OCTO ROMA Takes Center Stage

Bulgari took a break from its decade-long, record-breaking spree with the Octo Finissimo to launch a new Octo Roma collection this year

By MW India Desk

Sophisticated and elegant, the new Roma has a look that is much softer than its predecessors. And it comes, as with many other watch brands this season, with interchangeable wristbands. Unlike in the past, the new interchangeability mechanism is easy to operate and hence the strap change can be done at home without a special tool kit. Every Roma, as a result, comes with a steel bracelet and a rubber strap which allows the easy transformation of the formal watch to a sports watch at the press of a lever.

OCTO ROMA STRIKING PAPILLON TOURBILLON
AND STRIKING TOURBILLON SAPHIR

These two tourbillons have been given a new 44mm titanium case with soft curves for a more refined and lighter feel. In each, the tourbillon is alternately displayed at 6 o’clock. In the case of the Papillon Tourbillon, the hour is read through a fixed window at noon, while the minutes are displayed on a semicircle graduated from 0 to 60 and alternately traversed by two diamond-shaped hands. The manual winding Calibre BVL 348 with central flying tourbillon has a power reserve of 60 hours.

Octo Roma Striking Tourbillon Saphir features two central hands, the tourbillon at 6 o’clock, and manual winding movement which is skeletonised. Pressing the pusher at 3 o’clock reveals a discreet red dot in the axis of the winding stem, indicating that the watch can now be adjusted by turning the crown in the traditional way. Pressing it a second time deactivates the time setting: the crown then serves to wind the Calibre BVL 206 movement. Power reserve of 64 hours.

OCTO ROMA AUTOMATIC

This automatic mechanical Octo Roma with three hands and date comes in a 41mm steel case and is powered by the in-house Calibre BVL 191 with a power reserve of 42 hours. There are three dial options, blue, anthracite and white, each enhanced by the 3D effect of the Clous de Paris technique.

OCTO ROMA CHRONOGRAPH

This chronograph is distinguished by a sleek dial featuring a chronograph function with a central seconds’ hand, a 30-minute counter, and a 12-hour counter. The date window is situated between 4 and 5 o’clock, and the three sunburst counters are at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Powered by Calibre BVL 399, a mechanical movement with automatic winding, which is visible through the sapphire case back. Power reserve of 42 hours.

Sophisticated and elegant, the new Roma has a look that is much softer than its predecessors. And it comes, as with many other watch brands this season, with interchangeable wristbands. Unlike in the past, the new interchangeability mechanism is easy to operate and hence the strap change can be done at home without a special tool kit. Every Roma, as a result, comes with a steel bracelet and a rubber strap which allows the easy transformation of the formal watch to a sports watch at the press of a lever.

OCTO ROMA STRIKING PAPILLON TOURBILLON AND STRIKING TOURBILLON SAPHIR

These two tourbillons have been given a new 44mm titanium case with soft curves for a more refined and lighter feel. In each, the tourbillon is alternately displayed at 6 o’clock. In the case of the Papillon Tourbillon, the hour is read through a fixed window at noon, while the minutes are displayed on a semicircle graduated from 0 to 60 and alternately traversed by two diamond-shaped hands. The manual winding Calibre BVL 348 with central flying tourbillon has a power reserve of 60 hours.

Octo Roma Striking Tourbillon Saphir features two central hands, the tourbillon at 6 o’clock, and manual winding movement which is skeletonised. Pressing the pusher at 3 o’clock reveals a discreet red dot in the axis of the winding stem, indicating that the watch can now be adjusted by turning the crown in the traditional way. Pressing it a second time deactivates the time setting: the crown then serves to wind the Calibre BVL 206 movement. Power reserve of 64 hours.

OCTO ROMA PRECIOUS NATURALIA AND TOURBILLON LUMIÈRE

These two watches are characterised by what Bulgari calls ‘mineral art’, adorned with precious stones and diamonds. In the case of Precious Naturalia, the plate visible on the dial side is made from tiger’s eye, a chatoyant hard stone with brown and gold accents, seamed with fine mineral veins of lighter hues. The 44mm case is in satin- brushed rose gold. The manual winding Calibre BVL 206 movement offers a power reserve of 64 hours.

The Precious Tourbillon Lumière in a 38mm rose gold case is the only watch for women in the Octo Roma collection. The case is set with 267 brilliant-cut diamonds and the bezel with 48 brilliant- cut diamonds. The rose gold skeleton dial is also set with diamonds and nine brilliant- cut rubies that indicate the hours. The red alligator strap features a diamond-set folding buckle. This watch is powered by the skeletonised manual winding BVL 208 movement.

OCTO ROMA CHRONOGRAPH

This chronograph is distinguished by a sleek dial featuring a chronograph function with a central seconds’ hand, a 30-minute counter, and a 12-hour counter. The date window is situated between 4 and 5 o’clock, and the three unburst counters are at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Powered by Calibre BVL 399, a mechanical movement with automatic winding, which is visible through the sapphire case back. Power reserve of 42 hours.

MORE THAN JUST A ‘RESTYLING’

As the Product Creation Executive Director for Bulgari, Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani has been one of the brains behind Bulgari’s journey over the last decade from a jewellery-oriented
fashion brand to the high table of the luxury watch industry with the success of its Octo range, especially the Octo Finissimo and its eight world records as the world’s thinnest watch in multiple categories. Born in Naples, Stigliani worked with Fiat before joining Bulgari in 2001. He is an industrial designer, whose works encompass cars, jewellery, watches, bracelets and much more. He spoke to MW about the new Roma collection. Excerpts:

You have called the new Octo Roma collection a new chapter in the legacy of the brand. Can you elaborate why?

Because it is not just a restyling, but it’s a new design with a brand-new case. We changed some of the movements, and we introduced the chronograph for the first time in the collection. We also have the interchangeable strap for the first time. When you buy the watch, you receive the watch with two straps, a metal bracelet and one more. The new mechanism makes it easy to interchange these straps at home. So, the watch is very versatile and easy to use.

Are you happy with the way Roma has evolved and has been received as compared to say, the Finissimo, which is a worldwide classic?

We are very happy because the Finissimo is a watch for a certain kind of client. Even today we receive some comments, ‘I love the Finissimo, but it’s too thin for me. It’s too light for me. I would love to wear a bigger watch’. So, there is a part of the market that’s not just the market for Finissimo. That’s why we have the Octo Roma, which is very popular in a different segment of the market than the Finissimo.

You are designer who reimagined the Octo more than a decade ago. At that time Bulgari was largely known as a jewellery brand. 15 years later Bulgari is probably as famous, or more famous, as a watch brand around the world. Did you imagine this day when you started 15 years ago?

Honestly, no. The Octo Finissimo was our last chance, because when I joined the company in the 2001, Bulgari was largely seen as a fashion brand. Our competitors were talking about watches connected to aviation, racing, diving, etc. but we were not. We were still known as a jewellery maker making watches, and then, we perceived an opportunity to innovate and revamp the ultra-thin watches because it hasn’t been touched by anyone for decades. We decided to do it in the Italian way with a very subtle approach, but in a manner that was very elegant. We decided to make ultra-thin watches that were contemporary, stylish, and with integrated bracelets. And thus, was born the Octo Finissimo in 2014. At the beginning, the watch didn’t seem, even for me, to be versatile, with just one or two different executions. But with time we discovered that each time you changed the finishing, each time that you change the face, the watch changed completely in terms of the perception of the buyer. That was really the beginning of our journey and success as a watchmaker.

Reproduced with permission from Mansworldindia.com

+ posts

Come Back to Me

Bowling Over Barriers

Blossoms of Existence

A Regal Rendezvous