Dezeen Magazine

Bulgari unveils world's thinnest watch as skinny as a five-pence coin

Italian jewellery company Bulgari has reclaimed the record for making the world's thinnest mechanical watch with the release of its Octo Finissimo Ultra Cosc, which has a thickness of just 1.7 millimetres.

It beat the previous record holder, Richard Mille's RM UP-01 Ferrari, by just 0.05 millimetres – about the breadth of a human hair.

World's thinnest watch 2024, the Octo Finissimo Ultra Cosc by Bulgari
Bulgari has developed the thinnest mechanical watch ever produced

The design is an evolution of Bulgari's Octo Finissimo Ultra, which held the record for four months in 2022 before the release of Ferrari's collaboration with watchmaker Richard Mille.

"The Octo Finissimo is a vast playground of innovation and design — and a source of unprecedented challenges — for Bulgari's R&D department," said the director of Bulgari's watchmaking division Antoine Pin.

Side-by-side comparison of the thinness of two watches
It measures just 1.7 millimetres wide

All 170 components that make up the movement of the Octo Finissimo Ultra Cosc are fixed directly onto the back of the watch's case rather than onto a separate mainplate, just like in its predecessor.

To protect the mechanism in lieu of this additional layer, the case back is made of tungsten carbide – an ultra-durable metal alloy – while the front of the case and the matching strap are made of sandblasted titanium.

World's thinnest watch 2024, the Octo Finissimo Ultra Cosc by Bulgari
The watch strap and front case are made of sandblasted titanium

The new thinness was achieved by "optimising" the sapphire crystal front, according to Bulgari.

"Through patient, meticulous incremental steps, the engineers were able to shave off that critical tenth of a millimetre," the company said.

The final design is 1.7 millimetres thick or about the width of a five-pence coin.

The Octo Finissimo Ultra Cosc also presents an advance in terms of accuracy.

It is the thinnest watch to ever receive the chronometer mark by Switzerland's independent Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC), which requires a timepiece to lose no more than four seconds and gain no more than six seconds a day.

Fingers holding a watch face in construction
The watch's case back also serves as the main plate

The watch will be produced in a limited edition of 20, with a QR code on the back linking to an online product manual specific to the individual watch.

Each will also come with a case that will automatically set and wind the watch at the push of a button.

Lineup of watches by Bulgari
The release marks Bulgari's ninth record for watch thinness

The release marks Bulgari's ninth world record for the thinness of its watches, as it is locked in a race with watchmakers including Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet and Piaget.

Other recent releases aimed at pushing traditional watch design include Frank Gehry's transparent Louis Vuitton timepiece and Formafantasma's Rado watch, which was designed to have a sense of secrecy.