|Diameter:||32.60 mm (14.5 ligne)|
|© Bulgari||Complications:||Flying Tourbillon, Tourbillon|
|Hands:||Central Hour Hand, Central Minute Hand, Open Heart at 6:00|
|Distinguishing Technical Characteristics|
Ultra-Thin Hand-Winding Tourbillon
|Production: 2014 – Current|
Cal. BVL 268 is an ultra-thin tourbillon movement introduced by Bulgari in 2014. One of the most important movements produced by the company, the original Octo Finissimo model set the tone for a series of record-setting ultra-thin haute horology pieces. The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon was the thinnest tourbillon watch produced to date, and Cal. BVL 268 was the thinnest tourbillon movement, measuring just 1.95 mm thick. Since then, Bulgari has surpassed the original Octo Finissimo Tourbillon in many ways, and the original is no longer produced, but it remains an important movement.
The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon stands apart even from members of the Bulgari Finissimo series in its radical construction. Like the Jean Lassale ultra-thin movements of the 1970s, some components are guided by ball bearings at the side. This construction method allowed Bulgari to deliver a tourbillon movement with just 11 jewels, far fewer than other movements.
The tourbillon is mounted only on one side (“flying”), which also gives it a more attractive look through the aperture at 6:00 on the dial. It rotates once per minute, serving as a seconds hand. Despite the slim dimensions, the balance includes shock protection and adjustable weights for regulation.
The components of the wheel train are also spread wider than usual in the over-sized 32.60 mm diameter movement. This two-dimensional design also helps minimize the thickness of the movement. Yet this is still smaller than later Finissimo movements, resulting in a very compact total volume of just 1,627 mm3.
It is often said that the movement is named for the 268 components it contains, as is the case with other Bulgari movements. But some statements list the component count as 249, and the skeleton version certainly contains a different number of components but retains the same name. Bulgari does not publicly list the diameter of their movements but many sources claim that Cal. BVL 268 is 32.60 mm (14.5 ligne) in diameter. Some sources suggest that the movement operates at 28,800 A/h, but this is incorrect; it operates at 21,600 A/h.
Cal. BVL 268SK
A skeletonized version, Cal. BVL 268SK, was added in 2017 and the original BVL 268 was retired. This remarkable movement better shows the design, maximizing the flat layout. It also adds two jewels (for a total of 13) though the ball bearing system remains in use.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton won the Chronometry Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2017. Unlike the original Cal. BVL 268SK, the skeletonized version remains in production as of 2020.
Cal. BVL 268 Applications
Cal. BVL 268 has been used in the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon as well as the less-common Roma Finissimo Tourbillon and unusual Octo Roma Monete.
- Cal. BVL 268
- 2014-2018 Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, platinum Ref. 102138
- 2015-2017 Bulgari Roma Finissimo Tourbillon
- Cal. BVL 268SK
- 2017-present Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton (also called Squelette), platinum Ref. 102719
- 2018-2019 Bulgari Octo Roma Monete