The Watch of the Year Prize 2010 of the Swiss watch magazine Montres Passion has been awarded to the Bulgari Octo Bi-Retro. This prestigious accolade distinguishes a resolutely contemporary and sporty model with an iconic octagonal case. Awarded by a jury composed of watchmaking professionals, this distinction honours a sophisticated fine watchmaking creation while also paying tribute to the great work accomplished by Bulgari.
On this matsterpiece we can find the fabulous combination of materials – featuring a bezel, a “studded” ceramic bezel, a crown set with an onyx cabochon and a natural rubber strap – boldly testifies to the fact that it is a rugged model made to withstand the trials of daily wear. Paradoxically, however, this Octo Bi-Retro Steel/Ceramic houses a sophisticated mechanism driving a window-type jumping-hour display, along with retrograde minutes and date shown by superimposed hands.
I have to say that it is really a special timepiece. The mechanical self-winding proprietary Calibre GG7722 has vividly embodied the innovative spirit inherent to Bulgari in Le Sentier: the jumping hours appearing through a broad window at 12 o’clock makes a fine match with the retrograde minutes displayed by a hand running over a 210° arc of a circle with a scale graduated into 10-minute zones. The studs on the bezel serve to read off the minutes in each of the zones. Meanwhile, the date is read off on a semi-circular segment at the foot of the dial. So how offen can you encounter a watch of such an innovative and unique designe? Seldom!
The sophisticated “engine” is endowed with all the classic technical and aesthetic refined touches inherent to the field of haute horlogerie, including a dedicated “old gold” finish, circular-grained surfaces and polished screw heads. The movement can be admired through the sapphire crystal case-back secured by eight screws featuring five-sided heads.
The Watch of the Year Prize is based on a set of extremely stringent criteria ensuring the perfect neutrality and independence of the jury of professionals that awards it after a rigorous procedure that fully guarantees its credibility. While the Prize rewards a creation with a strong personality, it also sets the crowning touch to the work accomplished by the brand – which only last January announced the integration of the advanced know-how of its Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Genta & Roth in Le Sentier within its powerful and prestigious Brand image, as signalled on the dials by the reference to the calibres developed there. This alliance of existing respective forces thus gains full recognition and justification through the awarding of this Prize.