Celebrating a centenary of the Italian car manufacturer Maserati, the new Bulgari Octo Maserati Limited Edition automatic wristwatch not only delivers one of the finest “sporty” designs currently available on the market, but also comes powered by an impressive (albeit outsourced from another watchmaking house) engine that rivals the gorgeous 4.7-liter V8 engine of Maserati’s latest GranTurismo MC Stradale sport car.
It’s not the first time that the Italian watchmaking brand partners with one of the most iconic car makers. Back in 2012, both companies have presented another co-branded chronograph: a splendid Bvlgari Octo Quadri-Retro Maserati Special Edition model.
Coming in their signature dark blue color with lots of silver, the watch seemed to be influenced by art-deco: a design style that started to really shine during the two decades between World War I and World War II. The period also happened to be the most fruitful for Maserati that was established in 1914 by Alfieri Maserati and his brothers, Ettore and Ernesto.
Since less than a week ago the Italian car manufacturer celebrated its centenary, some guys at marketing probably decided that it would be a good idea to also present a “limited edition” chronograph that would celebrate the anniversary of one of the most influential brands in Italian history.
This new Bulgari Octo Maserati Limited Edition model features a lot more modern styling that seems to perfectly match Maserati’s current design language with its flowing curves and fast, aggressive lines forming the sporty silhouette of the 2014 Maserati GranTurismmo MC Stradale, a car that was first launched more than four years ago, but still looks strikingly modern.
As usual, the new Octo features the brand’s signature octagonal case with brushed and polished edges and ultra-massive, boxy lugs.
The pair of chronograph push-pieces is now even better blended in the design looking like integral parts of the stainless steel body. Although the setting crown doesn’t look terribly comfortable to manipulate, it still deserves some attention, mainly thanks for the grey ceramic inlay that replaces an outdated cabochon of a more classic timekeeper.
As massive as it looks on the pictures, the watch is in fact quite compact measuring just 41.5 mm in width and only a bit over 13 millimeters in height. While you should still be quite cautious when choosing a right shirt and jacket to accompany the device, it will possibly look good on almost any wrist safe for the skinniest ones.
Like a number of their other watches, the Octo Maserati comes powered by Bulgari caliber BVL 328 Velocissimo. Based on a well-known Zenith El Primero automatic movement, it still features a silicon escapement and beats at a high speed of 36,000 semi-oscillations per hour, it is pretty nicely redecorated with its open-worked and branded oscillating weight featuring traditional Geneva Stripes motif.
However, admiring the mechanism would not be an easy task since, as the aforementioned Octo Quadri-Retro Maserati, this specimen, too, has its case back cover equipped with a tinted sapphire crystal that makes it quite difficult to see the details.
According to the brand’s press release, the watch will be limited to 1914 pieces, which basically means that finding one in a Bvlgari boutique near you will not be such a problem. The only problem may be its price: they plan to sell the timepiece at €9700, which seems quite impressive for a wristwatch in stainless steel.
See also: Bvlgari Octo Chronograph Automatic
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Bulgari Octo Maserati Limited Edition watch specification
Movement: Automatic, Bulgari caliber BVL 328 Velocissimo (base Zenith El Primero), silicon escapement, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 31
Movement frequency: 36,600 vph
Power reserve: 50 hours
Movement decoration: Oscillating weight adorned with “Cotes de Geneve” pattern
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case, with ceramic inlay
Case shape: Octagonal
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 41.50 mm
Case height: 13.07 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Champleve blue, lacquered and polished
Numerals: Arabic “12”
Hour markers: Applied
Hands: Steel, open-worked
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Maserati blue alligator leather strap with a steel folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Semi-transparent blue sapphire with the Maserati logo