Tadao Ando Designed a Watch for Bulgari Inspired by Japanese Zen Gardens

02.13.20 | By
Tadao Ando Designed a Watch for Bulgari Inspired by Japanese Zen Gardens
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Limited edition collaborations between architects and fashionable brands are definitely a thing. Yesterday, it was Kengo Kuma designing his own sneakers with Asics. Today, it’s Tadao Ando and Bulgari unveiling the Octo Finissimo Automatic Tadao Ando Limited Edition Watch, an Italian-styled timepiece patterned after the geometric motifs found decorating Japanese Zen gardens.

Bulgari’s director of watch design Fabrizio Bonamassa Stigliani set out to collaborate with the 1995 Pritzker Prize winning architect after seeing one of his buildings in person, noting parallels between Ando’s stark concrete design and the architectural details of bold geometry of the Octo timepiece.

I went to see the church of light he worked on. The approach was the same as Octo: simple, with light and shadow, precise details. And I used titanium. We had a common language.

With common ground, the two collaborated to embellish the architectural titanium-encased sports watch with a series of hypnotic spiraling linework emanating from the lower left from the seconds hand outward to each corner of the watch’s 40mm titanium case. A clear sapphire caseback reveals the watch’s platinum micro-rotor and self-winding mechanical movement, alongside Ando’s signature.

With only 200 pieces of the $16,500 Ando-customized Bulgari watch being made available, chances are, times already up.

Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at