It’s undeniable that Bvlgari’s Octo Finissimo range has made an indelible mark in the world of haute horlogerie. The maison has racked up seven world records in a short seven years with the latest for the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar – the slimmest in the world. Reinterpreting a classical horological complication in a resolutely contemporary manner, the 40mm timepiece spotlights Bvlgari’s finesse in rewriting traditional watchmaking codes.
No less than 408 components interact within the extremely tight space provided by the ultra-slender 5.8mm case of the sleek model. The development of the 2.75mm calibre BVL 305 required the manufacture’s movement design engineers to devise new solutions, such as the use of a micro-rotor and the optimal use of the space between the components without reducing their dimensions.
A testament to true genius in the realm of miniaturisation, this development powers the hour and minute hands along with all the perpetual calendar functions: retrograde-display date, day, month and retrograde-display leap year. They are adjusted by means of three correctors: one for the date at 2 o’clock, another for the month at 4 o’clock and a third for the day between 8 and 9 o’clock.
The owner will be able to read the time without having to adjust the indications before February 2100, a leap year that will require the adjustment of the functions. The timepiece is offered in titanium with a matching bracelet, as well as in platinum with a blue lacquered dial and accompanied by an alligator leather strap.
The Cloche de Cartier watch is the fifth creation under the Cartier’s Privé Collection, which revives the maison’s historical models through limited editions. Named after the cloche or bell shape because its outline resembles that of a service bell found at counters when placed horizontally, the first Cartier timepiece to incorporate the quirky silhouette was a 1920 brooch-watch with diamonds and onyx.
Although it has been in Cartier’s repertoire for decades, it has only been produced in small quantities, with the last relaunch being in 2007. It still flaunts a dial that is rotated 90º clockwise from the conventional position, so the wearer can read the time by extending the arm, instead of bringing the wrist towards him/her.
Another unexpected feature of the watch is its ability to be read like a clock when placed upright on a nightstand or table. The rail track and hour markings are adapted to the dial’s asymmetrical shape and the crown is set with a cabochon gem. Two new calibres were made at the Cartier Manufacture at La Chaux-de-Fonds to adapt to the unique case shape.
There are six 37.15mm by 28.75mm references for the Cloche de Cartier. Each a numbered limited edition of 100 pieces, the two-handed model is offered in yellow or pink gold, and platinum, and is equipped with the hand-wound 1917 MC movement. Driven by the 9626 MC movement, the Cloche de Cartier Skeleton is available in pink gold and platinum (each a numbered limited edition of 50 pieces). Lastly, a platinum diamond-set openworked version is offered in a limited edition of only 20 pieces.
(Main and featured image: Cartier)