Introducing the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT in Black Ceramic: The “Nuclear Option’’ for Revolution & The Rake

In the follow-up to “White Light,” the fully luminous Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT created for us last year, we’ve gone nuclear with a case in black sandblasted ceramic and a dial so luminous it can be seen from space.

Ladies and gentlemen, run for cover because we’ve gone nuclear. OK, forgive the levity. We have not followed in Robert Oppenheimer’s footsteps. And it is not our intention to generate the existential malaise that a certain sartorially challenged individual from Pyongyang has. Instead, I refer to the dial of our latest collaboration with one of our very favourite brands, Bvlgari.

Let’s flashback to last year when we launched our Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT in sandblasted titanium, with a fully luminous dial designed by the incredible Fabrizio Buonamassa. As you may recall, the objective with that watch was to create the ultimate “tool” version of the stunning record-setting automatic chronograph with the peripheral rotor. Any tool watch needs to have luminous indexes and hands. But in the Octo Finissimo, this proved almost impossible. Says Buonamassa, “With a dial that is only 0.3mm thick, the indexes and hands were just too thin to be coated with LumiNova. But then I thought, what if we painted the entire dial and then all the indications would stand out in negative relief?” As you can imagine, I loved this. Buonamassa immediately set to work on dial prototyping.

This watch is now sold out.

He explains, “We went through quite a few dials. Some were too luminous so that even in normal light they were glowing, and some were not luminous enough. We wanted to find just the right balance so it looked like a normal white dial chronograph in daylight but as soon as you moved into darkness, it glowed with perfect visibility and remained luminous for a long time.” One of my favourite moments when lockdown was lifted was a video sent to me by Bvlgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin as he and Buonamassa were discussing the dials over lunch. Eventually, we selected a white dial that remained in a relatively stable, non-luminous state when in normal light but became fully luminous in the dark. This was in order to keep the full lume element as a surprise for when owners went into ambient or dark conditions.

 

 

Published

September 2021

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