Bulgari’s Octo Roma Goes All-Black With New Automatic and Chronograph

New Watch! • 10 May 2024

Bulgari’s Octo Roma Goes All-Black With New Automatic and Chronograph

Bulgari is forging ahead with giving its Octo Roma collection a modern update. This time, in the form of an all-black DLC coat treatment to an automatic and chronograph. Discover the rest of our Watches and Wonder 2024 coverage.

Bulgari has always favoured taking inspiration from some of Ancient Rome’s finest architectural works and adapting them into stylish creations. First unveiled in 2012 with a one-of-a-kind silhouette, the Octo Roma is no different. Its octagonal shape is familiar in the realm of Italian architecture, while the eight-sided geometry specifically references the vaults found in the 4th-century Basilica of Maxentius.

Still, the Octo Roma is not to be confused with the ultra-thin Octo Finissimo. The former is distinguishable by its softer angles and lines, and offered with sportier cases. The collection saw a more modern facelift in 2023; this year, the artistic direction seems to remain the same.

This time, the iconic piece is given an all-black treatment, where the colour is no stranger in the archives of Bulgari’s design philosophy. First seen on 2017’s Ultranero piece, the belief is that black is capable of expressing both light and depth, enhancing shapes, materials and textures. French artist Pierre Soulages calls such use of a full-black colour ‘Outrenoir’, which roughly translates to ‘ultra black’ or ‘beyond black’, exuding further intensity and contrast in any piece’s aesthetic.

For this, Bulgari has chosen to dress an automatic and a chronograph in full black DLC steel as its new Octo Roma additions. The first is the Octo Roma Automatic Steel DLC, an automatic three-hand model with a date function. The other is the Octo Roma Chronograph Steel DLC, featuring a chronograph function with date.

The Octo Roma Automatic Steel DLC retains its 41mm diameter with the signature Clou de Paris dial. Here is where the illusion already begins due to the black DLC finish, which seems uniform in colour at a distance but casts the reflection of light off each pyramid-shaped Clou de Paris.

When night falls, the dial subtly comes to life with the glow off of the luminescent material on the indices, hands and the iconic Octo Roma hour markers ’12’ and ‘6’. A flip of the watch will present a gorgeous view of the in-house BVL 191 movement, complemented with touches of Côtes de Genève graining, through the sapphire case back. Aesthetics aside, it offers the Octo Roma Automatic Steel DLC a 42-hour power reserve. A textured rubber strap reminiscent of the dial’s Clou de Paris pattern and a black alligator strap will be offered along the 100m water-resistant piece.

Taking a sportier approach is the Octo Roma Chronograph Steel DLC, featuring a larger case at 42mm but with two similar straps as its sister model. The slight boost in size allows the watch to snugly encompass the bicompax chronograph layout, reproducing the complication’s original design: a small seconds at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, and a 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock. Oh, and a large central seconds-hand while the date window is placed at 4:30.

In terms of readability, the three counters are furnished with a sunburst finish, and the metal hands, hour markers and numerals are filled with Super-LumiNova. Driving the Octo Roma Chronograph Steel DLC is Bvlgari’s in-house automatic Caliber BVL 399 – visible through a transparent case back – which also delivers a 42-hour power reserve.

Discover Bulgari at The Hour Glass.

Tags: bulgari octo roma watches and wonders 2024

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