Bulgari’s Latest ‘Sketched’ Watches Are Drawing Attention - Kanebridge News
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Bulgari’s Latest ‘Sketched’ Watches Are Drawing Attention

By LAURIE KAHLE
Mon, Mar 18, 2024 9:08amGrey Clock 3 min

Bulgari celebrated its 140th anniversary this week with a trio of Octo Finissimo Sketch limited editions dedicated to the art of trompe l’oeil.

The French art history term translates to “deceive the eye,” a reference to the artist’s ability to fool the viewer into thinking they are looking at something real when it’s simply an artistic illusion.

Bulgari’s Sketch series debuted in 2022 with an Octo Finissimo Automatic and an Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT featuring “sketched” dials depicting the original hand drawings. This time, Bulgari flips the script with dials bearing illustrations of the interior movements, mirror images of the actual calibers that can be viewed through sapphire crystal case backs.

Limited to 280 pieces in steel (€17,800/about US$19,400) and 70 pieces in 18-karat 5N rose gold (€51,000/about US$55,500), the new Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch depicts the in-house BVL 138 caliber’s micro-rotor, escapement, bridges, rubies, and intricate finishing details, such as Côtes de Genève and circular graining.

undefined Each monochromatic piece measures 40mm in diameter and 6.4mm thick, in keeping with Octo Finissimo’s ultra-thin theme. The sapphire crystal case back is engraved to commemorate the anniversary.

The third piece is a Chronograph GMT Sketch (€20,800/about US$22,600), featuring a 43mm polished steel case measuring 8.75mm thick. In 2019, the original Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT broke an ultra-thin record with a 3.33mm-thick caliber incorporating a 30-minute chronograph and central second in addition to a second time zone at 3 o’clock.

Limited to just 140 pieces, this edition’s dial features a sketch that blends dial and movement elements. The Tri-Compax chronograph dial display (GMT at 3 o’clock, 30-minute counter at 6 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock) is combined with a balance between 4 and 5 o’clock, the chronograph column wheel at 8 o’clock, and finishing details on the bridges and gears.

Those who follow the Instagram account of Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Bulgari’s product creation executive director, will instantly recognise the stylistic signature of his fast-motion freehand sketching videos. Before joining Bulgari as a designer in 2001, he designed cars for the Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands at Centro Stile Fiat, where he honed his precise yet spontaneous fast-sketching technique using a pen or marker on paper.

Each monochromatic piece measures 40mm in diameter and 6.4mm thick, in keeping with Octo Finissimo’s ultra-thin theme.
Bulgari

In 2014, he re-envisioned Gérald Genta’s Octo design with the goal of creating the world’s thinnest mechanical watch. The resulting Octo Finissimo line went on to set nine ultra-thin records, including a number of complications, such as the world’s slimmest tourbillon, minute repeater, automatic chronograph, and perpetual calendar. In 2022 it went to extremes with the futuristic Ultra, measuring just 1.80mm thick. (Ultra was ultimately bested in 2022 by Richard Mille’s UP-01 Ferrari at 1.75mm thick.)

Such accomplishments represented daunting technical feats that brought Buonamassa Stigliani’s sketches into reality. When Bulgari acquired the Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth brands in 2000, it also secured the technical know-how to create such record-breaking ultra-thin watches. (LVMH acquired Bulgari in 2011 and has relaunched the Genta and Roth brands separately.)

Bulgari’s Sketch series pays homage to the importance of hand-drawn renderings in art history. Since the Renaissance, Italian artists kept their schizzi (sketches) for their students and their archives as references to use in the quest to improve upon an original design.



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Leaders with epic hobbies seem to squeeze more hours out of the day than the rest of us

By Callum Borchers
Fri, Jul 19, 2024 4 min

Many of us can barely keep up with our jobs, never mind hobbies. Yet some top executives run marathons, wineries or music-recording studios on the side. How can they have bigger responsibilities and more fun than we do?

It can seem like ultrahigh achievers find extra hours in the day. They say they’ve just figured out how to manage their 24 better than the rest of us.

They also admit they take full advantage of the privileges of being a boss—the power to delegate and the means to do things like jetting to Denmark for a long weekend of windsurfing.

Dan Streetman trains as many as 20 hours a week for Ironman triathlons in addition to his job as CEO of cybersecurity firm Tanium. It’s a big commitment for anyone, never mind a corporate leader who travels to meet with customers every week. He pulls it off by sleeping fewer than seven hours a night and waking around 5 a.m., planning his exercise sessions months in advance, and switching his brain from work mode to sport mode almost as fast as he transitions from swimming to cycling during a competition.

“I tend to work right up until the day of the race,” says Streetman, 56 years old. “I remember being on a board call on a Friday night, and Saturday morning was an Ironman. That’s just part of it.”

Ahead of business trips, he maps running routes in unfamiliar cities and scouts nearby pools, often at YMCAs. He rides stationary bikes in hotel gyms and, if they’re subpar, makes a note to book somewhere else next time he’s in town.

Leaders who eat, breathe and sleep business can appear out of touch at a time when employees crave work-life balance and expect their bosses to model it. Today’s prototypical CEO has a full life outside of work, or at least the appearance of one.

Their tactics include waking up early, multitasking and scheduling fun as if it were any other appointment. When you’re a top executive, hobbies tend to disappear unless they’re on the calendar. One CEO told me he disguises “me time” as important meetings. Only his assistant knows which calendar blocks are fake.

Ben Betts calls himself a “spreadsheet guy,” which is a bit like saying Michelangelo was a paint guy. With Excel as his canvas, Betts creates cell-by-cell checklists for just about everything he does, from cooking Christmas dinner to building a coop for newly hatched ducklings.

Betts, 41, is CEO of Learning Pool, a professional-development software maker. The duck home is part of his ambitious effort to restore an 18th-century farmhouse in England. He’s been renovating for about five years and aims to finish this fall.

On a recent Saturday, Betts’s spreadsheet called for stripping overhead beams by 5 p.m. so he could refinish them. Otherwise, the task would have to wait until the following weekend, throwing off his whole timeline. His vision of the home as a cozy enclave—completed in time for the holidays—can only come true if he sticks to a precise plan.

“Sometimes I stand in the doorway, and my wife probably wonders what I’m staring at,” he says. “I’m picturing us on a corner sofa with our two kids and the dog, watching a film in front of the fireplace I installed.”

Back in the swing

John Sicard , president and CEO of supply-chain manager Kinaxis , got back into drumming many years after he let go of his dream to become a professional musician. He practices almost every day, but his sessions sometimes last only 20 minutes. He rehearses with bandmates two or three times a month. That’s enough to prepare Sicard, 61, to play Foo Fighters and Led Zeppelin covers at occasional charity gigs.

He also built a studio in his house, where he records up-and-coming artists. He finds time by sticking to this management philosophy: “The most successful CEOs do the least amount of work.”

For Sicard, that means letting his lieutenants take charge of—and responsibility for—their divisions. Many corporate leaders work harder than they need to because they micromanage or hire poorly and pick up the slack, he says.

Thomas Hansen , president of software maker Amplitude, is back to windsurfing, a sport he competed in as a teenager. He lives near the ocean in California but gets out on the water only about once a month, when the waves are just right. Hobbies don’t need to be daily activities to be fulfilling, he says, especially if they require training regimens.

To stay in shape for windsurfing, he rises at 4:30 a.m., seven days a week, for an hour of exercise. Hansen, 54, also guards his Saturdays and Sundays like the crown jewels of Denmark, his native country, limiting himself to two working weekends a year. Things that feel urgent can almost always wait till Monday, he contends.

‘Like a badass’

When Christine Yen isn’t calling the shots at work, she’s circling a racetrack at 80 mph on her Honda CB300F motorcycle. The co-founder and CEO of Honeycomb, which helps engineers diagnose problems in their software, took up racing a few years ago.

Prepandemic, her motorcycle was strictly for commuting in San Francisco—and making an impression. She loved pulling up to investor meetings in her hornet-yellow helmet and leather riding suit.

“It fits me like a glove, and it makes me feel like a badass,” says Yen, 36.

The keys to spending full days at the track are planning and being willing to work at odd hours, Yen discovered. Her favorite track publishes racing schedules in 10-week batches. As soon as a slate is released, she circles the dates when she expects her workload will be lightest, aiming to participate in roughly half of the events.

“I have also been known to bring my laptop to the motel and get some work done in the evenings,” she says. “It sounds boring to say hobbies can be scheduled, but that’s how I protect my time.”