The familiar form of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo watch has been rethought in a collaboration between the brand and Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima, who together imbue the piece with a mirror effect in a dazzling play on light.
The Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition stays faithful to Sejima’s signature design codes, with a sapphire crystal dial featuring only a minimalist dot pattern. ‘For us, the signature style of the Octo Finissimo is a monochromatic look in titanium,’ says Fabrizio Buonamassa-Stigliani, Bulgari product creation executive director. ‘Here we introduce again the same approach – monochromatic with the single finishing – but this time in steel that is completely polished. The dial is a mirror, the hands also have this mirror effect and there is a dot pattern introduced by Sejima on the sapphire glass of the watch. There is no logo, and no indices on the dial, it is very pure. We worked around the concepts of ‘one single material’ and ‘one single colour’ with the objective of creating a sort of ‘invisible watch’. It creates a strong connection between the object and the person using the object itself thanks to a completely shiny and polished watch.’
Buonamassa-Stigliani was initially drawn to Sejima’s concept of the invisible train – a train with mirror surfaces, reflecting the landscape as it passes through so as to appear completely invisible – and saw parallels with his creation of ultra-thin watches, so slender they seem to almost disappear. The watch is a bridge between these two concepts, its reflective surface meaning you study yourself when looking at the time in a rethinking of the relationship between an object and a person.
‘Her buildings are best known for their clean shiny surfaces that blend into the environment. I appreciate Sejima’s signature style represented by smooth surfaces and well-organised buildings accompanied with modernist elements of time,’ Buonamassa-Stigliani adds. ‘Squares and cubes are very present. Sejima loves blending outdoor spaces with a building’s interior; for this reason, she always incorporates large windows in her buildings, developing a visual connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. All these elements are very interesting for me.
‘What I particularly admire is the duality of the artist, her organic architecture, extremely geometric and essential, which is very close to Bulgari watches’ aesthetic approach.’
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Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.
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