Maserati is winding down its 100th anniversary celebration in the most Maserati way possible: collaborating with jeweler Bulgari, a fellow Italian brand that is celebrating its 130th anniversary in 2014, to develop a limited-edition timepiece. The two eponymous Italian brands have launched a last hurrah of sorts to celebrate their momentous anniversaries and the fruit of this collaboration is the limited-edition Octo Maserati Chronograph by Bulgari. Oh, yes. It’s another luxury watch with ties to the auto industry, as if we haven’t seen enough of these this year already.

All joking aside, Maserati and Bulgari are concluding their respective milestones with a new and exclusive timepiece that serves as a suitable successor to the Octo Quadri-Retro Chronograph that the two brands launched in 2012. The Octo Maserati Chronograph, though, is extra special. The depths of technological know-how the two companies poured into creating this exclusive watch already makes it a must-have for any self-respecting watch connoisseur.

The watch itself is nicknamed “Velocissimo,” which in Italian means “the fastest.” That’s all you need to know about how unique this self-winding chronograph is. In fact, Bulgari’s only building 1,914 pieces of the Octo Maserati Chronograph, a direct tribute to 1914, the year the Maserati brothers founded the brand. Each of these beautiful watches has a price of €10,150, which is about $12,365 as of 12/23/2014.

We know Christmas is a few days away, but is it too late to be asking a certain Mr. Claus to put some of these watches in our Christmas stockings?

Click past the jump to read more about the Bulgari Octo Maserati Limited Edition Watch.

Why it matters

Bulgari Octo Maserati Limited Edition Watch
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Anytime you have a brand that’s commemorating a historical anniversary with a special-edition watch like this, it’s going to get your attention. But two brands? That doesn’t happen a lot, even in the "anything is possible" world of automaker-watchmaker collaborations.

What makes this watch even more special is that the partners in crime that created it, Bulgari and Maserati, already have a history of working together. You can’t put a price on this kind of collaborative experience, especially when you’re dealing with all the intricacies that come in building luxury watches.

So take advantage of this rare opportunity, even if the Octo Maserati Chronograph costs about as much as an entry-level subcompact car these days.

Bulgari Octo Maserati Limited Edition Watch in detail

Bulgari Octo Maserati Limited Edition Watch
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The devil is in the details and no more is that evident than in the Bulgari Octo Maserati Chronograph.

The mechanism that runs the whole show is the Calibre BVL 328, Bulgari’s own power unit that comes with a 50-hour power reserve, ensuring that the watch maintains the level of quality and precision Bulgari watches are known for. Take a quick browse and you’ll also notice that the watch comes with 45 jewels, each placed precisely in their respective locations in what can only be described as a time-consuming process.

Speaking of time-consuming, the watch also features a champlevé dial that’s no easy thing to build. Additionally, Maserati’s famous Trident logo can be clearly seen on the end of the second hand, and the luminous blue shade on the dial not only represents Maserati’s iconic color, but it also serves as a nice complement to the blue, alligator-print leather strap.

On the back, a semi-transparent blue case-back comes with a faded Maserati logo and an indicator identifying the specific number of the watch relative to the rest of the 1,914 units.

Press Release

This limited-edition chronograph pays tribute to the joint anniversary of the two Houses embodying a certain art of living Founded on December 1st 1914 in Bologna by Alfieri Maserati and two of his six brothers, Ettore and Ernesto, the eponymous car manufacturer now based in Modena is celebrating its centenary in 2014. A momentous year, that also sees Bulgari toast its 130th anniversary. Reputed for their creativity and excellence, the two Italian firms have jointly decided to mark this milestone year with a distinctive and exceptional sports watch: the Octo Maserati chronograph, symbolising the encounter between Italian talents in two fields that are at once very different and yet extremely close. Maserati, an Italian icon of automobile design, has forged its worldwide success through the world of competition – a school of rigorous discipline and performance that are essential prerequisites for mounting the winners’ podium and achieving the best possible results. Human beings play a crucial role in such feats, be they the engineers, designers, mechanics who develop and fine-tune a racing car, or the driver who holds its fate in his hands.

Bulgari Octo Maserati Limited Edition Watch
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Thanks to this experience, Maserati is able to offer a demanding and refined clientele a number of particularly remarkable GT cars. Distinguished from mere sports cars that are fast but often somewhat restrictive, GT models are capable of whisking their occupants along on fine journeys at a brisk pace and in a manner that is both comfortable and elegant. Power and performance are thus dedicated to serving a way of life. In keeping with this tradition, and to mark the centenary of the car manufacturer, Bulgari has conceived a timepiece evoking this art of living shared by the two Italian firms reputed for their boldness, their creativity and their chic.

For this exceptional partnership that began in 2012 with the launch of the Octo Quadri-Retro Chronograph bearing the colours of the Italian carmaker, the Manufacture Bulgari has chosen this year to drive its chronograph by means of a movement that lives up to its name. Nicknamed Velocissimo, meaning “the fastest”, the self-winding chronograph movement chosen by the Swiss master-watchmakers to power this limited series is fitted with 45 jewels and distinguished by its extremely high frequency, at 36,000 vibrations per hour. Equipped with a silicon escapement and an oscillating pinion operating as a clutch to ensure that the chronograph is activated as precisely as a sequential gearbox, Calibre BVL 328 has a 50-hour power reserve guaranteeing a blend of performance, precision and autonomy.

This powerful mechanism is equally well prepared for sudden bursts of speed as for long-haul races, just like the cars offered by Maserati. The evocative nature of this timepiece is not confined to its technical aspects, since everything about the Octo Maserati, from the singular case design right the way through to the case finishes, echoes the world of the car manufacturer. This is a fine example of fruitful cooperation and dialogue between the designers and engineers of the two Italian firms, amounting to far more than a mere partnership. With its 41.5 mm diameter enabling comfortable dial read-off, the case of the Octo Maserati, which is water-resistant to 100 metres, echoes the generous proportions and comfort of both historical and modern Maseratis. The two chronograph buttons handling stop/start and reset functions, respectively placed at 2 and 4 o’clock, are perfectly integrated on the case middle within the 110 facets of the case, so as to form a single, homogenous whole. They provide an eloquent reminder that the Octo range is inspired by brilliant Italian accomplishments in the fields of architecture and design – as well as performance, as confirmed by the tachometric bezel. Octo Maserati provides readings as instantaneous as a car’s speedometers, displayed on a champlevé dial.

Bulgari Octo Maserati Limited Edition Watch
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Like the design and production of a Maserati, this production technique involves a long and complex process calling for perfect control, plenty of time, intense concentration and a large number of successive stages: from hollowing out the cavities that will hold the lacquer, to the firing phases and the finishing of the shiny surfaces, as well as hand applying the varnish and polishing each surface. The final result is an elegant and eminently readable dial entirely in keeping with the spirit of the dashboards on the cars bearing the famous trident. The latter emblem that has come to represent the car manufacturer was created by the artist in the family, Mario Maserati, and inspired by the famous Neptune fountain in Bologna.

It tops the chronograph hand and discreetly appears on the semi-transparent blue case-back. The dial also features a luminous blue shade reflecting the carmaker’s iconic colour. The blue alligator leather strap, secured to the wrist by a double-blade steel folding clasp with a safety fastening, is as supple and refined as the upholstery of one of these desirable sports cars. While each is exactly as its creators intended, each watch is as unique as each car. There will indeed be only 1,914 Octo Maserati chronographs, in tribute to the founding year of Maserati. Proudly bearing its double signature, the Bulgari watch created for Maserati is a manifesto of a distinctive art of living, of kindred values and of a jointly upheld philosophy. Quite obviously, this timepiece is far more than just a commemorative limited-series watch for gentlemen drivers. The Octo Maserati expresses the quintessence of a vision of elegance fully shared by the two Italian Houses keen to provide an imaginative and perfect response to a desire for high standards and elegance.  

Integrated self-winding chronograph Manufacture movement, Calibre BVL 328 Velocissimo, 36,000 vph, silicon escapement, 50-hour power reserve: hour and minute hands, chronograph sweep-seconds hand, chronograph minute and hours counters at 3 and 6 o’clock respectively, seconds counter at 9 o’clock; date between 4 and 5 o’clock
Steel case, 41.5 mm in diameter, tachometric scale on bezel, semi-transparent blue case-back with Maserati logo, 13.07 mm thick; screw-lock crown with ceramic inlay; water-resistant to 100 metres
Lacquered and polished “champlevé” blue and white dial, Maserati blue alligator leather strap, steel folding clasp
1,914-piece limited edition

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