I feel like this has been going on for years and people are only starting to come to this conclusion now — Bulgari produce beautiful watches of astounding complexity and should be regarded by any half-knowledgeable watch lover as a serious high-watchmaking company. They make grande sonneries with Westminster chimes and perpetual calendars. They make grande sonneries with tourbillons. (It goes without saying that their grande sonnerie watches also include petite sonnerie and minute repeater functions.) They make carillon minute repeaters. They make chiming watches with detailed dial automata. They innovate in materials such as the Magsonic alloy for optimum chime transmission. And, oh, by the way, they now have record-setting ultra-thin minute repeater watches.

At this point in the conversation, someone usually brings up the fact that these watches really originate from the Gérald Genta portfolio, but as far as I’m concerned this objection is a complete non-starter. Plenty of prestigious brands have acquired companies that strengthened their in-house capabilities, companies that previously supplied their complicated ébauches. Not all of these brands have used their acquisitions as well as Bulgari have, I’ll tell you that. (What is the use of buying a legendary Stradivarius if you can’t play it properly?) And don’t forget that Bulgari acquired Gérald Genta in 1999, which was 17 years ago and also literally last millennium. Get over it already.

Plus, let’s face it — who are these people picking on Bulgari and dismissing their legitimate work? Answer: Snobs. Advice: Don’t be one of them.

Even if you take off a few marks for standing on the shoulders of horological giants (specious practice unless applied to all modern watches, but we’ll run with it now for the sake of argument), the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater is still totally a BFD. Here are five outstandingly solid reasons to love the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater.

It’s the ultimate feat of ultra-thin watchmaking

Basic watchmaking here — everything else being equal, the more complex a watch is, the bigger it’s going to be. In fact, this is probably a good rule of thumb for most things in life that obey the laws of the natural world. Sonnerie complications are the most complex of all watch mechanisms, which means they have the most moving parts. When you have a bunch of sequentially activated moving parts, you generally want to give them as much space as you can, because every fraction of a millimetre you shave off in clearances results in a non-linear increase in risk of something jamming, or something breaking, or something not engaging correctly — the mechanical equivalent of the all-time top-ranked rage inducer “PC LOAD LETTER” error message that will have you reaching for the nearest baseball bat and your hip-hop record collection.

Making a small complicated movement is like the most bad-ass game of watchmaking chicken ever. How closely can you cut your margins and tolerances before you get mown down by the freight train of physics and its cargo of tiny errors? Ultra-thin records are a good thing to have, but look at the cautionary tale of the Lassale cal. 1200, which measured only 1.2mm thick and was so fragile that it was irreparably damaged by the mere act of opening up the watch during servicing. The only thing to do was to put an entirely new movement in. I’m reminded of those impossible bags of potato chips that explode all over the room without warning after you’ve struggled to pull the top open for the better part of five minutes. It sounds funny at first, but the pain is real, you guys. Nobody wants that.

The movement of the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, the cal. BVL 362 is 3.12mm thick. The next thinnest manual-winding minute repeater movement in production is 3.9mm — 25 percent thicker. In what bizarre world does a watch company produce a watch that is 25 percent ahead of its nearest competitor and yet not get universally recognised immediately as a horological powerhouse?

Thing is, there isn’t even anything that insanely innovative about the construction of the BVL 362. We see space-saving solutions such as the variant centrifugal chime governor, which dispenses with the necessity of the more familiar regulator drum by bringing the inertia masses to bear upon their axis rather than their perimeter. We saw this concept at work already in the Vacheron Constantin cal. 2755 and the Cartier cal. 9406 MC, though. Every essential security is given to the movement — some have suggested that some fractions of a millimetre might have been shaved off by the use of cantilevered “flying” components, but the BVL 362 looks after its own, and the massive barrel is firmly anchored between plate and bridge.

In other words, Bulgari built the world’s thinnest minute repeater not by torching the rule book, but by playing the game the best it’s ever been played.

Its multi-dimensional design

The Octo is a beautiful watch. I’ve said this ever since Bulgari relaunched the case in 2012. There is an elegance about it; the stepped symmetry, the taut interplay of shapes that recalls the constructs of classical geometry. That much is obvious from a quick handling of the Octo.

What is far more intriguing about the Octo is its simultaneous articulation — alongside this elegance — of a focused strength that emerges more distinctly on repeated viewings. The lines of the case are precise and balanced, but they are also resolute, almost to the point of monolithic brutalism. When trying to accurately describe the Octo, you’ll find it hard not to indulge in literary paradoxes, due to its dualist approach to design. Plenty of watches attempt to be both strong and elegant at the same time, but only the Octo manages it so effortlessly.

The Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater is in titanium, which aids in chime transmission, of course, but the hue emphasises the architectural, stone-hewn lines of the case as well as lifting it into modernity. The pierced dial is similarly functional in an acoustic way; it also removes the necessity of having printed or applied markers (thus playing a part in height reduction) and allows a glimpse of the movement beneath.

In terms of design, materials and intent, the Octo Finissimo conveys intelligence, power and control. If you don’t think that’s sexy, I can’t help you. You all need therapy or something.

It evokes the tradition of Vallée de Joux watchmaking

The watch movements of the Vallée de Joux have a certain family resemblance. I can’t explain it exactly, but if you look at watches every day of your life for six years you’ll know what I mean. I suspect it has to do with the very distinct horological culture that exists in this little pocket of the Jura — watchmaking has a different flavour in Neuchâtel and Geneva and these flavours are as distinct to watch natives as the differences between German and American carmakers would be to a car lover.

High complication is at home in the Vallée de Joux. The great tradition of Frédéric Piguet, LeCoultre and Lemania repeater ébauches are echoed (I nearly typed “repeated”) through the chiming repertoires of the most revered watchmaking houses.

The BVL 362 is a Vallée de Joux minute repeater and it shows in every finely decorated component. This probably won’t appeal to everyone, because not every watch enthusiast or watch buyer is deeply sunk into the history and culture of Swiss watchmaking. However, there’s something to be said for the expression of heritage, and seeing as how the weight of this heritage is kind of the entire reason we buy Swiss watches…

That sound

Civilisation began when humans began to occupy a shared time. People organised their lives around a common schedule, and these schedules were marked by the audible expression of time. We still preserve this phenomenon in our natural idiom — we don’t say that our watches show us the time, we say they tell us the time. In our earliest consciousness, time is heard, not seen. The word “clock” comes from the Latin for “bell” (clocca), and it’s no coincidence that bells have a major role in belief systems around the world.

Have you heard the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, when slowed down to an eighth of its usual speed?

It is a call to genuflexion.

Last but not least…

I have to be perfectly honest now — I’ve led you guys on long enough. I don’t actually think any of those points listed above are reasons to love the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater. I know, I know, but hear me out. That would imply that there is a direct correlation between the number and magnitude of one’s accomplishments and the love that one can expect to receive as a result. Needless to say, this is a ludicrous way to think about love.

The truth is, we love watches not because of the things they can do or the superlatives attached to their descriptions. We love them because of how they make us feel. Okay, some watch owners love their timepieces because they make them feel strong, or successful, or powerful in the eyes of others. Those who receive watches as gifts love them because of the affection that’s implied in such a gift. These are all transferred qualities — it isn’t the watches themselves that impart these feelings, but the embedded opinions of those others whom we value.

What about the watch itself? What and how does it make you feel?

Here, I’ll go first. It makes me feel wonder and delight, at the expression of creativity and the understanding of the rich fabric of watchmaking history it represents. It makes me feel humbled at how little I’ve done that approximates the amount of work and perseverance that went into it. It makes me feel pleasure at its song and respect for its skill. It makes me feel like I want to tell everyone about it. It makes me feel like I want to be better at everything I do. It makes me feel love.