Like anyone else, I’m not exactly crazy about repeating myself, but I’ll do it for this watch, because I’ve never felt about any other chiming watch the way I do about the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater. Its design is extraordinary — its octagonal form, interleaved with discs and arches and sharp-cut angles, topped with a matte pierced dial that exposes glimpses of the contrasting metallic movement surfaces beneath. It is a densely layered aesthetic that comes well up to the role of Bulgari’s vanguard collection, evoking the cultural and historical palimpsest of Rome, the brand’s native city.

The Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater combines design and function in a seamless (and flawless, I might add, though I admit it is hard for me to remain objective in judgment) partnership — that pierced dial that you all probably thought was just a pretty face plays a key part in allowing the chime to propagate out of the watch. The staggered architecture of the watch also strengthens its structural integrity, allowing its dimensions to be compressed to the utmost without harming the performance of the movement within.

I don’t care much for records (though I can see why they’re important), and the fact that the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater is the thinnest repeater in production today is not half as interesting as the fact that Bulgari released it this year, when watch sales figures are painting a pessimistic picture. Who brings out a watch this strong at a time like this? What happened to not rocking the boat? What happened to giving the people what they want to hear?

Which brings us to that phenomenal chime. Take your time to listen to it. The heart leaps in adoration. One thing’s for sure — giving the people what they want to hear isn’t mutually exclusive with creating something true and beautiful.

There are three main justifications for saying the same thing over and over again. Firstly, that it is true. Secondly, that it matters. Thirdly, that not enough people know it yet. This year at Baselworld, I spent a substantial amount of time charging up to people and making them listen to a recording of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater that I’d made on my phone. (Just to clarify — these were my friends. I didn’t go around accosting strangers.) A few weeks ago, I wrote an article (more like epithalamium) enumerating the superb qualities of this watch.

I don’t know how often I’ve waxed evangelical about it already, but this certainly won’t be the last time. This is how revolutions start, or so I’m told. Go forth. Spread the word.


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