The colourful Graff Disco Butterfly collection
Graff Diamonds is known for its stop-and-stare jewels; the kind that sparkle from miles away and are almost impossibly rare. But despite the luxurious and exclusive reputation that the British brand has developed over the years, its origins are a little more humble.
The family-run business was founded by Laurence Graff, who started life in the diamond industry as an apprentice aged just 15. Within 10 years he launched Graff Diamonds and soon started building a following of discerning clients looking for the biggest, boldest and rarest diamonds and gemstones the world has to offer.
Fortunately for those lucky clients, Graff has a habit of finding these exceptional stones, especially fancy colour blue, yellow and pink diamonds. In 2010 alone, the brand acquired the 102.79ct Graff Constellation, which is the largest round brilliant cut diamond in the world, as well as the 118.08ct Delaire sunrise yellow diamond and the 23.88ct Graff pink diamond…talk about a positive year!
Graff Diamonds founder Laurence Graff examines the Graff Pink
In the world of diamond jewellery, Graff is one of the first names you’ll hear from collectors, enthusiasts and customers…but this isn’t necessarily the case for watches. The brand only launched its luxury watch division in 2008, making it a spring chicken in comparison to some of its competitors.
Graff offers five watch collections; Technical, Sport, Dress, Jewelled and Bespoke. All of the designs, whether for men or women, are inspired by the cut of diamonds, which is especially clear in the GraffStar range.
Initially launched in 2013, the GraffStar collection has recently been given a boost thanks to the GraffStar Slim Eclipse. This super sleek creation features a matte black case, dial and faceted diamond-inspired bezel and crown (topped with a black diamond, of course).
This is offset with polished, faceted indices, gleaming sword-shaped hour markers and a black alligator strap. True to its name the watch is just 6.35mm deep and houses a movement that is only 3.2mm thick, making it a bit of a novelty in the jam-packed men’s watch world.
The new GraffStar Slim Eclipse
Graff also offers the aptly named MasterGraff collection, which includes very suave-looking tourbillons, skeletons, minute repeaters and gyro designs. There’s also diamond-set versions for men and three tourbillons for women in sapphire, ruby and emerald-set finishes.
Where Graff really excels for women is its Butterfly collection, which is a must see for anyone who is more interested in colour (and a hefty helping of bling) than telling the time. Each watch in the collection features countless coloured gemstones and diamonds to give the impression of three-dimensional butterflies taking flight on the dial. All of the pieces have diamond-set bezels, while others have diamonds running the full length of the bracelet.
A ruby and diamond version of the Graff Disco Butterfly watch
At Baselworld 2015, Graff added to its Butterfly range with the Disco Butterfly collection. Now, to say we were blown away with these stunners is a little bit of an understatement, but who wouldn’t be amazed by dancing watches? The pieces are created so that the ring of bejewelled butterflies actually spins in both directions around the dial, adding extra sparkle and ‘wow-factor’ to something that was already pretty impressive to begin with. See for yourself in the video…
Amazingly, these aren’t Graff Diamond’s versions of ‘high jewellery watches’. Oh no, they’ve got a whole other bespoke collection dedicated to some of the world’s most astronomic, diamond-studded designs with just a cursory nod to time-telling. Graff broke a world record for the most expensive watch in 2014 when it unveiled the $55 million Hallucination, which is covered completely in rare coloured diamonds. A year later at Baselworld 2015, it showed off the Fascination, which allows the wearer to interchange a diamond-set watch face with a whopping pear-shaped diamond. Overall, the whole thing incorporates 152.96 carats. We dread to think what the insurance cost would be…