At 6.9mm thin, this Octo Finissimo adds a flying tourbillon to the slimmest watch to hold the complication since 2013. When you flip the watch over you can see the impressive BVL 268 caliber in its 1.95mm thin glory. The green marble, Verde di Alpi, is sourced from the Aosta Valley, a passageway that connects Switzerland and Italy. The watch itself is actually made of titanium and covered with a layer of marble on the case and bracelet links. This is done both to keep the watch light, and to use marble in such a way where it wouldn’t crack during production. In total, this single watch took about 800 hours to develop and produce. A masterpiece that fits into the history of marble’s artistic and architectural use in Italy, and the watchmaking innovations of Switzerland.
Finally, the recipient of this watch will get a night in Bulgari’s new hotel in Rome, a meal with someone from Bulgari’s top management, and a visit to a sculpture garden. And to that lucky person I say…if you’re allowed to bring a date, I am available. You can slide into my DM’s.
Christoph McNeill – Atelier De Chronometrie Barcelona
Only Watch time again! I always look forward to seeing what one-off gems all these creative geniuses come up with to help out with the Only Watch charity auction. And this year does not disappoint. The range of horological candy presented this year is astonishing, just amazing works of art. That said, the majority of them are overwhelmingly complex and busy, to my eye at least. And some are whimsical and downright gaudy. All well and good, but for me there was one that immediately stood out, the AdC30 from Atelier de Chronometrie. If you’ve read any of my articles or seen my Instagram, you’ll know that I’m drawn to vintage watches and the vintage design aesthetic, and so modern watches that evoke that vintage vibe always resonate with me. And this AdC30 fits that to a ‘T’.
The AdC30 is based on their line of AdC time only watches, with a classic 1940’s style Calatrava case and bullseye style time only dial. This Only Watch model does stand out in several ways from its predecessors of course. The 37mm case is made of 18k gray gold, and to be frank I’ve never heard of gray gold, but it sounds cool, maybe has more of a steel look? In any case, the lugs are the star here, with super sharp, bold steps that give it a fantastic Machine Age look that I absolutely love. The two-tone sandwich dial is classic Calatrava style, but with the polished inner track for the bullseye look. The classic sub-seconds at 6 o’clock is inset and shiny compared to the rest of the dial. The leaf hands are gorgeous, with the hour and minute being rose gold and the second hand blued steel. The only thing I’d change about this classic dress watch is the crown. Everything else has a beautiful attention to detail and the crown is too simple and has no logo or any adornment. I think if the crown were a step up, it would elevate this piece even more.
The movement is, like most watches at this level, a work of art unto itself. It is the in-house caliber M284. A 19 jewel manual wind beauty with 38 hours of power reserve that is highly finished to a level above and beyond what AdC usually uses on their regular line up. Another thing that drew me to this watch is the fact that Atelier de Chronometrie is based in Barcelona, Spain. It’s refreshing to see a high-end boutique brand watch out of Spain. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Barcelona, and I fell in love with the city and Spain itself, so for me this adds another layer to my appreciation for the Atelier de Chronometrie AdC30.
Brett Braley – Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen Carbo2
Working in the luxury pen world has afforded me a keen eye for detail and that goes doubly for Montblanc. An institution in my own professional industry, I was curious to see if much of the design language transfers to the watch side of their business and, to put it mildly, I’d say they’re succeeding quite nicely. Montblanc has built an empire on creating everyday objects and updating them to veritable objets d’arte and the 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen Carbo2 shows us how even the limited real estate of a watch can be jam-packed with detail.