Celebrating the Bulgari Octo in Rome
No other luxury brand can boast such an intense bond with Rome like Bulgari does. Today, the great jeweler belonging to the LVMH group, is constantly involved in the world of haute-horlogerie; a sector that has been growing at an incredible pace and whose new hero is the Octo.
The Octo was also the protagonist of the "B-Dinner"; an event organized by Watchonista - our media partner - and Bulgari, where a selected group of web influencers was asked to take part in an intense and, I would add “quite unforgettable”, Roman day.
My passion for this collection is well-known; it is the collection that has exponentially increased my interest in Bulgari as a manufacturer, which, with its Finissimo, gave a further shaking to the world of watch-making, thus showing us, once and for all, that Bulgari is taking it very seriously when it comes to being a watches brand. The Finissimo is still the automatic watch with the world's thinnest caliber, even in its complicated versions such as the Skeleton or the Minute Repeater, and I think it will maintain this record for quite a long time to come.
Behind the scenes was a “dream team” made up of Jean-Christophe Babin, Guido Terreni and Fabrizio Buonamassa (CEO, Director of the Watch Division and Creative Director, respectively).The creative contribution of the man who led TAG Heuer for many years is still quite tangible. The result is that, for products such as the Octo Finissimo - one of the best watches unveiled in Basel this year – the demand has outstripped the offer by far.
And if we also consider that, while I'm writing this article, Bulgari has presented a limited series model to celebrate its single-branded-boutique on the Fifth Avenue, I reckon that Bulgari has created, in a very short period of time, an icon of style designed to last for a long time (just like the Bulgari Bulgari was). We know how difficult it is to come up with a break-through item, and being able to create an icon in a sector dominated by sacred monsters is quite a remarkable achievement.
The Bulgari boutique in Rome is located on Via Condotti, opposite the historic “Caffé Greco” and almost adjacent to the Spanish Steps. In 2013, I had visited this boutique in quite a superficial way at the beginning of my adventure, but, today, I have been lucky enough to really discover it and listen to the story and the anecdotes of the family and to share with my friends from the world of media some ideas and opinions about the Octo models; from the Roma to the Finissimo, all the way up to the high range versions I mentioned above.
In this blend of timepieces, it was quite interesting to see, for the first time, the Octo Maserati GranLusso; an automatic watch with retrograde hours that simulates a rev counter. The Trident doesn’t need any presentations and it is part of my childhood, as my dad used to drive one of them.
A great opportunity you are granted when you take part to an event like the “B-Dinner” is that you can exchange points of view with other influencers, who are not coming from the world of watch-making; their comments are precious and they show you how much an outside eye can help you seize details that a trained eye that constantly and solely observes watches would sometimes fail to catch.
All the rest is mechanics that would need to be venerated, like the mechanics of the Skeleton, that, like the Minute Repeater, I saw for the very first time. You should try on one of these timepieces and then let me know if you think you will ever be able to put back your own watch!
After an exciting ride on a Bulgari Fiat 500 around the Roman hills, we met for dinner at the "Dal Bolognese’" restaurant in Piazza del Popolo. After listening to the welcome message of Jean-Christophe and Guido, the evening went on in a very relaxed atmosphere, where we discussed about current watches and future projects: Bulgari's enthusiasm is amazing and the alchemy that has been created will start off new ventures that will see the light during Baselworld 2018.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Watchonista)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®