Chronopassion Everything starts with the Finissimo
A trendsetter and early-adopter, Laurent Picciotto explains why the Octo Finissimo is a watch unlike any other.
Until the launch of the Finissimo, Chronopassion had never worked with Bulgari. Why?
The maison is above all dedicated to high-jewellery and aimed at the female clientele. This has never been our core target. The launch of the Finissimo has completely changed this perception, and it did so in record time. No one expected a jeweller for women to become a watchmaking reference for men in such a short time. It all started with the Finissimo.
Octo Finissimo Carbon Minute Repeater & Octo Finissimo Automatic Tourbillon © Bulgari
There were, however, some precedents around the Place Vendôme…
It is true, with very beautiful pieces but in spite of that, the feminine touch on these pieces remained distinct. Moreover, most of them were quite conventional watches—round, leather strap, nothing disruptive in terms of design. Quite the opposite of the Bulgari approach.
Why do you think Bulgari has succeeded where others haven’t?
The first reason is the brand’s Italian origins. Quite honestly, only Italians could bring back a trend that was once considered “has-been”! The extra-thin trend was at a standstill, having reached its unavoidable maturity. It was necessary to jump a step, to slice and dice, to break the codes. Bulgari did that.
The second reason was aesthetic boldness. Bulgari made no compromises. The point of view is resolutely modern. The materials are technical, the aesthetic codes are tone-on-tone, not to mention the five world records lined up in record time.
Octo Finissimo Titanium & Octo Finissimo Ceramic © Bulgari
So, according to you, the Octo Finissimo has become an icon…
For me, without a doubt. Bulgari has here it’s emblematic watch. A master stroke, but not without risk.
Because the Octo Finissimo immediately achieved a perfect balance: the extra-thin, ultra-light materials, the right dimensions, the integrated bracelet, the almost stealth-like aesthetic codes on some models. There is nothing to add, nothing to take away. Each time a new model is announced, we tremble a little! This was the case, notably, for the chronograph. Even I had some difficulty conceiving how well this complication could be integrated within the Finissimo’s design. And then in the end, the watch found its place. Its diameter went from 40 to 42mm—it is balanced, strong, modern. It is a pure Finissimo. Now, we will see what the sixth world record, announced for this year, has in store for us...
Octo Finissimo © Bulgari
Don’t certain clients have a barrier to overcome with a brand that is perceived as high-jewellery and for women, towards a watch that is so thin—something that is at times perceived contrary to the idea of virility?
Yes, of course. To convince them in terms of watchmaking, when you line up a tourbillon, a minute repeater and five world records, it becomes a moot point. For the rest, it’s a question of feeling. There are three steps. First, before putting it on the wrist, collectors are immediately surprised by the weight. Some pieces come down to 50 grams, including the bracelet. Whether you like it or not, the initial surprise and curiosity are there. Then there’s wearing it. There, they realize that the Finissimo has a lot of presence, even power, on the wrist. It’s a unique sensation. Finally, there is the habit, not to say the acclimation, after eight days. The Finissimo is totally forgotten. It is part of you, you don’t feel it anymore. You simply can’t put on anything else afterwards.
Laurent Picciotto avec sa Bulgari Octo Finissimo © Bulgari
Which are your preferred models?
I’ve already acquired five of them. I have a preference for the three-hand models. Titanium, steel, a black variation with ruthenium hands. They each have their own personality. The price positioning is very thoughtful, and puts them within the reach of the greatest number of collectors without difficulty. That’s almost all I wear now.
Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic © Bulgari
Bulgari has its own clear definition of excellence, which involves the perfect balance between design, added-value, quality of its products and its worldwide service. In the case of Bulgari watches, it all started with the Bulgari Bulgari watch that led to the creation of Bulgari Time in Switzerland in 1982.Find out more >
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