Bulgari Octo: Squaring the circle
The late Gérald Genta, who died in 2011, gave the world many extraordinary timepieces, both under his own name and working on designs for top luxury watch-makers that included IWC, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet – and the Bulgari family.
The roots of the new Bulgari Octo, with its cleverly overlaid square, round and octagonal shapes, are borrowed from Genta’s designs of the 1980s. In the early summer of 2000, the Bulgari Group acquired the Gérald Genta watch brand and, of course, the associated designs. The Octo line of watched then underwent a very thorough design review, but what remained was the striking appearance that integrates those three compelling shapes: the octagon that stands for balance, harmony and strength; the square that represents static balance, the four sides of equal length representing the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. And finally, the circle that signals the endless cycle of coming and going.
A careful attention to subtle detail characterises the brand-new Octo, in every component that makes up the 41mm, stainless steel or rose gold case, while the production and finishing is all done in-house.
The heart of the ‘renovated’ Octo, which offers the time and date and a 50-hour power reserve, is the automatic caliber BVL 193. The design is, above all, unpretentious: the three, centrally positioned hands show hours, minutes and seconds as they sweep across a simple, matte black dial.