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Bulgari celebrates the eighth anniversary of its ultra-thin, record-breaking Octo Finissimo collection by introducing another record-breaking watch, the Octo Finissimo Ultra, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch.

The new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch.

Measuring 1.80mm thick and 40mm in diameter, the new watch is Bulgari’s eighth watch breaking a record for its thinness, bypassing Piaget’s Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch from 2018, which measures 2.0mm thick.

Bulgari’s’ impressive run of record-breaking Octo Finissimo watches began in 2014 with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Manual, and extended into last year’s Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar. (See below for full list of all the Octo Finissimo record-breaking watches).

Bulgari says it had to rethink its approach to achieving such thin cases and movements in order to ensure the new watch’s rigidity and functionality. Step one was to combine the movement with the case, which essentially makes the watch its own movement and places all its components onto one plane.

Thus, Bulgari uses the new watch’s case back as a main plate on which it builds all 170 components of the BVL Calibre 180. Bulgari achieved the required rigidity by making the case middle, case back/main plate, bezel and titanium lugs from a dense, hard and ultra-resistant combination of carbon and tungsten. Bulgari uses the same material to construct the bracelet, which is required to integrate perfectly into the case with the same thinness.

To resolve the thinness problem presented by the traditional winding crown, Bulgari devised two horizontal, knurled knobs for this watch. One knob (at the 8 o’clock position) is for winding and the other for setting (at the 3 o’clock position). Both can be handled when the watch is on the wrist.

Bulgari has filed eight patent applications for this watch. They relate to the watch glass assembly, barrel structure, oscillator module, differential display, modular structure, bracelet, bi-metal case middle-main plate/case back, as well as the Bulgari Singvlarity technology.

Unusually, Bulgari has engraved a QR code on the watch’s large barrel ratchet wheel. The code opens an online space dedicated to the watch that will feature interviews, making-of segments, a virtual 3D tour of the movement, and an exploration of the visible/invisible concept linked to the watch. Each of the ten owners of the Octo Finissimo Ultra will also receive an exclusive NFT artwork guaranteeing the authenticity of the watch and the link to its owner.

Price: 400,000 euros (about $440,000)

 

Eight Years of Bulgari Ultra Thin Records

Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo debuts since 2014 include watches that demonstrate and impressive range of timekeeping, acoustic and astronomical complications, in addition to their ultra-thin profile.

These watches (above) are, from left: Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Manual (2014, BVL Calibre 268, 1.95 mm), Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater (2016, BVL 362, 3.12 mm), Octo Finissimo Automatic (2017, BVL 138, 2. 23 mm), Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic (2018, BVL 288, 3.95 mm), Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic (2019, BVL 318, 3.30 mm), Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic (2020, BVL 388, 3.50 mm), Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar (2021, BVL 305, 2.75 mm). This year: Octo Finissimo Ultra (see above).

Source: Bulgari

 

Specifications: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra

Movement: Mechanical ultra-thin Manufacture manual-winding movement – BVL Calibre 180 (1.50 mm thick). Winding and time-setting wheels in stainless steel; seconds display directly on the fourth wheel; ratchet wheel engraved with unique QR code that links to an exclusive NFT artwork. 50-hour power reserve; 28,800 VPH (4 Hz) frequency.

Case and dial: 40mm sandblasted titanium case and tungsten carbide plate with anthracite DLC treatment (1.80 mm thick); hours and minutes counters, black PVD-treated hands; water-resistant to 1 ATM (10 meters).

Bracelet: Ultra-thin titanium bracelet with integrated folding clasp.

Limited edition of 10.

 

Collectors frustrated by the very limited nature of last year’s MB&F M.A.D.1 now have a chance to score a new version of the very cool, affordably priced automatic watch with lateral time display and tricked-out upside-down Miyota movement.

MB&F is releasing the new M.A.D. 1 Red under the new M.A.D. Editions label.

MB&F’s new M.A.D. 1 Red looks very similar to the original blue-tinged M.A.D.1, which was available last year only to MB&F Friends and MB&F watch owners.

Like that first watch, the new model also displays time via two highly luminous rotating cylinders around its case. Just as eye-catching is the unidirectional titanium and tungsten triple-blade rotor spinning quickly atop the watch. MB&F makes all this happen by fitting and re-engineering the watch’s Miyota movement upside-down in the steel M.A.D. 1 Red case.   

In addition to the new cherry red hue on this Red edition, MB&F has thinned the bezel and added a traditional winding crown (at 12 o’clock) to the watch. The crown on last year’s blue edition featured a folding protector that doubled as a winding aid.

MB&F is making these special editions under a new brand name, M.A.D. Editions, and has long-term plans for additional models. Collectors who have previously contacted MB&F about the earlier M.A.D. Edition watch, or who already own an MB&F watch (or are MB&F Friends) are first in line to purchase the new watch.

If you’re not among those categories, there’ still a path toward obtaining your own M.A.D 1 Red: MB&F is conducting a lottery for interested buyers.

“Once we have the confirmations of the priority orders, we’ll then take all the remaining M.A.D.1 Red pieces available, and allocate them thanks to a lottery, open to everyone,” explains MB&F founder Max Busser.

“If you’re interested in participating in the lottery, which is of course totally free of charge, please go to our eShop to obtain a lottery ticket – and relax, there’s no rush, you have the next two weeks to get a ticket. After two weeks we’ll then proceed with a random draw, and we’ll let you know whether the draw has been favorable to you – in which case you will be able to place your order.”

Given the price (CHF 2,900) and the pedigree of the new M.A.D.1 Red, expect very high demand.

Deliveries of the M.A.D.1 Red commence in April and continue throughout the rest of this year. While the first deliveries will go to collectors who wrote to MB&F previously, MB&F expects to start delivering watches to the lottery winners between September and December.

For additional details see the MB&F eShop at: https://shop.madgallery.ch/

 

 

Greubel Forsey continues to expand its Convexe collection, a relatively new series of watches characterized by a convex bezel and crystal that showcases the multi-level, multi-dimensional nature of its complicated movements.

The new Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Convexe.

The newest addition, the Double Balancier Convexe, finds the watchmaker’s existing Double Balancier movement (in its latest 2016 iteration) presented in a convex titanium case with a dramatic curved layout displaying the caliber’s openworked gears, wheels and bridges.

Within the undulating bezel, which Greubel Forsey first presented in 2019, we see the watch’s gear train in all its multi-level, highly finished splendor just below a semicircular black-treated titanium bridge. The skeletal hour and minute hands are set atop the gilded, stacked gear train, rotating well above the small seconds display. The seconds remain quite visible despite the display’s location deep within the movement.

The small seconds hand (lower right) is polished and blued steel, as is the four-minute hand (set between the two balances) that shows the rotational speed of the spherical differential.

Flanking each corner are the watch’s namesake two balance wheels, each inclined at 30° and separated by a constant spherical differential that ‘calculates’ their average timing rate.

The watch also gets its name from the convex profile of its 43.5 mm titanium case and bezel. The contemporary polished and brushed bezel frames the movement with undulating lines that are higher on the sides and lower at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions.

Greubel Forsey explains that it constructs each hand for this watch (and for many watches in its collection) with individual geometry, finish and color. Thus, the hour hand and the minute hand are curved and filled with SuperLuminova to complement the hour indexes.

The small seconds hand is polished and blued steel, as is the four-minute hand (set between the two balances) that shows the rotational speed of the spherical differential. Finally, the power reserve hand is polished, open-worked and tipped with red.

The Convexe collection is meant to be this high-end maker’s contemporary ‘daily wear’ collection. You’ll see none of the Greubel Forsey foundational phrases engraved on the dial or bezel within this collection. And, with 100 meters of water resistance and fully integrated lugs, the watch fits snugly on the wrist for wearing comfort rain or shine.

Greubel Forsey offers the new Double Balancier Convexe on either a textured rubber strap or titanium bracelet. The manufacturer will make twenty-two per year between 2022 and 2024 for a total of sixty-six pieces overall.

Prices: $340,000 (strap) and $385,000 (bracelet).

 

Specifications: Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Convexe


Movement: Hand-wound movement with two patents and high-end, hand-applied finishes throughout. These include frosted, polished beveling and countersinks, 
black treatment, multi-level, open-worked center bridge, black 
treatment, polished beveling and countersinks. Also, flat black polished steel differential bridge, gold plate with engraved limitation number, 
circular-grained, polished beveling and countersinks, straight-grained flanks, escapement platform inclined at a 30° angle, open-worked steel balance wheel bridges. Displays: hours and minutes, small seconds, 4-minutes spherical constant differential rotation, power-reserve (of 72 hours). Frequency: 21,600 vibrations/hour.

Case: 43.5mm by 13.75mm titanium with curved synthetic sapphire crystal, Three-dimensional, variable geometry-shaped bezel, hand-polished with hand-finished straight graining
, raised engraving “Double Balancier” and “Greubel Forsey.” Water resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Three-dimensional, variable geometry hour ring with engraved and lacquered minute circle, black treatment, power-reserve indicator, engraved and lacquered.

Strap: Non-animal material, rubber with texture in relief, titanium folding clasp, engraved GF logo. On demand:
 3-row metal bracelet in titanium, folding clasp with integrated fine adjustment, engraved GF logo.

 

Hublot this week offers new options to its customers in search of a slightly thinner, downsized Big Bang as the Geneva watchmaker launches a 40mm Time Only Big Bang Integral.

Hublot will debut the new 40mm collection in a choice of three metals: yellow gold, titanium or black ceramic. The black ceramic collection is a limited edition of 250 pieces while the yellow gold and titanium lines are unlimited.

Hublot’s new Time Only Big Bang Integral All Black.

You might recall that when the Integral debuted in early 2020 as a flyback chronograph only, it was the first bracelet collection within Big Bang. The integrated bracelet is a solid three-link design that broke Hublot’s long held focus on rubber, leather or fabric bracelets for its best-selling Big Bang Unico collections.

The new watch measures 9.25mm thick, far sleeker than the 13.45mm-thick Big Bang Integral chronograph models. Hublot continues to polish and satin-finish the bracelet links on the new non-chronograph collection to closely match the new satin-finished 40mm case. The new ‘Time Only’ models, which also display the date, retain the skeletonized dial treatment found on the chronograph models. As a result, the date wheel and the five-minute markers become more prominent.

Hublot matches the indexes, hands and date window finishes in yellow gold, titanium or All Black ceramic to match the case. Inside, Hublot fits its automatic caliber HUB1710, which is largely bared on the dial and also visible through the back of the watch.

Prices: $17,800 (titanium), $49,400 (yellow gold) and $19,900 (black ceramic).

Hublot this week also announced six new watches cased in yellow gold. Hublot says the yellow gold debuts “pay tribute to the brand’s preferred material.” We’ll show you more of this yellow gold expansion in future posts, where we’ll also show you more of Hublot’s 2022 debuts.

Grand Seiko celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its first GMT watch and the fifteenth anniversary of its premiere Spring Drive chronograph with two new watches.

Both debuts technically echo ongoing designs within Grand Seiko’s Sport collection, but present themselves with dials created to recall winter scenes in the mountains that surround the Shinshu in central Japan studio where Grand Seiko design and manufactures the watches. Similarly, both watches feature blue dial accents meant to echo the bright blue color of the winter sky in Shinshu.

The new Sport Collection Grand Seiko GMT 20th Anniversary Limited Edition (SBGE275).

One of these new watches, the Sport Collection Grand Seiko GMT 20th Anniversary Limited Edition (SBGE275), is a 44mm steel watch with a large GMT hand that allows the wearer to read a second-time zone while a third time zone can also be displayed using the 24-hour bezel.

The power reserve and date are the only other displays interrupting the dial’s wintry white and blue scene. With Grand Seiko’s generous use of Lumibrite on the bezel, indexes, hour, minute, and GMT hands, all displays remain visible in darkness.

The Sport Collection Grand Seiko Chronograph 15th Anniversary Limited Edition (SBGC247) is the busier of the two new debuts.

The new Sport Collection Grand Seiko Chronograph 15th Anniversary Limited Edition (SBGC247).

Framed by a 43.5mm titanium case, the dial’s icy white coloring serves as a backdrop to three subdials. Grand Seiko protects the much-lauded Spring Drive Chronograph GMT Caliber 9R96 inside this watch with heightened anti-magnetic casing and a fortified titanium case.

Both movements, including the Spring Drive GMT Caliber 9R16 inside the GMT-only model and the Spring Drive Caliber 9R96 inside the chronograph GMT, offer hyper-accurate timing, with accuracy to plus or minus ten seconds per month or 0.5 seconds per day. Both also feature an 18-karat gold Grand Seiko lion emblem on the oscillating weight. (See specifications below for details).

The Grand Seiko chronograph, automatic Spring Drive Caliber 9R96, showing the Grand Seiko lion emblem in 18-karat yellow gold on the oscillating weight.

Look for the Sport Collection Grand Seiko GMT 20th Anniversary Limited Edition (SBGE275, $7,300) in March when Grand Seiko will release it as a limited edition of 1,500. The Sport Collection Grand Seiko Chronograph 15th Anniversary Limited Edition (SBGC247, $11,000) is a limited edition of 700 and will be available in February.

 

(Specifications: Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT (SBGE275, a limited edition of 1,500)

Movement: Automatic Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT Caliber 9R16, accuracy of ±10 seconds per month (±0.5 second per day). Power reserve is 72 hours.

Case: 44mm by 14.9mm stainless steel case and bracelet, three-fold clasp with push button release, dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, see-through screw case back, screw-down crown, water resistance to 200 meters, magnetic resistance of 4,800 A/m.

Dial: Patterned ‘icy’ white.

Bracelet: Steel with three-fold clasp and push button release.

Price: $7,300.

 

Specifications: Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT  (SBGC247, a limited edition of 700)

Movement: Automatic Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT Caliber 9R96, accuracy to ±10 seconds per month (±0.5 second per day), power reserve of 72 hours.

Case: 43.5mm by 16.1mm high-intensity titanium. Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, see-through screw case back, screw-down crown, water resistance to 100 meters, magnetic resistance to 4,800 A/m.

Dial: Patterned ‘icy’ white.

Bracelet: Titanium with three-fold clasp with push button release.
Price: $11,000.