Bulgari Octo Finissimo Replica Watch Hands-On


A couple years ago in 2014, Bulgari quietly introduced the Octo Finissimo collection that currently contains various versions of this “standard” Octo Finissimo and the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon that remains the thinnest tourbillon watch in the world. The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon is clearly a very cool watch, but at over four times the price of this already lavish model, it exists in another product category altogether. “Standard” in this context is a relative term, as the Bulgari Octo Finissimo is still very much a high-end luxury replica watch coming in both an 18k pink gold case (ref. 102371 BGOP40BGLXT), as well as a model in platinum (ref. reference 102028 BGO40BPLXT).


The Bulgari Octo Finissimo is really very thin. I will get to the movement in a moment, but at just 5mm thick, the entire case of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo feels as though it is a mere continuation of the strap. I should mention that the case thicknesses vary just a bit among the three currently available versions. Bulgari replica produces another platinum model with a diamond-set bezel (reference 102373 BGO40PDLXT) that is 5.75mm thick (understandable, because the stones add thickness), and the 18k pink gold model is just a hair thicker than the 5mm-thick platinum model, being 5.15mm thick – a size difference you aren’t likely to even notice.


At 40mm wide with a mostly square shape, these aren’t small-wearing timepieces either, and for me, they really epitomize in a lot of ways the absolute loveliness of modern “ultra-thin” replica watches. My appreciation of modern thin watches really began back in 2010 with the release of the Piaget Altiplano 43. In the abstract, I could appreciate the notion of a slim-wearing – yet not small in diameter – dress watch, but it wasn’t until I put the watch on, enjoying the remarkably thin profile, that I became enamored with the concept. After Piaget, a lot of other historically proficient watchmakers started to come out with more “ultra-thin” replica watches, hearkening to a fascination with thin movements that goes back generations. Either a lost art making a comeback, or something that has been around all the time and is entering a new era of appreciation, I think there are a lot of collectors out there who would or already do enjoy a bold-wearing yet very thin timepiece such as this.


The Gerald Genta-based Octo watch collection has become a real icon in the Bulgari collection, and I think that the Bulgari Octo Finissimo benefits from the fact that it exists as part of a larger collection of Octo fake watches. It just wouldn’t have the same “branding” power as it does without there being other versions of the Octo in less slim cases. Thus, wearers have the benefit of the notoriety of the Octo, but with a special movement and super slick, thin profile. It is almost crazy how impossibly thin this watch looks on your wrist.


Bulgari has improved on the legibility of the dial which at first was matted by a super glossy black lacquer dial and polished applied hour markers and hands. In gold, the dial looks particularly nice, actually – but with that said, the Octo-style case does happen to look super nice in the steel/white gold/platinum tone. You might be wondering what the Octo case (which is normally thicker) looks like… well, “flattened.” I was sort of concerned about this, but in most ways, the case is almost exactly the same at the standard Octo – just a few millimeters thinner. Retained is the attractive contrast polishing with mostly brushed surfaces but also some nice polished surfaces which are most easily noticed from the side. Set into the crown is a black ceramic cabochon.

Attached to the Bulgari Octo Finissimo case is a tapered alligator strap which is stitch-less thanks to its “rolled side” construction (which I almost universally prefer in alligator or crocodile straps on dress watches).


Inside the Bulgari Octo Finissimo is the in-house-made Bulgari caliber BVL 128 manually wound movement that is the heart of this “extra-thin” package. The movement is just 2.23mm thick (oddly, a bit thicker than the 1.95mm thick movement in the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon), which is really very thin. Fake Bulgari Watches was able to do this partially because of how wide the movement is – and another benefit of the watch is that when you view the movement through the sapphire crystal caseback it fills up much of the case.


The BVL 128 movement operates at a modern 4Hz and has a long power reserve (for a movement this thin) of 70 hours. The movement indicates the hours and minutes with an off-centered subsidiary seconds dial. Wonderfully, Bulgari decided to include a power reserve indicator on the rear of the movement – a feature that, for me, really ups the “want” level because I feel that power reserve indicators are almost a must (subjective choice) when it comes to manually wound fake watches. Otherwise, I just compulsively wind the watch all the time.


It isn’t cheap, and it isn’t perfect for everyone, but it is original, horologically cool, and really pretty. The Bulgari Octo Finissimo is probably one of the most underrated pretty yet masculine dress watches around – and it is comfortable and useful to boot. So my question is if replica Bulgari would ever produce one in steel? Hard to say, but I don’t think it will be anytime soon. Still, the prices aren’t that bad for what you get. This reference 102028 BGO40BPLXT Bulgari Octo Finissimo in platinum is priced at $298, and with diamonds in platinum it goes up to $401. In 18k pink gold, the reference 102371 BGOP40BGLXT feels like a relative bargain at $229.

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How Bulgari Replica Watch Dials Are Manufactured In-House In La Chaux-De-Fonds

Special buyWatchesTop Content For Bulgari

The dial is often called the “face of the watch,” and there is very good reason for that. For anyone who has ever seen a genuinely beautifully detailed dial – or a horribly made, illegible one, for that matter – the importance of the components’ quality is certainly unquestionable. Complicated-looking dials can be made cheaply, and remarkably simple-looking ones can require hours or days of painstaking work to get right. Beyond case and movement manufacturing, the age-old craft of dial manufacturing is practiced in-house at “Bvlgari Manufacture de Cadrans,” in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.


Watch and clock faces have been around for as long as timekeeping machines have been in existence, but that is not to say there have not been tremendous leaps forward when it comes to advancements in manufacturing and decorating techniques. In 2005, Bulgari acquired Cadrans Design SA in La Chaux-de-Fonds. This famous and well-respected facility that specializes in the manufacturing of highly detailed and complex watch dials had already been working on watch dials for Bulgari Replica at the time.


While a lot has been said about the remarkable challenges and unfathomably small machining tolerances in watch movement manufacturing, watch dials deserve just as much attention – if not more! As obvious as it may sound, the dial plays a prominent role in defining the key aesthetic characteristics of a timepiece and is subject to close scrutiny by the wearer. As such, integrating the vast know-how and experience of an established manufacture into Bulgari’s group of production facilities was important, and an ideal way of ensuring extremely high quality standards and constant development.


The image just above beautifully illustrates the major steps in dial manufacturing: beginning with design (which in and of itself is a process that requires painstaking work from the leaders, designers, and engineers of the company), the visual plans are translated into extremely accurate engineering drawings which allow for high precision manufacturing.

Right below, you see a detail from such a technical drawing, with exact measurements down to 1/100th of a millimeter, as well as exact angles for all arches and other curved elements of the dial specified. What may seem a straightforward execution of beautiful visual drawings actually is precision engineering hard at work behind the creation of every watch dial ever produced.


With the drawings in place, actual production can begin, and that more often than not means: stamping. Stamping the brass base of the dial works so well because with today’s more precise tools the basic three-dimensional shape of the dial as well placeholders for indices and the holes for the pinions holding the hands can be produced quickly and efficiently.


Some other components, like the outlines of this swan and the complex geometric shapes of its surroundings, as well as the rounded sockets for the diamonds, all have been cut by numerically controlled cutting machines. This allows the craftsman to get to work on a canvas made to extremely accurate measurements, before setting the dial with precious stones and hand painting it with enamel.


When it comes to dial production, a virtually infinite number of color variations are possible – which is a good and a bad thing at the same time. Hand-painted lacquered or enameled watch faces aside, dials are colored with a technique called electroplating. This includes the fitting of dials onto a tool – that looks like the product of a small clothes hanger and a cactus having exchanged DNA – only for the cut out brass plates to be then submerged into a number of baths – suitable for metal, not suitable for your hand.


The dials must spend a specific amount of time submerged – “specific” meaning precise to the nearest second when it comes to the production of blue dials. Remove the plates from the baths one moment too soon or too late, and the chemical reactions will yield a different shade of color.


After having plated and inspected the dials to ensure they have reached the desired color, they are cleaned and sent over to hand polishing. Similar to, but in fact much less abrasive and vicious than case polishing, dial polishing is performed by hand to ensure a deep, even sheen that will serve as the backdrop to all prints, indices, and of course, the hands.


Polished individually or up to four pieces at a time, polishing wheels of different levels of abrasiveness are used to remove any hairline scratches that may have occurred during previous steps and then to further smooth the surface. At the end of this painstaking process, the resulting gloss will render this few-millimeter-thick plate of brass or other metal infinitely deep to the eye – a sight to behold before and after the dial is cased up.


One fascinating detail on watch dials often overlooked – and under-appreciated – is just how legible and sharp print has to be, regardless of the size and type of font used. Surprisingly, such precision printing is achieved through an old technique called “pad printing.” The process involves a trained and experienced craftsman and a hand-operated machine, comprising a metal plate with cutouts for the text, a rubber “tampon,” and a precision holder for the dial.


The craftsman applies paint to the metal plate on the right, and after removing the excess, the dye remains only inside the barely visible cutouts for the text. As the rubber carrier is pressed onto the metal plate by hand, it picks up the paint from the text cutouts – then, as it is gently pressed onto the dial, the text is transferred onto the dial with remarkable accuracy. The key to success here is applying the right amount of pressure to transfer the paint accurately, but to not damage or bend the dial in the process.


Bulgari not only installs indices here in La Chaux-de-Fonds, but is now capable of manufacturing these often infinitesimal components in-house. Always applied by hand, the indices are never glued, but secured to the dial with two or more barely visible metal feet that protrude through the dial. Handling the lacquered, polished, and printed dials requires extreme care, as the slip of a hand or a tool will damage the treated surface and the dial is scrapped!


Watch dials, regardless their shapes and sizes, can be hand-painted with enamel and/or set with diamonds – this rare piece depicting a swan and featuring a large circular cutout to display a tourbillon is just one example. These dials are individually decorated by the same craftsmen and craftswomen, working in what may be the most quiet and relaxing room in the entire manufacture. Two or three of them at most work in this environment set up for efficient but relaxed work, where some of the most complex and high-end Bulgari dials are produced.


Repeated a number of times through the production process but always being the final step is quality control. Dials are checked under an electro-microscope with the image transmitted by the magnifier being superimposed with an engineering drawing, allowing the actual piece and the desired design to be compared.


Manufactured in-house by Bulgari Replica Watches, the work and efforts of dozens of dedicated people – designers, engineers, and craftsmen alike – results in a component that could stand on its own as a desirable item one would love to behold. And yet, it is just one of the hundreds of parts that make up a finely made Bulgari timepiece.

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Putting Together The Pieces Of The Bulgari Replica Watches Manufacture

Special buyWatchesTop Content For Bulgari

Beyond the highly specialized haute horlogerie workshops of Bulgari, the company has established a set of four fully integrated watch manufactures that support not only the atelier where ultra high-end pieces are made, but also the production of most of Bulgari’s other replica watch collections. Let those be ultra-thin Finissimo replica watches or models equipped with their base in-house Solotempo calibers: cases, dials, bracelets, bejeweled components and, of course, entire movements are crafted at Bulgari’s four manufactures.

A total of over 350 employees work at the brand’s four facilities and headquarters. Watchmakers, engineers, designers, craftsmen, machine operators, and of course, those running Bulgari Replica Watches head offices make up this workforce.

The entrance bridge of the Bulgari replica watch manufacture in Le Sentier

While all four facilities belong fully to fake Bulgari, they actually are scattered around different locations in Switzerland. The main manufacturing facilities include Le Sentier, where not only workshops responsible for the creation of haute horlogerie movements are situated, but it is also here where parts for the Finissimo and Solotempo movements are produced and assembled. In the company’s Saignelégier facility, platinum, gold and steel cases as well as bracelets are manufactured, while in La Chaux-de-Fonds, at “Bvlgari Manufacture de Cadrans,” watch dials of high-quality, complexity, and truly great variety are created. Last but definitely not least, the company’s headquarters are located in Neuchâtel where, just a few floors below management offices, assembly of fake watches and final control take place.

From “raw” rods of metal, stamped, cut and milled with extremely high precision…

Why does it take four separate, specialized manufacturing and assembly sites to produce the different parts that make up a replica Bulgari timepiece and complete the puzzle of these hundreds of various components? “In-house” manufacturing has been all the rage in the luxury replica watches industry since the new millennium, and there are a number of reasons why the tremendous investments and efforts dedicated to the pursuit of so-called “vertical integration” are justified.

To the craftsmen’s touch, as machined, but still rough pieces are hand-polished before they are further quality inspected and assembled.

The primary issue is that while there still are some genuinely high-quality and (more or less) independent suppliers in Switzerland today, in-house manufacturing allows a watch company to more flexibly change its production not just when it comes to volume but, just as importantly, when it comes to developing new designs. The turn-around time from sending a new design to a supplier and then receiving the completed, updated parts is often between 12 to 18 months. By contrast, a dedicated team working at a proprietary manufacturing facility can have those changes made within but a few days – and that flexibility allows them not only to follow (or set) new trends, but also to control quality and make minor adjustments almost immediately.

Bulgari’s in-house dial manufacture, “Manufacture de Cadrans,” in La Chaux-de-Fonds

Presently, Bulgari manufactures an extremely wide range of replica watches, from 1,000-plus-component grand complications, through ultra-slim Finissimo dress watches and iconic trademark designs like Octo, all the way to dazzling and unique diamond-set creations such as the Serpenti. Hundreds of different dials, several dozens of different case designs and a large variety of movement layouts are to be taken into consideration when setting up production – and Bulgari manufactures the majority of these parts in-house; with the exception of some cases and movements, primarily the ones used for ladies’ jewelry watches.


Just as much as Bulgari offers a rather unique mix of Italian design and Swiss horological technique, the manufacturing processes of all components also display a bit of a split personality – which, as it turns out, is exactly how it should be done at this scale. The production of cases, bracelets, dials, and movement parts all include both the unsurpassable precision of numerically controlled milling machines or CNCs, as well as the touch (well, more like several hours of painstaking work) of craftsmen and women, who transform the rather soulless-looking, machine-cut pieces into parts that are, on their own, worthy of up-close scrutiny and appreciation.



The sheer range of products that Bulgari replica offers gives one a good idea of the size of this operation: Bulgari presently is a globally represented brand that has been trying to strike the balance between that recognition and maintaining a sense of exclusivity through managing the volume and quality of its production. In other words, Bulgari is powerful and “big” enough to not only consider but indeed create its own vertically integrated manufacture, and it is an operation that runs at a manageable scale that leaves room for the time and work necessitated by the human element throughout the production of each component.


All facilities feature modern, state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, let those be used to cut and shape metals, paint dials, or produce parts so small and fine that they are barely visible to the human eye. And yet, on the other hand, all three production sites (and of course the final assembly and control sections of the Neuchâtel headquarters) rely heavily on the expertise of a total of a few hundred craftsmen. These men and women are just as essential to the production of a Bulgari replica timepiece as the massive ingots of gold and steel used to produce cases and bracelets.


Although the locations may be a bit of a drive apart, there clearly is a sense of companionship and bonding power between these facilities and the people who animate them. When a manufacture becomes dedicated to just one mother company, as was the case with Manufacture de Cadrans, that focus becomes tangible. When visiting any of the workshops of the Bulgari facilities, one will see a large number of the craftsmen wearing replica watches from the brand; and in reality, what this means is not that they were simply given one, but that they have actually earned them, having spent a number of years dedicating their expertise and efforts to it. And while a large sign above the door may scream “integration,” these little signs and the attitude of the entire team are what serve as true testament.


The way cases, dials and movement parts are manufactured, and how the final, complete watches are put together and checked are processes so intricate and detailed, that the way how Bulgari manufactures each of these components in-house will be discussed in soon-to-follow buyWatchesTop articles dedicated to each of these specific operations.

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