Quietly, but with predatory dexterity, the Bulgari Octo has been devouring market share in the men’s timepiece market. And they’ve done this in a very simple and brilliant way, by making watches that you actually want to buy.

Specifically the Octo Finissimo range. While the underlying design iconography of the Octo has been genetically linked to Gerald Genta’s design of the same name at nauseam, the modern Octo Finissimo has little to do with the thick heavily faceted and somewhat unwieldy Genta designed watch.

Instead Bulgari watch boss, Guido Terreni and brilliant design director, Fabrizio Buonamassa have out “Gentaed” Genta by delving in the heart of the Octo and extracting a design that is super sleek, elegant, massively sexy, wholly contemporary and might well be the coolest shaped watch on the planet.

One look in the Octo and your brain immediately time warps back to the halcyon era of the Riviera Playboy, a time before the Cote d’Azur was overrun with Russian prostitutes and Cohiba festooned Ukrainian coal mine owning troglodytes posing unconvincingly as sophisticates.

The Octo Finissimo harks back to the glory days of saturnine superstars Porfirio Rubirosa and Baby Pignatari each of which would have looked perfectly in character with one nestled on his sizable wrist.

A big part of the Octo’s desirably louche elan is its ultra sleek profile. And I should pause here to explain to the varying brands that have been heralding the second coming of the ultra slim watch for the better part of the past decade, that it doesn’t matter if your watch is wafer theeeen (affect Monty Python accent here) no one will buy it if it is also not very good looking.

Quietly, but with predatory dexterity, the Bulgari Octo has been devouring market share in the men’s timepiece market. And they’ve done this in a very simple and brilliant way, by making watches that you actually want to buy.

Specifically the Octo Finissimo range. While the underlying design iconography of the Octo has been genetically linked to Gerald Genta’s design of the same name at nauseam, the modern Octo Finissimo has little to do with the thick heavily faceted and somewhat unwieldy Genta designed watch.

Instead Bulgari watch boss, Guido Terreni and brilliant design director, Fabrizio Buonamassa have out “Gentaed” Genta by delving in the heart of the Octo and extracting a design that is super sleek, elegant, massively sexy, wholly contemporary and might well be the coolest shaped watch on the planet.

One look in the Octo and your brain immediately time warps back to the halcyon era of the Riviera Playboy, a time before the Cote d’Azur was overrun with Russian prostitutes and Cohiba festooned Ukrainian coal mine owning troglodytes posing unconvincingly as sophisticates.

The Octo Finissimo harks back to the glory days of saturnine superstars Porfirio Rubirosa and Baby Pignatari each of which would have looked perfectly in character with one nestled on his sizable wrist.

A big part of the Octo’s desirably louche elan is its ultra sleek profile. And I should pause here to explain to the varying brands that have been heralding the second coming of the ultra slim watch for the better part of the past decade, that it doesn’t matter if your watch is wafer theeeen (affect Monty Python accent here) no one will buy it if it is also not very good looking.

But the Octo Finissimo is just that, and the magic trick of its bold striking presence counter pointed by its staggeringly sleek profile is as appealingly perplexing as super models with a unbelievably unbalanced breast to waist ratio, think Brooklyn Decker, Letitia Casta, Elle Macpherson or the Heidi Klum in their prime, empirical proof of a kind, benevolent and motorboat-loving God.

So you see the Bulgari Oct Finissimo cleverly straddles both the lifestyle market – appealing to the type of owner that takes a look at it, thinks it’s cool, straps it on, takes a selfie, takes a wristshot, posts them on instagram, receives a barrage of thumbs up, fist pump emoticons accompanied by #yolo #livinthedream #gotmyswaggerback from his homeboys like Gianluca Vacchi and Zach Efron — then buys it.

As well as the watch geek market, thanks to its incredible innovation in the pursuit of its program for ultra slim world domination. And as we’ve seen in my previous article about the epic Bulgari Octo Finissimo Petite Seconds these watches are the result of a holistic approach related to simultaneous case, dial and movement innovation to arrive at watch a hair over 5 mm in thickness.

But the watch that epitomizes Bulgari’s twin qualities of playboy cool and technical brilliance is the brands incredible Octo Finissimo Tourbillon. Launched in 2014, this timepiece holds the record as the single thinnest tourbillon in the world, with a movement that measures only 1.95 mm in thickness resulting in a watch that is only 5 mm thick.

Hold up a second. Is your mind adequately blown? Because that is actually thinner than the time only petite seconde model and at half a centimeter in thickness the watch actually feels as if it’s strap is thicker than its case. But then look at it from the front and Octo Finissimo explodes with expressive ability, focused on the aperture at 6 o’clock featuring its signature flying tourbillon.

First of all let’s acknowledge that Bulgari had to go the flying tourbillon route and dispense with the upper bridge to make a thinner movement. But it actually went much further than this to achieve its ultra sleek goals.

The entire tourbillon sits in a special race. Between the race and tourbillon cage are ball bearings — meaning that this is the very first tourbillon whose cage is not bourn by a central pinion but instead held in place between a special guiding race, and a series of ball bearings.

Exploded Diagram of the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Movement (Dial Side)

If you look at the back of the tourbillon you’ll see that there is no toothed pinion nor a toothed third wheel delivering power from the train. Instead look at the top of the cage from the front of the watch. See that geared surface at the perimeter of the cage? That’s driven by a special gear wheel that receives power from the train.

One other interesting aspect about the watch is that the teeth of the fixed fourth wheel face inward rather than outwards allowing this element to be created in a skeletonized minimalistic format that doesn’t obscure your view of the back of the tourbillon.

Finally the large sized ultra-flat balance wheel is free sprung and adjusted appropriately enough using the eight round weights poised on its rim.

Says Guido Terrini, “Ceramic ball bearings had been used before for winding systems and there are other tourbillons that are powered from the perimeter of the cage (Bovet tourbillons to be specific) however this is the first time all these concepts were combined with the goal of making an ultra-flat yet highly reliable tourbillon caliber.

The movement is placed into the case from the front of the watch, the ultra thin dial using precious metal indexes that are stuck onto it, bezel and crystal are added and the whole watch is secured using screws that thread into the feet of the bezel.

Using our in-house ability in movement, case and dial making and our amazing Italian design aesthetic — we managed to create not just the thinnest tourbillon on the market but also one of the best looking.”

Guido my friend, I am very much inclined to agree.