In Perfect Harmony – The Bvlgari Octo Maserati7:34 am
Many a time we come across a ‘co-partnership’ of two brands which raise eyebrows among many watch connoisseurs around the world because they are more or less considered to be a ‘marketing exercise’. But in this case, the ‘partnership’ seems unique. On one side, an Italian car maker that celebrates 100 years of its existence in the world of luxurious supercars and on the other side, an Italian brand that commemorates 130 years of fine craftsmanship in jewellery & watchmaking, in the same year. I’m not making this an exception but as we go in depth you’ll realize this marriage is more of a celebration of two traditional Italian brands renowned for their innovation and efficiency than anything else. Bvlgari and Maserati, whilst sharing their milestone anniversaries have come together to give you the Bvlgari Octo (Velocissimo) Maserati Limited edition; and for those of you who love both these brands, you’re in for a treat.
“Lo Stile e la tecnica” – The Style of Technique
If Bvlgari made this watch all about looks and no substance, it would be just another ‘good looking watch’, but we’re about to be proved wrong here. The calibre of this watch is an ‘in house’ BVL 328 (based on LVMH’s same movement used in Zenith El Primero), which only demonstrates that the focus has been to build a powerful watch and not just a showpiece. Nicknamed “Velocissimo” or “The Fastest”, this watch has the smoothest horological engine among its ranks, and the self-winding, column-wheel chronograph with 50-hour power reserve, running at 36,000 vph reinstates that.
In terms of eye-candy, the look is rather subtle as compared to any special edition watch you would have ever seen – no crowded dials, no ‘over-branding’ on the strap or case. The Maserati ‘trident’ is just visible on the case back and is subtly done on the flyback seconds hand. The presentation box too is tastefully done, with “100 years” engraved along with the Maserati logo.
The octagonal (8 sided) case is neither too bulky nor small at 41.5mm, and the tachymeter has been engraved on the bezel. But what caught my attention the most was the dial, which has been executed using one of the most time consuming and old processes called ‘Champleve enameling’. Champleve is done mostly on very high-end watches (like a Jaquet Droz for example), yet Bvlgari has opted to go with this technique. On close inspection, the finishing was royale to say the least and the white chronograph counters remind you of a speedometer – with all three counters are circularly bordered by steel – making this a marvelous example of fluid continuity in design.
The chronograph pushers have sort of blended in with the trademark Octo design, almost looking like an integral part of the stainless steel body. Though the crown looks pretty difficult to adjust, it still deserves some attention courtesy the grey ceramic inlay that you’ll notice on the tip of it.
The large Arabic numeral at 12 with matte finish indexes add to the overall classy look of this timepiece and the date display is there between 4 and 5 o’clock.
The octagonal case looks chunky but it’s more than what meets the eye and sits comfortably on the wrist (honestly), in fact, it does a lot better than the flat, thin timepieces which get uncomfortable after wear. This is also because the case is relatively thin (13.07 mm) and the short lugs stay away from wrist contact. The alligator strap is comfortable, not too thick and also done in trademark colors.
One to own:
Fair value, exquisite finishing and a powerful caliber, there’s not much you can criticize about this watch. In terms of looks, you can’t call this a boardroom watch but definitely one to have on your wrist on a Sunday brunch or evening party because by all means it is an attention grabber. And if you’re a connoisseur, it’s a one to own since this is just limited to 1914 pieces globally (numbered on the case back).
The Octo Maserati is a demonstration of Bvlgari’s long term desire of not just making designer timepieces, but real watches from both a technical and design perspective, and they’ve not disappointed us with this one.
This watch is available now in India at Ethos Watch Boutiques.
(Image Courtesy: Bvlgari, Maserati & Hodinkee)