The watch industry loves to speak about the hours of painstaking work that goes into creating one of their mechanical masterpieces. Rarely is that work more clearly on display than in the Bulgari Lvcea Mosaique, which has a dial made up of 700 precious metal squares, each individually placed by one of its artists.
The result is an opulent watch face, studded with diamonds, that evokes memories of the art and decorative architectural flourishes of ancient Rome.
Bulgari says the Lvcea Mosaique pays tribute to ancient Roman tradition and renews it through a spectacular hand-crafted approach that makes its tiles from gold rather than stone.
The dial begins as an 18ct gold plate that is first cut into around 700 tiny square measuring precisely 0.84mm each.
Each of them is them individually placed on the dial plate, starting from the centre and progressively radiating towards the outer sides.
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 tiles, together with slants barely perceptible to the naked eye, will combine to achieve this result that could be described as the art of imbalance.
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.
After two days of work, each of the dials is absolutely unique even before it is incorporated into an 18ct white or rose gold watch that also uses 78 brilliant cut diamonds to lift it to a new level of luxury.
Inside is a mechanical self-winding movement for hours, minutes and seconds.