Bvlgari’s LVCEA Collection Gets An Aventurine Dial An all-aventurine glass dial confirms Bvlgari's status as the Roman Jeweler of time by Robert-Jan Broer May 21, 2020 MIN READBvlgari’s LVCEA Collection Gets An Aventurine Dial
I have a weak spot for aventurine dials. These glass crystals with copper inclusions represent — to me — a starry sky. A perfect dial for dress watches or elegant ladies watches. Enter the Bvlgari Lvcea!
Using this beautiful material isn’t new to watchmaking. But unfortunately, only a few brands dare to use it and Bvlgari is one of them. The main problem with this material is that it can easily crack during the production process. And since it is not cheap, a lot of brands stay away from using aventurine for their dials.
…I wouldn’t mind Bvlgari come up with a gold Octo with an aventurine dial.
With the release of the new Bvlgari Lvcea models, there are now two more watches with aventurine dials to choose from. One in 18-karat rose gold, the other in 18-karat white gold. The only downside, for me personally, is that it’s a ladies’ watch. But given the fact that so many mechanical watches on the market are targeted at men, I won’t grumble too much. That said, I wouldn’t mind Bvlgari come up with a gold Octo with an aventurine dial. Sign me up for that beauty if the brand ever decides to go in that direction.
Bvlgari Lvcea Aventurine
If you’re looking for a less eccentric option than the Bvlgari Serpenti or the extravagant Diva’s Dream watch collection, the Lvcea adds a wonderful dimension to the brand’s ladies’ line. The Bvlgari Lvcea has its own design code and there are already some pretty wild dial designs to be found in the collection. The dial of the Lvcea is not the only thing that stands out. This range has beautifully shaped lugs and an elegant looking crown.
An awesome combination
The Bvlgari Lvcea is no stranger to aventurine. The 36mm Lvcea Moonphase ref. 102687 used this material for the moon phase disc. This time, however, the entire dial is made of blue aventurine glass. It gives the watch, especially with the dark blue alligator leather strap, the “starry night” treatment. Somehow, rose gold and aventurine match very well. Blue and rose gold are an awesome combination in my book, but the additional sparkle brings it to a new level of opulence.
Shine Bright Like a Diamond
As you can see in the picture above, the aventurine glass dial is surrounded by diamonds. The bezel is diamond-set, but that’s not all. The crown is also set with a specially-formed sapphire, topped with a diamond. On the lugs, you will find another 22 brilliant-cut diamonds.
What is aventurine?
Now, this is the part of the article that anyone interested in this aesthetic needs to pay attention to. There are two types of “aventurine” used in watchmaking. It is often difficult to tell the difference between them once they have been finished and installed in a watch, but it is worth doing a little bit of research into it so you know exactly what you’re buying.
…this happy accident was named because of the sheer fluke surrounding its discovery.
In the 17th century, a glassmaker from Murano in Italy stumbled upon a new technique that resulted in a stunning aesthetic. He spilled some copper filings into the molten glass he was working with. The name Aventurine is the anglicization of Avventurina. There is little agreement on the internet as to the exact origin of the name. Some sources claim it derived from “a ventura“, which literally means “by chance”. Others would have you believe it comes from “all’avventura“, which, as far as I can make out, seems to mean something more like “by adventure” (or perhaps misadventure might be more accurate in English). Bvlgari itself uses the term “per aventura“…
Regardless, this happy accident was named because of the sheer fluke surrounding its discovery. But the history of Aventurine would take another strange turn more than a century later…
In the 18th century, a new type of quartz was discovered. This naturally occurring substance is characterized by its translucency and platy mineral inclusions. Normally, it is green in color but it can be found in blue, yellow, grey, orange, or brown varieties. Unusually, the quartz was named after the glass (not the other way round as many believe) because of its similar appearance.
There is often a bias towards “real” versions of something versus an artificial substitute. By that logic, “real” aventurine (the naturally occurring stone named after an accidentally created glass) would be seen as more desirable. But the truth is, these are very different materials that require very different machining processes to finish to the standards required for high-end watchmaking.
…the eye test is enough to make your decision sound.
Aventurine glass is not at all easy to make. It is even harder to make a dial-sized piece that has sufficient inclusion homogeny to be viewed thousands upon thousands of times up close. And so really, the choice between the two comes down more to personal preference than any inherent qualities. If you are a mineralogist or geologist, perhaps the Aventurine stone would be of more interest. If you are an artisan (particularly in the glass trade), I can imagine the other variety holding more weight.
And if you’re neither (as I guess most of us are) then the eye test is enough to make your decision sound. If you love it, buy it. And, thankfully, with the release of the Bvlgari Lvcea you have another option to consider. Learn more about the brand here.
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About the author
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in… read more
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