The Aesthete: Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani talks personal taste

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, the director of watch design at Bulgari, has led a host of technical breakthroughs, including the Octo Finissimo watch series

Buonamassa Stigliani at home in Hauterive, Switzerland
Buonamassa Stigliani at home in Hauterive, Switzerland | Image: Beat Schweizer

My personal style signifier is a beaded coral fortunello charm that I wear for luck and was given to me by the Liverino family – an important coral supplier based in Naples’ Torre del Greco district. It’s topped with an elephant and I wear it every day on the underside of my suit lapel.

Porsche Design titanium P8478 sunglasses, €380
Porsche Design titanium P8478 sunglasses, €380

The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of P8478 Porsche Design titanium sunglasses. They’re refined and well made, with a simple shape. Originally produced 40 years ago, they were the first glasses with interchangeable lenses – a piece of design history. €380; porsche-design.com.

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And the thing I’m eyeing next is an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale, made by Franco Scaglione when he was chief designer at Carrozzeria Bertone. Scaglione was a great visionary, while Alfa Romeo has strong links to my Italian DNA. When I saw this car, I fell in love. It brilliantly represents Italian design of a certain period; I’m constantly making sketches of it.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale
Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale

The best souvenirs I’ve brought home are magnificent owl-shaped cannata jugs that I found in the Catanian town of Caltagirone and which are typical of the region. From €280; Maioliche Riccardo Varsallona, 33 Via Cristoforo Colombo, 95041 Caltagirone (+3909-332 6167; maiolichevarsallona.com). 

Buonamassa Stigliani’s cannata jugs, from €280
Buonamassa Stigliani’s cannata jugs, from €280 | Image: Beat Schweizer

The last meal that truly impressed me was at PST [Pizza Studio Tamaki], a tiny, busy pizza place in Tokyo. It was recommended to me and I have to say I was sceptical, but the dough was amazingly light, full of air and topped with perfectly cooked ingredients: only mozzarella, basil and tomato. I was shocked at how good it was and immediately ordered a second one. 1 Chome-24-6 Higashiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0044 (+813-6277 8064; pst-tk2-ad.com).

His Lamy Dialog 1, €150, Lamy Pico pocket pen, from €34, and Bulgari Eccentrica, discontinued
His Lamy Dialog 1, €150, Lamy Pico pocket pen, from €34, and Bulgari Eccentrica, discontinued | Image: Beat Schweizer

The last music I downloaded was Invitation by Ahmad Jamal. I was introduced to his music through a friend of my father, who was a singer and played guitar. The song has drums, bass and piano, which Jamal plays like so few people in this world. I often sketch to his music on long plane and car trips.

Diptyque L’Ombre dans l’Eau, £70 for 50ml EDT
Diptyque L’Ombre dans l’Eau, £70 for 50ml EDT

A recent “find” is Ciccio Shoes, which I discovered during the Targa Florio vintage car rally in Cefalù, in Sicily. The style is unusual – you’re meant to wear them when driving vintage cars. They were made for Niki Lauda in the 1970s, and the design is still exactly the same. From €1,500; 21 Lungomare Giuseppe Giardina, 90015 Cefalù (+3909-2142 2925; ciccioshoes.it).

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In my fridge you’ll always find still water and Parmigiano Reggiano Vacche Rosse, aged for 36 months. Since I live in Switzerland, I always have this Italian staple in my fridge, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables exclusively from Swiss farms. If I wake in the night, I like to open the fridge and enjoy a cold apple.

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a double-breasted denim suit by one of my tailors, Giuseppe Carbone. I like the contrast of the sporty fabric and formal cut, as well as the richness of detail in the double-patched pockets and blue mother-of-pearl buttons. From €1,600; sartoriacarbone.it.

Objects I would never part with are my pens: a Lamy Dialog 1, Lamy Pico pocket pen and a Bulgari Eccentrica [since discontinued]. They’re mostly triangular-shaped, which I believe is the most ergonomic. When I travel, I always have three or four pens in my pocket. From €34; lamy.com.

The grooming staple I’m never without is Diptyque’s L’Ombre dans l’Eau. I love dry scents and this one has been part of my daily routine for so long that it now feels a part of me. £70 for 50ml EDT; diptyqueparis.co.uk.

My favourite websites and apps are Spotify in the office, as music helps me focus when I sketch; and Petrolicious.com for classic cars like Alfa Romeo.

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