It’s been less than a decade since British jeweller Graff opened its watchmaking division and the name has already come to be identified with some of the most complicated and technologically advanced timepieces.
Continuing to build on collections that wowed the world at last year’s Baselworld, Graff has showcased some striking new models this time round, such as the unique hand-chiselled MasterGraff GyroGraff World pieces. One of the focal points is the new World Night Asia Dial, crafted in a rose gold case, the faceted bezel featuring the patented invisible mosaic setting with 72 diamonds (7.73ct).
The land and seas are carved onto a domed white gold plate with a laser, and a chisel and hammer are then employed to add the intricate nuance of the continent.
Hues of colours are created through the use of high fire enamel.
To create the effect of cities’ lights, gold leaves are applied in the final phase, making it feel like you are looking at the shadowed side of the Earth from space.
The collection has also gone further out to space with the Galaxy Dial made of blue aventurine, a form of quartz with a natural shimmer. The Milky Way is painted onto it using a micro-painting technique. The process of creating the dial takes up to 60 hours.
Other signature features remain, such as the three-dimensional, hand-carved moonphase indicator that showcases the satellite’s craters. The watches are powered by a double-axis tourbillon calibre, and there is a power reserve indicator.
Another exquisite and decorative collection by the brand is its Floral Tourbillon watches in diamond-set white gold cases. Three 38mm manual-winding pieces with purple, pink and blue mother-of-pearl dials, were showcased. The genius of the design is in the enamel flowers. The artist has to first perfect the colour, which often takes many tests, before each one of the flowers is hand-cut from white gold and with the petals treated and painted.
Other new models, while being visual masterpieces in their own right, seize attention more for their mechanical precision. Exclusively launched at Baselworld was the Graff Minute Repeater, the latest addition to the MasterGraff watch collection. The mechanism is triggered by a sliding bolt positioned at 9 o’clock on the brand’s signature faceted bezel, with two hammers striking two gongs to sound the hours, quarter hours and minutes across a spectrum
The watch features a flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock, mother-of-pearl bridges, a black crocodile strap and an open-work dial in grey or blue smoked sapphire glass crystal. Bezel options include 18ct rose or white gold, either with 256 individual gemstones (a total of 20.07ct) or without.
The new MasterGraff Structural Skeleton Automatic, meanwhile, lives up to its name, with its skeletal form displaying its flying tourbillon. Taking over a month to assemble, the watch features a skeletonised dial, sapphire glass bridges, open worked hands and a small offset rotor to allow the inner workings of the watch to be seen from all angles. More depth to the look is added through the use of Roman numerals on the inside of the dial. This 46mm timepiece is available in 18ct rose or white gold and titanium DLC (diamond like carbon).
The iconic Graff Princess Butterfly collection was again a head-turner, except this year, the new models veered towards subtlety. There are four variations: full diamonds, ruby, sapphire, and diamonds with sapphire detail. But instead of the round cut from last year that resulted in an effervescent effect, the baguette cut has been employed to create a more discreet look. The curvilinear diamond- and gemstone-set bracelet also looks sensuous.
The line-up of round diamonds, which the wearer presses to reveal the hidden dial, remains a signature feature. Each Princess Butterfly watch case is set in white gold with 66 baguette diamonds.
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