Bulgari’s Flat World Comes to Chennai

The Italian luxury brand is making a stopover bringing its ultra-thin Octo Finissimo watches to major Indian cities

The Italian luxury brand is making a stopover bringing its ultra-thin Octo Finissimo watches to major Indian cities

Last March, at the Geneva Watch Show, the Italian luxury brand Bulgari launched the thinnest mechanical watch in the world. The Octo Finissimo Ultra. An ultra-refined dress watch, just 1.8mm thick, complete with a QR code engraved on the barrel ratchet wheel, providing access to exclusive NFT artwork. Much has been said about the finesse with which the BVL 180 caliber has been integrated directly into the tungsten carbide caseback of the watch. And about the recessed dials and the perceived depth of the watch. So when Bulgari held a private exhibition earlier this week at ITC Grand Chola’s Tranquebar, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the famous Octo collection, some customers lined up to get a closer look at this stunningly flat beauty. Unfortunately, with only 10 pieces made and all sold, this wait could continue until 2023, when another version would be launched.

That said, this low-key “pop-up” hosted by luxury watch retailer Helvetica included fellow ultra-thin Octo rockstars, led by the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar. Last year’s record keeper (the BVL caliber 305 is just 2.75mm thick) with a retrograde date display, the titanium version is said to be the series’ most popular watch in the country. This despite a 12 month waiting period.

movement club

Osman Abdul Razak and Teerath Doshi from Helvetica with Zahir from Bulgari

Helvetica’s Osman Abdul Razak and Teerath Doshi with Bulgari’s Zahir | Photo credit: R.K.

With Bulgari setting records in ultra-thin watchmaking since 2014, this Octo Finissimo show brought movement nerds together. According to Helvetica director Teerath Doshi, the city’s mechanical watch collectors are still predominantly male with only a few females joining the club. The growing interest in watches, however, prompted Doshi to launch another luxury watch destination in Chennai. Meanwhile, menswear specialist Osman Abdul Razak, who spun the elegant Octo Finissimo minute repeater that afternoon, shared his intention to select a selection of vintage watches from different brands to meet this audience.

Serpenti Solution

Serpenti watch strap seven turns in rose gold

Serpenti watch strap seven turns in rose gold

As there is no Bulgari window without the iconic Serpenti, a corner was dedicated to best-sellers such as the Serpenti diamond and ruby ​​double coil and the extravagant Serpenti seven coil bracelet watches in pink gold. Would the latter have takers in Chennai, I wondered. The team seemed to think so but were more optimistic about the next stop on their journey: Hyderabad.

After mostly virtual watch sessions during the pandemic and shopping online (Bulgari has added e-commerce customers from Bhubaneswar and Hubli over the past two years), the Roman jeweler is creating the right amount of buzz ahead of the start of the third edition of the Geneva Watch Days in August. 29. Initiated by Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin to appeal to festive shoppers – ahead of Chinese Golden Week, Diwali, Christmas and New Year – it will feature 30 watch brands, including Breitling and De Bethune. As for the thinnest watch in the world, only a few months after Bulgari Ultra claimed this title, Richard Mille, in collaboration with Ferrari, presented the RM UP-01 Ferrari. At 1.75mm thick, it proved that the watch industry is always up for a challenge.

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