What we have here are two new retrograde watches in Bulgari’s Octo range, both designed as part of a partnership with Maserati. The Octo Maserati GranSport and GranLusso, as they’re being called, were officially presented at the recent Frankfurt motor show alongside Maserati automobiles.
Let me level with you. Partnerships between watch brands and automotive marques are in no short supply, so you’ll be forgiven for expecting just another boring co-branding exercise meant as an appeal to boys who love toys.
For the skeptics, I’m going to come out and say it right away: These are more-than-decent-looking watches resulting from a partnership between two very Italian companies, each with a flair for irreverence and originality in design. In this context, a partnership between Bulgari and Maserati seems to make sense and doesn’t feel forced in the way that some of the other watch/car connections do.
On the outside, what you have is the Bulgari Octo case, the GranSport in black DLC-treated steel and the GranLusso in 18k pink gold. Both are 41.5mm in diameter, making them extremely wearable. This is a design that has been with Bulgari going all the way back to the days of the erstwhile Grald Genta brand. It’s a play on shapes and geometry, with circles inscribed in octagons. It is a great case design, and we’ve seen it work particularly well when the strong angularity of the case is presented with an ultra-thin profile.
Each of these new timepieces is powered by an in-house, automatic movement with retrograde minutes and jumping hours yes, there’s just the single hand there, so the number in the window is an hour window, not the date display. Just below it is the Maserati logo. As you can see from the images, the minutes display has been designed to recall a Maserati analog RPM meter, with single digit applied numerals and a “MIN x10” inscribed at the bottom of the dial. On the GranSport, a blue zone indicates that the retrograde feature just about ready to kick into action and send the minutes hand back to zero. There’s no such marking on the GranLusso.
The movement is the caliber BVL 262, a 33-jewel automatic decorated with Ctes de Genve, with plenty of chamfering and beveling on its plates and bridges. It’s escapement beats at a conventional 28,800 vph, with power reserve of 42 hours. There is a smokey sapphire window on the back of the case giving you a view of the movement, though it’s largely obstructed by the massive Maserati logo.
The GranSport is priced at $12,800 and the GranLusso is priced at $30,700. Neither are limited editions. For more information, visit Bulgari online.