September 19, 2017
Ancient Rome had a pronounced taste for mosaics, a decorative art typical of the period. Loyal to its historical roots in the Eternal City, Bulgari pays tribute to this tradition and renews it through a spectacular hand-crafted approach: the dials of the two new Lvcea watches are composed of tiles made of gold rather than stone. The stunning result exploring uncharted territory creates an infinite variety of subtly shimmering light effects achieved by the meticulous placing of the tiny tiles in a long and patient process. Blending mosaic art with the inspiration that gave rise to Lvcea, nothing could be more quintessentially Bulgari.
The exploration of new crafts embedded in ancient practice is an integral part of Bulgari history. The refined gold mosaic technique draws inspiration from this resolutely new approach representing an authentic world premiere. The 18kt gold plate is first cut into around 700 tiny square tiles measuring precisely 0.84mm each.
Perfection is the watchword
Each of them is them individually placed on the dial plate, starting from the centre and progressively radiating towards the outer sides. This order of adjustment is especially crucial given that the artisan does not create any joints between the tiles. It avoids any misplaced light effects that might appear in the tiny gaps between the specks of gold dust. Perfection thus remains the watchword guiding the entire process of placing the tiles. Rather than composing a specific pattern on the surface of the tiling, the goal is to obtain the best possible reflection. With this in mind, the artisan follows personal inspiration in this process, in accordance with personal artistic sensitivity. One by one, the tiny gold squares are placed in such a way that the overall gold mosaic tile is not uniformly flat. Only tiny shifts in position of the many times, together with slants barely perceptible to the naked eye, will combine to achieve this result that could be described as the art of imbalance.
But just how does one place 0.84mm of gold in a slanting position? Here too, the technique stems from extreme artisanship: beneath each of the precious metal tiles lies a… grain of sand that serves to achieve the slightly oblique position. Once in place, the 700 mirror-polished gold fragments form a surface which, when caressed, reveals infinitely small bumps that serve to generate the desired shimmer. Needless to say, after two days of work, each of the dials is absolutely unique.These scintillating effects make it impossible to be more radiant than Lvcea, daughter of light as its name implies! Created in tribute to the sun dial and celebrating the inseparable ties between light and time, and endowed with a strong personality, this collection has become iconic within barely three years. Playing with shapes through a pure round case set with a cabochon-cut gem adorning the crown, Lvcea has been interpreted in multiple ways, all highlighting the inimitable charisma of this model. Lvcea once again takes centre-stage in a striking expression of the power of light. It offers a modern take on history and captures function through form. The voluptuously round gleaming 18kt pink or white gold case set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds frames the passing of time and is teamed with a brown or black galuchat strap. These two inherently rare creations are naturally issued in extremely limited series.
Dials composed of a mosaic of approximately 700 mirror-polished 18kt pink or white gold tiles; brilliant-cut diamond hour-markers; 18kt pink or white gold case, 33mm in diameter, bezel and lugs set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds, (~ 1.79ct), crown in 18kt pink or white gold set with a pink cabochon-cut rubellite, water-resistant to 50m; galuchat strap in brown for the 18kt pink gold version, and black for the 18kt white gold variation; Mechanical self-winding movement powering indications of the hours, minutes and seconds.