The Bulgari Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon is a follow up to last year’s model. built around the tourbillon minute repeater calibre BVL 428 that chimes on three hammers with three gongs (hence Carillon) rather than two gongs like a conventional repeater, the Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon takes two traditional complications of the tourbillon and the striking mechanism and vocalises a contemporary interpretation. Featuring a highly graphic skeletonised movement with blue bridges, the platinum case with a blued titanium midcase, the Bulgari Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon is designed perfectly for its raison d’etre: amplifying the sound rendition and clarity of aurally perceived music the primary parameter governing the construction of a striking watch.

44mm by 12.83mm the Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon not a thin watch but by no means could it be considered “thick” given the combination of high complications. That said, its generous proportions are designed to maximise sound propagation, enabling increased torque from the three-tone construction and greater sound power production. In particular, the blued titanium caseband is designed to maximise sound and allow it to spread as much as possible. It has cavities inside the design to reduce the amount of metal between the inside and outside, and three openings on the caseband that correspond to the three gongs, thus allowing the sound to exit the chamber.

The gongs are the most traditional Bulgari’s latest Carillon Tourbillon is going to get, the rest of this Roma’s design language are thoroughly modern.

Normally the racks and snails of a minute repeater are situated under the dial, so all the mechanical magic that happens from when the time from the position of the hands is “read” and then transmitted to the the hammers and gongs, all takes place “backstage”. On the Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon, the gongs are attached directly to the body of the case for the most efficient sound transmission and the middle-case is made of titanium to ensure the clearest possible sound diffusion. The back is also hollowed out and redesigned with a titanium grid that protects this resonant area and enables outward transmission of the sound; finally, with its skeletonised dial, you do get to see some of the action on the face, just not the hammers and gongs vibrating.

Horological complications have for centuries followed principles involving strict definitions of “fine watchmaking”, as a result timepieces like minute repeaters tend to be emblems of extreme classicism. On the Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon, Bulgari’s gravity defying escapement and the striking mechanism speak a resolutely modern language. The gongs on the watch are hand-crafted in several stages.

They are bent and formed by hand before being annealed, or hardened, at a temperature of 900 degrees Celsius, then cleaned before being reheated in a 500-degree kiln, a process that endows the metal with its crystal-clear resonance – this is the most traditional Bulgari’s latest Carillon Tourbillon is going to get but aside from classical decorative techniques, the rest of this Roma’s design language are thoroughly modern.

The architecture of the BVL428 calibre, the cut-out of the bridges and the positioning of the various components are original, contemporary and contrasted in order to reveal the beauty of the mechanism. The hammers, gongs, tourbillon cage and perforated surfaces are made of alternating polished steels, while the finely worked main plate and bridges feature an ALD treatment. The high-tech carbon-based vacuum-deposition coating is an elegant deep blue.

The movement is equipped with one classical barrel ensuring the power reserve of at least 75 hours for the movement at full charge, meanwhile the functioning of the sound mechanism is ensured by a spring which is contained in a barrel-shaped container drilled directly in the bridge. Available in a 30-piece limited edition the watch has a transparent sapphire crystal caseback, showcasing the splendid finishing and avant garde architecture of its mechanical movement.

Bulgari Octo Roma Blue Carillon Tourbillon Price & Specs

Case 44 mm platinum case with openworked titanium mid-case and 30 metres water resistance
Movement manual winding BVL428 calibre with 75 hours power reserve
Price US$317,000

30 piece limited edition

(Images: Bulgari)


written by.

Jonathan Ho

Managing Editor
Jonathan Ho might have graduated with a business degree but he thumbed his nose at commerce and instead opted for a harder life in journalism. He edits Augustman, a title he first joined when he became a writer after a career in advertising and now, earns a living writing commentaries on the luxury industry.
Bulgari Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon: A Modern Take On An Old Classic
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