FABRIZIO BUONAMASSA

On Bul­gari’s Ital­ian DNA, the im­por­tance of proportions in watch de­sign and the new Octo Finis­simo.

Esquire Malaysia Watch Guide - - Special Feature - Se­nior di­rec­tor of De­sign Cen­tre Bul­gari Hor­logerie

ESQ: Bul­gari is known for the splen­dour of its de­signs. How does it face the chal­lenges with re­spect to tra­di­tion in the watch depart­ment?

BUONAMASSA FABRIZIO: I started 13 years ago in Bul­gari and my pas­sion is in de­sign. I come from the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try and when I met Paolo Bul­gari in 2001, I sent him watch de­signs with stylish cars. The most im­por­tant thing for me is that each de­sign has the DNA of Bul­gari. It is dif­fi­cult be­cause it is not nor­mal for a brand in his­tory to pro­duce amaz­ing prod­ucts that rep­re­sent a typ­i­cal ital­ian de­sign. At that time watches were very thin and oddly shaped, and Bul­gari had a round cylin­dri­cal shape, with a dou­ble logo on the front.

ESQ: Where do you get your in­spi­ra­tions from?

FB: Rome, it’s all about clas­si­cal Ital­ian ar­chi­tec­ture and pure geo­met­ric forms. This can be seen in all our de­signs. We merged th­ese items with the im­pres­sive his­tory of Bul­gari, which you can see in the Berries or Diva col­lec­tion. Th­ese are very im­por­tant to us be­cause they’re our first watches for women with a round face with­out the dou­ble logo, very sim­ple and clear.

ESQ: Tell us about Octo.

FB: Octo is another very com­plex ex­er­cise wherein you may en­counter all el­e­ments of our his­tory, shapes, solids and pure form. It is the per­fect mix of cir­cle and square. In 2001 the brand bought Gérald Genta and our in­spi­ra­tion was its Octo, but this new model was de­signed by 100 peo­ple at Bul­gari. It is a watch with a strong de­sign, noth­ing ex­ag­ger­ated, with ex­cep­tional de­tail on the case. This year we have 38mm ver­sions and a white dial, but we al­ways try to find the right bal­ance.

ESQ: This year has a smaller case. Why?

FB: It’s what the mar­ket needs. We of­fer dif­fer­ent op­tions and we have the awe­some finis­simo tour­bil­lon with hand-wound move­ment. It is a fan­tas­tic piece that took us many years to de­velop. It has the same com­pli­ca­tion that you can find in the big octo son­nerie. The tour­bil­lon move­ment is only 1.90mm and the fact that we de­vel­oped this mech­a­nism at home is a source of great pride.

ESQ: Does the de­vel­op­ment of watches fall mainly to the de­sign depart­ment or the tech­ni­cal side?

FB: What we want now is com­pli­ca­tions on the clock. So some­times we start from the de­sign, but for large mod­els with com­pli­ca­tions like Octo Finis­simo, we be­gin with the move­ment. We cre­ate and imag­ine the per­fect way to dress.

ESQ: Is it more dif­fi­cult to work with an iconic prod­uct or a new line?

FB: Now we have the per­fect bal­ance be­tween very dar­ing watches and more for­mal and el­e­gant time­pieces.

ESQ: How im­por­tant are the proportions?

FB: They are fun­da­men­tal, be­cause Bul­gari has no nor­mal proportions. All parts come from ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments that de­fine our de­signs. If you do not have the proper proportions it is sim­ply not a Bul­gari prod­uct. This is part of our his­tory, of our DNA.

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