Bulgari’s Latest ‘Sketched’ Watches Are Drawing Attention
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Bulgari’s Latest ‘Sketched’ Watches Are Drawing Attention

Mon, Mar 18, 2024 8:59amGrey 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 recognize 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.

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.


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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Whether you call it charisma, charm or magnetism, some people seem like naturals. Good news: It can be learned.

By Rachel Feintzeig
Mon, Jul 22, 2024 4 min

Great leaders have it. Gen Z has a new word for it. Can the rest of us learn it?

Charisma—or rizz , as current teenage slang has anointed it—can feel like an ephemeral gift some are just born with. The chosen among us network and chitchat, exuding warmth as they effortlessly hold court. Then there’s everyone else, agonising over exclamation points in email drafts and internally replaying that joke they made in the meeting, wondering if it hit.

“Well, this is awkward,” Mike Rizzo, the head of a community for marketing operations professionals, says of rizz being crowned 2023 word of the year by the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s so close to his last name, but so far from how he sees himself. He sometimes gets sweaty palms before hosting webinars.

Who could blame us for obsessing over charisma, or lack thereof? It can lubricate social interactions, win us friends, and score promotions . It’s also possible to cultivate, assures Charles Duhigg, the author of a book about people he dubs super communicators.

At its heart, charisma isn’t about some grand performance. It’s a state we elicit in other people, Duhigg says. It’s about fostering connection and making our conversation partners feel they’re the charming—or interesting or funny—ones.

The key is to ask deeper, though not prying, questions that invite meaningful and revealing responses, Duhigg says. And match the other person’s vibes. Maybe they want to talk about emotions, the joy they felt watching their kid graduate from high school last weekend. Or maybe they’re just after straight-up logistics and want you to quickly tell them exactly how the team is going to turn around that presentation by tomorrow.

You might be hired into a company for your skill set, Duhigg says, but your ability to communicate and earn people’s trust propels you up the ladder: “That is leadership.”

Approachable and relatable

In reporting this column, I was surprised to hear many executives and professionals I find breezily confident and pleasantly chatty confess it wasn’t something that came naturally. They had to work on it.

Dave MacLennan , who served as chief executive of agricultural giant Cargill for nearly a decade, started by leaning into a nickname: DMac, first bestowed upon him in a C-suite meeting where half the executives were named Dave.

He liked the informality of it. The further he ascended up the corporate hierarchy, the more he strove to be approachable and relatable.

Employees “need a reason to follow you,” he says. “One of the reasons they’re going to follow you is that they feel they know you.”

He makes a point to remember the details and dates of people’s lives, such as colleagues’ birthdays. After making his acquaintance, in a meeting years ago at The Wall Street Journal’s offices, I was shocked to receive an email from his address months later. Subject line: You , a heading so compelling I still recall it. He went on to say he remembered I was due with my first child any day now and just wanted to say good luck.

“So many people say, ‘Oh, I don’t have a good memory for that,’” he says. Prioritise remembering, making notes on your phone if you need, he says.

Now a board member and an executive coach, MacLennan sent hundreds of handwritten notes during his tenure. He’d reach out to midlevel managers who’d just gotten a promotion, or engineers who showed him around meat-processing plants. He’d pen words of thanks or congratulations. And he’d address the envelopes himself.

“Your handwriting is a very personal thing about you,” he says. “Think about it. Twenty seconds. It makes such an impact.”

Everyone’s important

Doling out your charm selectively will backfire, says Carla Harris , a Morgan Stanley executive. She chats up the woman cleaning the office, the receptionist at her doctor’s, the guy waiting alongside her for the elevator.

“Don’t be confused,” she tells young bankers. Executive assistants are often the most powerful people in the building, and you never know how someone can help—or hurt—you down the line.

Harris once spent a year mentoring a junior worker in another department, not expecting anything in return. One day, Harris randomly mentioned she faced an uphill battle in meeting with a new client. Oh!, the 24-year-old said. Turns out, the client was her friend. She made the call right there, setting up Harris for a work win.

In the office, stop staring at your phone, Harris advises, and notice the people around you. Ask for their names. Push yourself to start a conversation with three random people every day.

Charisma for introverts

You can’t will yourself to be a bubbly extrovert, but you can find your own brand of charisma, says Vanessa Van Edwards, a communications trainer and author of a book about charismatic communication.

For introverted clients, she recommends using nonverbal cues. A slow triple nod shows people you’re listening. Placing your hands in the steeple position, together and facing up, denotes that you’re calm and present.

Try coming up with one question you’re known for. Not a canned, hokey ice-breaker, but something casual and simple that reflects your actual interests. One of her clients, a bookish executive struggling with uncomfortable, halting starts to his meetings, began kicking things off by asking “Reading anything good?”

Embracing your stumbles

Charisma starts with confidence. It’s not that captivating people don’t occasionally mispronounce a word or spill their coffee, says Henna Pryor, who wrote a book about embracing awkwardness at work. They just have a faster comeback rate than the rest of us. They call out the stumble instead of trying to hide it, make a small joke, and move on.

Being perfectly polished all the time is not only exhausting, it’s impossible. We know this, which is why appearing flawless can come off as fake. We like people who seem human, Pryor says.

Our most admired colleagues are often the ones who are good at their jobs and can laugh at themselves too, who occasionally trip or flub just like us.

“It creates this little moment of warmth,” she says, “that we actually find almost like a relief.”


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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