Alongside the refreshed Ghibli, Maserati unveiled two new special edition Bulgari Octo watches at this year’s Frankfurt festivities. 2017 marks the fifth anniversary of collaboration between the two Italian brands, a partnership stretching back to the 2012 Bulgari Octo Maserati Chronograph.
Like the first two pieces, the new Octo Retro Maserati pulls inspiration from modern Maseratis while still retaining the very bold Bulgari design. In contrast to the first two Bulgari x Maserati chronographs, the Retro is a time-only watch with a jumping digital hours and retrograde minute display.
For those unfamiliar with retrograde complications, don’t worry—it’s not as confusing as it appears. Minutes are read from the ascending register on the left, scaled from zero to six. Wherever the hand indicates, multiply by ten, and that’s the current minute. When the hand reaches the six (60 minutes), it snaps back down to zero, and the digital hour jumps forward.
It’s a sharp design, offering a desirable and unique complication while weaving in a visual effect not too far removed from the speedometer you might find on a Maserati. It’s a collaboration, but the design is very much Bulgari, and only incorporates a touch of Maserati with the strap, font, and trident signature on the lower right portion of the dial.
The Octo Retro Maserati arrives in either GranSport or GranLusso specification, both offering distinctly different approaches (and prices) to the design. The GranSport pulls from Maserati’s sporting side, utilizing a dusky black and blue color scheme, extending to the PVD steel case. The GranLusso, as you might imagine, is inspired by the more luxurious side of Maserati, offering a handsome 18k gold case with dark gray dial and chocolate brown strap.
Beyond stylistic differences, the two variants are mechanically the same, both pulling power from Bulgari’s in-house BVL 262 automatic movement. The 262 returns 42 hours of power reserve, along with 28,800 VPH.
Before you get in touch with Bulgari, you might want to visit your local Maserati dealer first, as the Octo Retro is restricted only to Maserati owners. They don’t specify which models qualify, but we’d imagine a rusty old Biturbo doesn’t fit the bill. If you do happen to be a current member of the Trident club, the GranSport starts at $12,400 and the 18k gold GrandLusso begins at $30,100.