A minute in time
Perhaps one of the most surprising timepiece to have debuted at BaselWorld this year, Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Carbon (€169,000/RM792,000) takes on a shroud of stealth and industrial strength. This manual-wound timepiece reimagines Bulgari’s 2016 triumph in wresting the mantle of the world’s thinnest minute repeater. In place of titanium, which was the choice material in 2016, this year’s iteration proposes an ultra-robust carbon on a similarly sized 40mm case, measuring 6.85mm in thickness. An added incentive, according to Bulgari’s Senior Watches Communications Director Pascal Brandt, is a 10 per cent improvement on the sound resonance of this carbon timepiece over the oft-favoured titanium.
Granted, the use of carbon – extremely rare for minute repeaters – also added to the difficulty of its manufacture. Extremely thin carbon fibres are included in an epoxy thermosetting resin called Carbon Thin Ply (CTP) which eventually form the timepiece’s case, bezel and case-back. Meanwhile, a clever use of openings as hour markers enable the Calibre BVL 362 to amplify the chiming mechanism’s sound, compensating for the reduced internal volume. The timepiece, limited to only 50 pieces, weighs a mere 47 grammes and is fitted with a supple carbon bracelet.