Hands-On: Angus Davies gets hands-on with the Bulgari Octo Retro Maserati GranLusso.
This detailed review of the Bulgari Octo Retro Maserati GranLusso includes live pictures, specification and price.
Driving a Maserati is an experience to savour. There is a purity of line conferred with the elegant contours of its petrol-powered torso. The blend of blistering performance and sublime ride comfort are also noteworthy.
Bulgari, another luxury marque from the boot-shaped country, shares many of the attributes of Maserati. Its timepieces brim with design prowess, the numerous facets of its models dance with light like a precious gem and ownership grants a degree of prestige and luxury seldom bettered.
Over the years, Bulgari has collaborated with Maserati with the release of several dual-branded timepieces. The two companies have joined forces once again to create the Bulgari Octo Retro Maserati GranLusso, a timepiece evincing a notable degree of style.
Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to cradle the 18-carat pink gold timepiece in my cupped hands and admire the subtle nuances of its felicitous form.
The Bulgari Octo Maserati Retro GranLusso eschews a conventional hours and minutes display. Instead, a gold framed aperture, positioned adjacent the crown, proclaims the hour in unequivocal tone. The jumping hour is shown in black text on a white disc, imparting information cleanly, despite sitting on a lower level beneath the dial epidermis.
The minutes are delivered on a crescent shaped scale from 6 o’clock to 1 o’clock. The sole hand arcs around the left flank of the dial and on reaching ’60’ minutes, indicated at 1 o’clock, returns to ‘0’ with impressive alacrity. Similar to a rev counter on a car, the observer multiplies the value shown, in this case by 10. The font employed for the minutes scale mimics the typeface found on the instruments of a Maserati car. Indeed, there are many visual similarities between this watch and a gorgeous high-performance vehicle bearing the trident logo on its bonnet.
A trident logo also appears on the dial of the Bulgari Octo Retro Maserati GranLusso. Its sinuous profile is cast in various states of illumination depending on the position the watch is held.
The rich, brown dial vista is adorned with a sunray motif and, once again, manipulates light to eye-catching effect. The faceted applied indexes frame the left hand side of the dialscape.
The Octo has always been a byword for case complexity. There are numerous facets on an Octo case and the Octo Retro Maserati GranLusso proves to be no exception. The complexity of the case and the time-consuming gestation process required to realise its form, are justified by the spellbinding beauty it delivers once completed.
The numerous facets confer an abundance of appeal, causing the eye to trace the plethora of lines presented. Each angled plane yields a myriad of shades, augmenting the light conducting properties of the dial.
Complementing the splendiferous case is a brown perforated strap with prominent stitching, underscoring the sense of luxury. The encounter when touching the strap reveals a sublime tactile experience matched by the hide clad interior of a Maserati car. Indeed, it would seem that the Italian car marque has ensured that all materials used on this watch meet with the company’s exacting standards.
Adorning the rear of the case is a pane of sapphire crystal affording views of the self-winding powerplant. It seems fitting that this timepiece, influenced by the world of high-end performance cars, is equipped with an exhibition case-back, sating the desires of the mechanically curious, a trait familiar to all petrol-heads.
The crown features a double-row grip which I found a tad uncomfortable to manipulate, however, this minor gripe would do little to dissuade me from purchasing the Octo Retro Maserati GranLusso.
The Caliber BVL 262 is a beautiful self-winding movement. The oscillating mass and bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif. The movement is also enhanced with ‘chamfering and bevelling techniques’.
Despite being equipped with energy-quaffing complications, such as jumping hours and retrograde minutes, the watch has an impressive power reserve of 42 hours. The BVL 262 features a bi-directional rotor, efficiently harnessing energy from subtle movements of the wearer’s wrist.
A few years ago I toured Bulgari’s various production sites, including the dial, case and movement production facilities. I was incredibly impressed with the brand’s capabilities and in-house know-how. With this in mind, I am not surprised that the Caliber BVL 262 is ‘developed and produced in-house’.
The danger of two brands aligning themselves to each other is that one brand may undermine the other. Maserati is renown for producing high-performance vehicles, imbued with sumptuous interiors and ubiquitous craftsmanship. Thankfully, Bulgari is a likeminded company and its timepieces effervesce with beauty and excellence.
The dial is distinctive and original. It captures the aesthetic appearance of a car binnacle instrument but does so without marring ease of interpretation. The scale of the minutes display cleverly mimics the layout of a rev counter and proves intuitive to use.
There is a sense of theatre with the dial of the Octo Retro Maserati GranLusso with its jumping hour and retrograde minutes display. However, despite being equipped with these energy-sapping functions, the watch has a useful power reserve of 42 hours.
The case of this timepiece is the product of many cutting processes to achieve the numerous facets manifest. The delightful outcome is a case suffused with an array of lines which wonderfully toy with the light. Indeed, light is a close ally of the Octo Retro Maserati GranLusso as the timepiece masterfully orchestrates light on various areas of its dial and case.
The beauteous mien of this timepiece is clear to see. The Octo Retro Maserati GranLusso is imbued with luxurious details and elegant lines. Moreover, despite its numerous elements its design remains cohesive and harmonious. In case you have not already ascertained I can reveal that I am smitten with the Octo Retro Maserati GranLusso.
Case: 18-carat pink gold; diameter 41.5 mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back
Functions: Jumping hours; retrograde minutes
Movement: Caliber BVL 262; Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 33 jewels; power reserve 42 hours
Strap: Brown perforated, stitched strap
Price: £25,000 (RRP as at 4.10.2017)
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.