As a part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the renowned maker of sports cars, Maserati, the Italian brand turned to its compatriots and commissioned Bulgari to make a special watch that will mark the big milestone. The result of the collaboration is a sports watch named Bulgari Octo Maserati Velocissimo. The last part of the name is Italian for “the fastest” and it refers not only to the automotive inspiration, but also to the fast rate of the movement. The novel timekeeper is equipped with an automatic chronograph caliber with the frequency of 5 Hz. Additionally, it is distinguished with a lovely blue champlevé enamel dial. Velocissimo watch is launched in a restricted series of 1,914 pieces and costs around $12,000.
In the essence of the new model lies Caliber BVL 328 with 45 jewels which features familiar traits. Perhaps a little too familiar for some connoisseurs. The caliber has a silicon escapement and it includes an oscillating pinion that guarantees precise activation of the feature. The self-winding movement has a very high operational frequency of 36,000 vph, while its power reserve lasts for around 50 hours. These are all the traits of Zenith’s famed El Primero watches and this is not a coincidence.
The reason behind the similarity is that both watchmakers are owned by the same parent company – LMVH. This explains all of the “borrowed” characteristics that are present in the movement which Bulgari, nevertheless, calls an in-house movement.
Bulgari Octo Maserati Velocissimo Limited Edition features a very refined design. It includes a characteristic octagonal shaped housing which is seen in all Bulgari watches from the Octo collection. The appearance was originally conceived by one of the best known and most respected professionals in the field – Gerald Genta. Other components of the original design are also present, including the spread apart lugs, as well as the crown that is sandwiched between two larger chrono pushers. The crown in this instance is screw-locked and with a ceramic inlay. As for the material of the housing of Velocissimo watch, it is made of stainless steel and it features water resistance to 100 meters. The case is fashioned with the subdued diameter of 41.5 mm. Moreover, it sports alternating brushed and highly polished finishes, as well as a fixed bezel that includes a printed techymetric scale.
Beneath the sapphire crystal of the watch lies a distinguished blue enamel dial. The complex and time consuming procedure that is required to produce it is meant to signify all of the similar tasks which are necessary during the production of a Maserati vehicle. Additionally, it makes each of the specific models in the restricted series of 1914 models appear unique. By the way, the number of the watches in the limited edition designates the year in which Maserati was founded. The link with the car manufacturer is only hinted on the dial with three chrono counters with silver-colored peripheries. It is restricted to a counterweight on the central chrono hand which is shaped in the form of a trident, the well known logo of Maserati. There is also a date display at the four o’clock position. The rear side of the case is actually more revealing about the origin of the new timekeeper, since it features a captivating semi-transparent blue sapphire section with the appropriate inscriptions, as well as the individual position of the piece in the series.
Finally, it should be said that Bulgari Octo Maserati Velocissimo Limited Edition piece is paired with a blue alligator strap which locks with a double-blade stainless steel clasp with a safety mechanism.