ONE ON ONE: A Padani moments interview with the chief watch designer of BVLGARI

Fabrizio Buonamassi's job is particularly challenging – as the person responsible for the BVLGARI watch designs, he juggles the desire for innovation and the maintaining the brand's tradition, with the Italian talent for design and Swiss know-how and engineering capability.  The watches are produced in Switzerland. We asked him about his work, about BVLGARI and about design in general – and here is what he had to say:

How does one become a watch designer?

I studied industrial design in Rome and I started my career in transportation design.
I think a designer must be able to draw anything ; chairs , cars , watches or aircraft.
The most important thing is to find the right language/expression to use for the different categories of product.

How would you define BVLGARI's design DNA? In your mind, what is your contribution to it?

Bulgari has a different taste when it comes to proportions and shapes .
We use forms and objects that come from different worlds and are able to turn them into icons of luxury , as it is the case with Tubogas .
This is characteristic of Italian Design  where bold the use of materials and proportions meets the typical Italian taste .
My role is to work in this historical journey trying to evolve the signs of the brand to create new Bulgari products.

Do you find watch design more artistic or more technological, or both?

It is the combination of both; not only technical but also aesthetic as a watch has to be unique and the recognizable.

BVLGARI has a history of over 130 years – how do you cope with the challenge of looking forward without neglecting the past?

This the challenge for every designer , to work trying to evolve the signs of the brand yet respecting its history .

What is your favorite BVLGARI watch? Why?

The next one.

What is your favorite design item (not watch related)?

The list is very long , of course, many icons of Italian design ; the stool Mezzadro of Acille Castiglioni , TVs made by Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper for Brionvega , calculators Divisumma that Mario Bellini has designed for Olivetti and also many car by Pininfarina , Bertone and Touring .

Based on your professional experience – is luxury watch design influenced more by trends or by heritage?

It is  the perfect blend of the two ingredients.

What professional peaks have you yet to conquer?

Probably  to able to have all the essence of the history and the ionic signs of Bulgari in a new product.

If you were asked to choose your favorite competitor's design, which one would you pick?

I would choose the one that is the essence and history of a brand, with very few signs.

What Design Museum (worldwide) do you consider a "Must-see" for any design-enthusiast and would recommend to our readers?

One of my favorites is the Tate Modern in London .

After spending a long period in Switzerland, Which Hotel and Restaurant do you think our readers would enjoy?

I honestly do not know.