1 of 100 Bulgari Octo Finissimo Middle East LE
Eastern Arabic numerals are hot; change my mind. Memes aside, I tend to fall on the side of Breguet numerals, Roman numerals or straight indices. However, even the most classic of collectors has to acknowledge the beauty of region-specific numerals, particularly when they tell a story. Dubai’s Watch Week, started in 2015, has done a stellar job of bringing the most haute of horology down to a conversational and approachable tone. No huge vendor displays are allowed, no overt commercial ads, and no pretentious awards. Dubai Watch Week is about passion and knowledge. As such, I’m particularly fond of limited releases for the aforementioned gathering. They seem to nod toward the days of the rarest Oman and Qaboos Rolex without being too overt, though I’m aware I just committed a bit of cultural apocryphy there (sorry).
The BVL 138 Octo you will be aware of, I am certain. However, there’s a little more than meets the eye with this LE. Keeping in character with their attention to detail, those numerals are in fact a dark British racing green, layered on in lacquer for depth. The curves and rounded edges of the lacquer contrast brilliantly against the harsh, almost Brutalist modern angles of its case and bracelet design, now famed. The distinction between this and a stand OF may be slight, but the nuance is enough for me to be deeply attracted. British racing green Eastern Arabic on an Octo? Come on.
The rest of this watch is the same ultra-svelte affair you’ll be used to. The micro rotor (executed in platinum) movement, titanium execution throughout (including the dial), 5.2mm thin rise, and 60hr power reserve remain. All the good points, just a little je ne sais quoi to savor.
The watch shown here is as near right-out-of-the box as I can differentiate. No problems visible. Not much more to add. It comes with a full set from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this Middle East Octo here from Mr Watchley for 17750 EUR.