The Octo Finissimo Automatic fake model is the latest in Bulgari’s trio of record-breaking perfect ultra-thin replica watches, and perhaps the greatest. Now let’s take a general view of the watch’s barely-there beauty, and find out why it’s such a standout.
The BVL 138 is simply just the star of the show, and it is succeeded to deliver. Measuring in at 2.23mm, it’s a piece of miniaturized engineering that doesn’t cut corners as it breaks records.
Like the case, the dial is matt and grey, with minimal detail to detract from the purity of the design or add thickness. There are the trademark Octo hands and paired ’12’ and ‘6’ numerals. Everything else is reduced to flat black hash marks.
Any discussion of the Octo Finissimo Automatic has to begin with some specs. And for the case, the key figure is 5.15mm. That’s slight, no matter how you slice it, but it manages to avoid feeling frail on the wrist. It’s so light that I did an almost comical double-take the first time I picked it up. But the benefit of the titanium case extends beyond its lightness; it’s exceptionally thermo-conductive, meaning it very quickly matches your body temperature, making it even more comfortable.
On the wrist
This watch disappears on the wrist in the best possible way. Its lack of bulk or weight means you can actually forget you’re wearing it until you need it. But when you need to tell the time and look at it, you forget all else, so striking is the design. And this watch is a far more conspicuous object of design than many of its Swiss cousins in many ways.
To my mind, a good strap accentuates the properties, style, and aesthetic of the watch it’s attached to. By these criteria alone, the titanium bracelet on the Octo Finissimo is a real winner. The scaled, segmented full-width links are a natural extension of the case, flowing around your wrist in a sinuous titanium curve. It also adds a feeling of rigid solidity, which doesn’t go astray on an otherwise svelte piece.
This fake watch was one of the real surprises from Baselworld. Not the slender-factor per se — given their previous efforts with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon and the minute repeater, we realized their credibility in the ultra-thin space. No, what surprised journalists and industry veterans alike was just how well this watch worked on the wrist. Breaking a record for the sake of it is one thing, but breaking a record creating a beautiful, supremely wearable watch is something else entirely. I know a lot of people who have never before considered a replica Bulgari that are now looking at the brand with fresh, and covetous, eyes. For my money, it’s one of the perfect releases of 2017.