefulness about the light at the end of the tunnel that we are all inching slowly towards.
All images courtesy of Bvlgari