Once I develop an obsession with a watch that I do not (but) personal, I exhibit a couple of very distinct behaviors – involuntary, possibly a little bit embarrassing, nearly as if I’ve received an unrequited crush. All the standard early infatuation phases are the identical: I discuss it continuous, I snap selfies with it, I stare longingly at it as if this new object has the facility to essentially change how I really feel concerning the world and enhance who I’m as an individual (nicely, on this case how I look greater than who I’m – however you catch my drift).
There is not any higher feeling (and there is equally no worse feeling) than borrowing a watch and instantly feeling prefer it’s yours. I am not speaking about sporting it round city, masquerading as an individual who can afford a $45,000 watch. I imply genuinely sensing, deep in your core, that this watch is spiritually yours. Looking at your self within the mirror sporting it, constructing all of your outfits round it, smugly waving your arm round at eating places – why sure, waiter, I will have one other spherical of martinis.
Then comes the sheer ache felt upon returning the watch: the breakup.
A snapback to the impolite actuality the place I now not personal (and even « personal ») a stable 18-karat yellow gold Bulgari Octo Finissimo. Sure, this habits is a little bit excessive. But it surely’s not as if I fall in love day-after-day. So once I do catch myself feeling weak on the knees, I do know it is price taking notice. Hear, you gotta take your serotonin the place you will get it.
Yellow Gold Solely
The yellow gold Bulgari Octo Finissimo automated hit laborious for causes past bodily attraction. It had a extra private that means to me. Rewind again to 2019, once I was simply stepping into the watch house. As I started to seek out my manner round, I seen that the majority treasured metallic novelties have been produced in rose, pink, and crimson gold. However no yellow.
As anyone working in trend with a fairly respectable data of what modern customers need, I could not perceive the disconnect. Everyone I knew coveted yellow gold. What was taking place over in Switzerland? Why was everyone again within the motherland drunk on rose gold?
I went on a little bit of a campaign, which has lasted unwaveringly for the previous 4 years. In Vol. X of Hodinkee Magazine, I wrote an essay – extra like a rant, or possibly a prayer to the watch gods – begging the trade to launch extra yellow-gold watches. And I very particularly requested for a yellow gold Octo Finissimo.
I get it, the ultrathin design has a definite structure that advantages from industrial-looking supplies: Titanium and metal logically take advantage of sense. But when Bulgari could make the Octo Finissimo in rose gold, nicely, why not make it in yellow gold too? Why not play on a historical past the model already has? The jewellery home was all about yellow gold again in its mid-century glory days.
Now right here we’re, and right here it’s. A golden Octo Finissimo. Rub the genie bottle sufficient occasions and also you too may get what you would like for. It solely is available in a restricted run of fifty items and is obtainable within the U.S. solely – however that is higher than nothing. And I just lately received to spend per week with one on my wrist. Listed here are my besotted impressions.
Residing La Dolce Vita
Earlier than I fell into watches, I knew Bulgari as one of many world’s most esteemed jewellery homes. If I considered the title Bulgari then I routinely pictured Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Cleopatra in her Serpenti, or decked out within the large diamond and emerald suite gifted to her by Richard Burton. I imagined Sophia Loren oozing glamor in colourful gem stones throughout Bulgari’s Sixties dolce vita heyday or Sharon Stone bathed in cabochon rubies and yellow gold Monete on the set of On line casino. A Technicolor Hollywood fantasy.
And to be trustworthy with you, that is nonetheless how I take a look at Bulgari – although now I additionally think about the model’s severe technical watchmaking achievements. And its equally spectacular wonderful watchmaking designs.
The designer Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, who has been with the model for 20 years – and who’s the person accountable for melding collectively the Tubogas and Serpenti (up till 2009, the Tubogas had been made with Bulgari Bulgari dials) – clearly understands what it takes to design an exquisite standalone object that may additionally perform as a timepiece.
The Octo Finissimo, just like the Tubogas Serpenti, is a sculptural marvel. However in contrast to its curvaceous female counterpart, its traces are purely geometric. The ultrathin execution rests on the shoulders of Gérald Genta’s Bi-Retro design and has constructed a deserved status of its personal as a Twenty first-century icon. And sure, I do know I am responsible of throwing across the phrase « iconic » as a part of my Millennial lexicon, however calling an precise product iconic within the literal sense is a very totally different factor. Credit score the place credit score is due.
Buonamassa Stigliani has managed to play on the quintessential Bulgari design language of manipulating shapes and geometrical components. On the one hand, it is a very daring, at occasions aggressive-looking watch. However the magic lies within the ultrathin profile, in its ultra-sleek traces, and in its ultra-elegant Italian aura.
For those who take a more in-depth take a look at the watch, just about each element is ultrathin. Okay so it is 40mm in diameter, however it’s a mere 6.40mm in peak. From the hour markers and skeleton arms, all over to the bracelet hyperlinks. Each component conveys the identical message of thinness.
Not like lots of its monochromatic Octo Finissimo predecessors, this explicit mannequin has a distinct coloured dial to its case and bracelet. Initially, I used to be delay by the brown; why would they do that to my yellow gold dream watch? In any case, they left the rose gold alone to exist as a fluid wash of shade. However this brown hits in another way in individual. The sunray-finished, brown-lacquered dial which I am calling « metallic chocolate cigar » is deep and heat and – I hesitate to make use of this phrase however it’s annoyingly applicable – yummy.
Mechanical Motion Meets Avant-Garde Design
Naturally, an ultra-thin watch requires an ultra-thin motion and tremendous slim actions have change into one thing of a Bulgari specialty. The model has damaged the document in numerous « thinnest mechanical watch » classes a number of occasions since 2014. From flying tourbillons to minute repeaters and self-winding actions, the Octo Finissimo is a large a part of the watch trade’s drive for the « skinny legend » aesthetic.
The Octo Finissimo Computerized in yellow gold comes geared up with Caliber BVL 138, an automated winding motion that incorporates a platinum micro-rotor and a small seconds show. It measures a mere 2.23mm thick and 36.60 mm in diameter with a wholesome energy reserve of 60 hours.
Girls who take pleasure in and buy watches are sometimes left to decide on between attractiveness or mechanical credibility. This is a watch that hits each notes equally as laborious. And that is the actually intelligent factor about Buonamassa Stigliani’s design in yellow gold. It sits someplace on the intersection between the glamorous and horny sinuous type of the Serpenti and the intense watchmaking prowess achieved by the Octo Finissimo.
Cartier Santos de Cartier (medium mannequin)
A traditional and genderless design, this watch additionally has presence with out being overtly cumbersome and masculine. It is my Seventies Charlotte Rampling alter ego watch.
The defining traits of the Santos are its sq. profile and eight uncovered screws on the bezel; its geometric design was initially meant to echo the refinement and symmetry of Parisian structure within the early 1900s. Extra European geometry! The 2019 Santos de Cartier has a silvered opaline dial marked with Roman numerals and a railroad minute observe, in addition to traditional Cartier blue metal sword-shaped arms and a 7-sided crown set with a faceted sapphire.
The trendy Santos sits very comfortably as one in every of Cartier’s most profitable designs within the present catalog. Maybe it is a contact extra wearable than the Octo Finissimo and it is a little bit extra inside price range too at $32,000 – although if we’re speaking stable gold watches, then price range kind of feels arbitrary.
Chopard Alpine Eagle In Yellow Gold
This is one other gold watch I have been patiently ready for. Now that it is right here, the 41mm yellow gold Alpine Eagle is a little bit too giant for my style – it could be good in 36mm (nudge nudge, wink wink)! I do know the Octo Finissimo is 40mm however they put on very in another way. The Chopard is a conventional sport watch, whereas the Bulgari is principally a bit of wearable sculpture. The Alpine Eagle does not possess the identical bracelet-like qualities. It simply looks like an enormous watch.
But it surely’s a handsome watch nonetheless. The satin-finished bezel, full with beveled edges, sits atop the tonneau-shaped case (which measures 9.7mm thick) and is fastened in place with screws, which guarantee 100 meters of water resistance. The crown – which is signed with a compass rose motif – is positioned at three o’clock, in between the polished crown guards, that are additionally repeated at 9 o’clock.
The tapered bracelet is good and slinky too, with largely brushed surfaces, offset by the polished central caps. But it surely’s the dial that makes this mannequin stand out in opposition to its rivals in the marketplace, with its deep ridges and hypnotic swirl sample. You might, I suppose, add the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Or the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Or (now we’re speaking!) the classic Rolex Cellini King Midas. However to my eyes, it is a three-way race between the watches made by manufacturers equally well-known for his or her jewellery.
I will be frank. As a lot as I needed this watch to exist, sporting it felt extra like sporting a bracelet – then once more, what’s so fallacious with that? I might put on this in the identical manner I might put on a Tiffany & Co. Elsa Perreti bone cuff or a Verdura Maltese Cross cuff.
It made me think about myself someplace between Surprise Lady implementing her superhuman energy, LouLou de La Falaise hanging out at Saint Laurent’s Marrakech villa oasis, Grace Jones getting into Studio 54 with Andy Warhol, or Elsa Peretti sporting her eponymous cuffs whereas modeling Halston’s FW 71 assortment.
It is an entire dress-up fantasy, however it comes with the added, highly effective bonus of figuring out that it is an actual watch with a severe motion.
Why cannot I’ve all of it?