A one-and-only horological creation, made with one of the world’s rarest metals, is up for bids.
Held biennially, the Only Watch auction was created in 2005 with the aim of supporting research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Brands that choose to participate, design a unique, one-off creation to be auctioned without any fees, with proceeds going to the cause. Since the first edition, it has united watchmakers from all over the world with their brilliant creations displaying exceptional mastery and creative breakthroughs.
For its first participation, Bvlgari has created the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar Tantalum. Its unique, handsome bluish-grey tantalum 40mm case is complemented by a deep blue lacquered dial where the Only Watch abbreviation is marked in a symbolic shade of colour for the month of November.
The one-of-its kind creation is crafted with near 100% pure tantalum, one of the rarest metals known for its unique properties of being extremely resistant to corrosion and totally biocompatible. Used in medical engineering, the nuclear industry and electronics, it’s twice as heavy as steel, with a density of 16.6 g/cm2.
Discovered in 1802 by the Swedish chemist Anders Gustaf Ekeberg, tantalum draws its name from Greek mythology. Tantalus was a king of Lydia, son of Zeus and the nymph Plouto. Having displeased the gods, he was condemned by them to suffer an eternal form of martyrdom: the Torment of Tantalus, which involved enduring endless frustration.
Like the mythological origins of its name, machining this rare metal is no mean feat – a tantalum case takes four times longer to produce than a gold case. Everything from the programming of the machine, to the instruments used and the rotation speed of the milling tools, needs to be taken into account.
The distinctive tantalum case houses a mechanical self-winding movement with the most magical complication of all: the Perpetual Calendar, embodying mastery of all the calendar-related facets of time until February 2100. Launched in 2021, this seventh world record has so far been housed in a titanium case as well as a platinum case measuring 5.8mm thick.
Witness miniaturisation genius at its heart with a 2.75 mm BVL Calibre 305, with a 60-hour power reserve, driving the hour and minute hands along with all the perpetual calendar functions: retrograde date display, retrograde day, month and leap-year indication. These are set by means of three correctors: one for the date at 2 o’clock, another for the month at 4 o’clock and a third for the day between 8 and 9 o’clock.
The exceptional Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar Tantalum designed for the 9th edition of Only Watch, will be auctioned on 6 Nov 2021 with 52 other lots, at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues in Geneva, following a promotional tour that begins on 22 September in Monaco, at the Monaco Yacht Show.
Images courtesy of Bvlgari, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.