GyroGraff Endangered Species Gorilla watch; price on request.
GyroGraff Endangered Species Gorilla watch; price on request.
Image: Supplied

Graff is a leader in the sourcing and cutting of rare, brilliant diamonds, and the recent unveiling of the spectacular 302.37ct emerald-cut Lesedi La Rona has reaffirmed founder Laurence Graff’s position as the “king of diamonds”.

It took a highly skilled team of gemologists and master polishers about 18 months to cut the Lesedi La Rona from a 1 109ct rough diamond — the second-largest in terms of gem quality ever discovered. And, while Queen Elizabeth’s 530.2ct, pendeloque-cut Cullinan 1 wins on size, this priceless, Graff-owned masterpiece is the largest square, emerald-cut diamond of the highest colour and highest purity.

The skills of the high jeweller and the magnificence of the big rocks are expressed in the distinctive, faceted case designs of the Graff luxury-watch collections and bespoke timepieces, first launched in 2008.

Graff unveiled five new sparkling creatures for its MasterGraff GyroGraff Métiers d’Art Collection at Baselworld this year. They all highlighted the imagination and technical expertise of its jewellery and watch divisions.

Each of the captivating 48mm GyroGraff Endangered Species features the abstract head of a tiger, panda, elephant, rhino, or gorilla, using a new technique called diamond marquetry. Although everything about these pieces is bold, when you observe them through a loupe, you really appreciate the full extent and intricacy of the spectacle. Each watch dial features more than 112 different components comprising small, polished, white- and black-gold plates and precious stones. These dials are among the most complex I’ve seen. The gorilla has the most, with 139 components, and its white-gold case is bedecked with mosaic-set, baguette-cut diamonds. The crown, offset at 4 o’clock, is diamond-tipped, as is the signature hand-set diamond Graff icon motif at 12 o’clock. This piece has a combined diamond value of 1.19ct.

GyroGraff Endangered Species Elephant watch; price on request.
GyroGraff Endangered Species Elephant watch; price on request.
Image: Supplied
GyroGraff Endangered Species Panda watch; price on request.
GyroGraff Endangered Species Panda watch; price on request.
Image: Supplied
GyroGraff Endangered Species Tiger watch; price on request.
GyroGraff Endangered Species Tiger watch; price on request.
Image: Supplied

With small, off-centre, skeletonised minute and hour hands, and a diverting, mirrored inner bezel, it might appear that telling time is not the most important function of these timepieces. However, the dynamic double-axis tourbillon and the spherical moonphase of the Graff proprietary movement, developed in partnership with MHC Manufacture Hautes Complications, share the limelight with the sparkling creatures.

The GyroGraff Collection was introduced in 2012, and this is the first time these two complications and a power-reserve indicator have been combined in one watch. The white-gold moon is hand engraved in a true-to-life map of the lunar surface. The micro hand, which is all but lost at 1 o’clock, indicates the extent of its 65-hour power reserve left in the manually wound movement. Visit Graff or 021-885-8160.

• From the May edition of Wanted 2019.

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