Josh O’Connor is one of the most exciting actors in showbusiness right now: a likeable, humble and talented dude who’s been described as “an actor’s actor” by The Guardian.
He’s best known for his exceptional depiction of Prince Charles in seasons three and four of Netflix’s The Crown, a role he seemed born to do – despite the fact he’s a committed republican who once campaigned for Jeremy Corbyn. He also shares some of the keen sartorial impulses of the heir to the British throne, regularly spotted in crisp suits and designer couture.
Of course, Prince Charles has always been the most horologically inclined royal, wearing brands as diverse as Breguet, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Patek Philippe. These days, Charles favours Parmigiani Fleurier – but Josh O’Connor prefers a brand with a slightly more modern aesthetic, namely Bulgari.
Indeed, O’Connor was spotted at a Bulgari gala at Kensington Palace last week wearing a rather futuristic watch: the new Bulgari Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon. One of the most eye-catching and complicated pieces the Italian jeweller has ever produced, it’s a timepiece that we reckon watch-mad Prince Charles would look very favourably upon.
The central tourbillon is a rare and rather unusual complication which few other watchmakers in recent memory have attempted. It’s quite simply stunning; the movement’s flying tourbillon given pride of place in the centre of the watch. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon’s party tricks.
Firstly, it features a digital jumping hour at the traditional 12 o’clock position (another hallmark of haute horlogerie) but what’s really ingenious is how the minute track works. At first glance, it looks like the watch has a retrograde minutes complication, à la many of Gérald Genta’s designs, but instead the watch actually has two minutes hands mounted on an inner disc, which rotate 90º as they pass the 60 minutes mark, as to not obscure the hour display. It’s an ingenious and unique solution that saves energy and reduces stress on the watch’s internals compared to a retrograde minutes complication whilst remaining visually impressive.
If all that technical wizardry wasn’t enough, the Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon is crafted from a lustrous rose gold and comes with an alligator leather strap. It’s quite simply one of the most sumptous watches to hit the market in 2021, and yet another feather in Bulgari’s cap – the jeweller having definitively established themselves as one of the most techincally proficient watchmakers in the game right now.
Nicely done, Josh. Or should we say Your Majesty?