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20th Anniversary
Bulgari - One Year, One Watch

Bulgari One Year, One Watch

2017 : Octo Finissimo*

Tastes

Quattro Café, my favourite pizza place, nestled in South Coast Plaza Mall, California, the most luxurious mall in the US. The walls are decorated with photos of Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren. Good food and watches have one thing in common: taste. And it has to be said that in 2017, taste was everywhere. Tastes and colours: in April, Starbucks started selling the Unicorn Frappuccino, a chilled drink with amazing colours. This 500-calorie cocktail generated a 4% increase in the multinational’s sales! Then too, there was black, king of #foodporn. Food was covered with charcoal: healthy and visually impressive. A taste for provocation: quarterback Colin Kaepernick regularly took a knee to protest against racism and police violence against minorities. There was bad taste, too, in the eyes of many, with the presidential inauguration of the 45th POTUS, Donald Trump. The Oscars saw another instance of bad taste: the huge gaffe in the announcement of the Academy Award for Best Picture. It would take quite some time for the La La Land team to recover. There was a woman of taste, with the 20th anniversary of the legendary Time magazine cover story “Yep, I’m Gay!” by TV star and renowned watch collector Ellen DeGeneres. And a man of taste: watch-lover Ed Sheeran’s song Shape of You broke a record by being streamed 1.3 billion times.

One Year, One Watch

Octo Finissimo © Bulgari

There was a bitter taste for the Italian soccer team, which failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup – and bitter tears, too. In addition, there was distaste aplenty, with revelations about the sexual abuse committed by Harvey Weinstein. The #MeToo movement gained momentum, arousing a taste for punishing sexual predators. And last but by no means least, the year saw the triumph of The Shape of Water, a sensitive, aesthetically successful, and above all tasteful film in which an aquatic creature falls in love with the woman who won his trust by giving him an egg. As I said, taste was everywhere. This calls for a watch of Italian origin, with an unusual shape, that’s tasteful in the extreme, and perhaps even brings to mind the pizzas at my beloved Quattro. There can only be one: the Bulgari Octo Finissimo.

Why Bulgari?

Bulgari stands for La Dolce Vita, Rome, jewellery, Italian-style elegance, and gleaming Vespa mopeds buzzing through the streets of Rome! This despite the fact that Bulgari’s founder Sotirios Voulgaris was Greek; his firm gained renown for items that drew inspiration from antiquity, blending his Greek origins and Latin culture. The brand rapidly became synonymous with Italian luxury, standing out from the crowd with original, colourful creations that won the hearts of male and female stars alike. In 1977, Bulgari decided to move into watchmaking, once again bringing its distinctive Mediterranean style to bear. Forty years on, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo was as fine an example as one could wish for.

One Year, One Watch

Octo Finissimo © Bulgari

Bulgari Octo Finissimo – ma che bella!

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo reminds me of a delicious Margherita pizza. For the avoidance of doubt, that’s in no way intended as a criticism! This watch has taste. Generally speaking, fine watches are dressy, while sports watches are chunky. But Bulgari’s ultra-slim timepiece, with its angular case and octagonal bezel, manages to combine the sporty look with finesse. Everything in this watch simply oozes the same Italian taste that’s so evident in fashion: fine cuts, tone, well-chosen materials and delicacy. And of course, the movement looks as if it was made by Ferrari. Congratulations are thus in order as we welcome the birth of a new Italian chic that’s as pleasing to the eye as it is to wear.

The Take from The Devil’s Advocate

For one thing, he simply hates pizza, so how could he find this Bulgari appetising? But culinary tastes aside, the Octo has scored a bullseye. I live in hope of there being a slightly smaller version; the watch looks rather too big on thinner wrists. And just this once, I wouldn’t have bothered with the ‘Swiss made’ legend, making the dial even more minimalistic and preserving an aura of mystery as to this bella’s origins.

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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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.

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