Bulgari’s newest entry in the haute horlogerie category, the Octo Grande Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar is a unique piece touted as the most complicated watch the brand has ever produced. And it has already been sold for an undisclosed sum—reportedly to a collector in Asia. But don’t let that dissuade you from appreciating what Bulgari has achieved in the latest addition to its long-running Octo series.
The brand is known for perfecting the ultra-slim aesthetic, such as with three Octo Finissimo models that, since 2014, have set world records for thinness. Those include the thinnest tourbillon in the world with a 1.95 mm movement and a 5.6 mm case in platinum, as well as the thinnest-ever minute repeater, which has a movement measuring 3.12 mm high and a 6.85 mm case. Indeed, the Italian firm has ascended the peaks of Swiss watchmaking by besting the Swiss at their own game.
Now, by drawing on its acquisition of haute watchmakers Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta in 2000, Bulgari has created a wristwatch that combines a tourbillon, minute repeater, petite and grande sonnerie, perpetual calendar, moonphases, and GMT functionality. Brimming with 976 parts, including the delicate chiming components necessary to achieve what many consider the holy grail of complications—the grand sonnerie—the timepiece is a sure sign that Bulgari’s reputation as a jeweler in no way handicaps its ability to play in the horological big leagues.
Unveiled in Rome in July and shown to journalists at a September event in Shanghai, the Octo Grande Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar required a full year of production at Bulgari’s manufacture in Le Sentier. Packaged in a 44 mm sandblasted 18-karat rose-gold case with a transparent caseback, the automatic model comes on a black alligator strap with an 18-karat rose-gold sandblasted folding clasp. Despite its complexity, Bulgari has seen fit to ensure the watch is water resistant to 30 meters, should its new owner fancy a swim.