Gem specialist a cut above

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 May, 2012, 12:00am

With high jewellery being Graff's core business, it seems only apt that its luxury watches are inspired by the facets of a brilliant-cut diamond.

Since the luxury watch division was launched in 2009, Graff's complicated timepieces have sported the same cases, albeit with different gem settings. The familiarity hides a strong push by the brand towards highly respectable calibres.

Like other brands, Graff has also invested heavily in developing its own movements and now can boast three in-house calibres.

Leading the pack this year is the MasterGraff Double Tourbillon GMT, a limited edition of 10. The 48mm piece comes with a white or rose gold case set with more than 30ct of diamonds and a 72-hour power reserve. The full pave dial displays two self-winding tourbillons, one displaying the hours and minutes and the other the small seconds and GMT function.

'We want to be number one in high-end jewellery watches. We're taking some time but we're moving in the right direction,' says Michel Pitteloud, CEO of Graff Luxury Watches. 'With the new complications, we double the potential with our male customers. There is high interest in the Far East, Middle East and Russia.'

Another full pave novelty is the MasterGraff Diamond Minute Repeater Tourbillon, which builds on the Minute Repeater introduced at Basel last year. The 47mm full pave case houses a mechanical self-winding hours, minutes and seconds minute repeater and a tourbillon that offers an 80-hour power reserve.

The minute repeater is triggered on demand by an upward push on a repeater slide on the side of the case, while two hammers sound two gongs on the hour, quarter hours and minutes on low-high tones. The Diamond Minute Repeater Tourbillon also comes in a limited edition of 10 pieces in white or rose gold.

Less blingy but equally impressive is the MasterGraff Skeleton. This year's skeleton model tones down last year's full pave novelty with a 47mm polished white and rose gold case in the same faceted cut. The absence of a dial gives the face a strikingly clean look on the front and the caseback. The skeleton reveals a self-winding mechanical movement with a 72-hour power reserve held in place with sapphire crystal bridges. The watch is limited to 30 pieces in white and rose gold.

Another innovative piece from Graff at BaselWorld this year was the GyroGraff, powered by a manual winding double-axis tourbillon encased in a 48mm rose gold case. The off-centre reduced hour-and-minute subdial hangs slightly towards the top, with the 60-hour power reserve indicator at 11 o'clock. The tourbillon cage is set at 5 o'clock on the main black guilloche dial.

The fun part is the moon-phase indicator, which resembles a gyrograph, at 8 o'clock. The gyrograph demonstrates the progression of the moon phases with a lunar cycle of 29.5 days.

Graff also slips into the ultra-thin market with the elegant Graff Slimstar. The 6.35mm piece is powered by the exclusive Swiss-made automatic Graff Calibre 3. The novelty comes in a 43mm white or rose gold case and a simple white or black dial option, featuring Graff's trademark green emerald triangle at 12 o'clock.

Naturally, the brand's collection would not be complete without a selection of high jewellery ladies' pieces. The LadyGraff limited edition (20 pieces) comes in a 16mm full pave case and bracelet set with 170 diamonds totalling 43ct.

The Graff Butterfly features butterflies set with pear-shaped diamonds nestled among a dazzling array of round brilliant-cut diamonds, contrasted against a backdrop of vibrant red rubies.

Graff's iconic Galaxy watch takes another permutation with the Graff Baby Galaxy set with 90 diamonds. Like the Graff Butterfly, the Baby Galaxy also comes with diamond and sapphire, diamond and emerald, and full-diamond options.



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