Graff Anatomy of Graff’s men’s watch
When a company known for its diamonds makes a watch, it’s a safe bet that it will be a jewellery watch. And that’s often the case, but not always. Graff’s men’s watch showcases both diamonds and artistic crafts.
Men have complications, women have ornaments and artistic crafts. It’s a stereotype, but all the best stereotypes have a grain of truth. A line is drawn between technical and aesthetic, although it’s not easy to tell where it lies, or even why it’s there. There are many examples of this paradigm, beginning with all the gem-set watches (even minimally set) that are definitely not intended for men.
MasterGraff GyroGraff Skyline Galaxy © Graff
One diamond dealer, however, has chosen to ignore these artificial limitations. One of the world’s most prestigious diamond dealers: Graff. Graff Diamonds, to be exact. They haven’t gone all out for diamonds, choosing to focus on the artistic crafts, or métiers d’art. The range chosen to exhibit this audacious transgression is the GyroGraff, part of the MasterGraff collection.
Painting for men
Why is it special? Three reasons. The first is the prominent use of painting on enamel. It’s an art more usually targeted at women, who appreciate its ability to reproduce the minute details of flora and fauna with breathtaking clarity – and these are themes more usually associated with women’s watches.
MasterGraff GyroGraff Skyline World Night © Graff
With its GyroGraff Skylines, Graff has adroitly changed the subject, taking the opportunity to depict not butterflies or birds, but the architectural skylines of Shanghai and Hong Kong, and the silhouette of Mount Fuji. The scenes are further enhanced with micro-engraving, which gives the pictorial elements a unique depth. A fourth piece, the GyroGraff World, uses the same techniques to depict the Earth.
MasterGraff GyroGraff Skyline Shanghai, Hong Kong and Mount Fuji © Graff
A universe of minute detail
The second reason lies in the subtle details that make these pieces unique. Let’s take the hands: they are completely openworked, so as not to hide any detail of the pictures beneath. The power reserve is often given prominent billing, with its own dedicated subdial at 3, 6 or 9 o’clock. But not here: the GyroGraff uses a very slender hand at 1 o’clock – a rare position for this type of complication. And finally, the GyroGraff’s tourbillon and moon phase displays, placed between 6 and 7 o’clock, and at 10 o’clock respectively, are in unusual positions for these complications. Even the winding crown is unconventionally located at 4 o’clock!
Ars & Tecnica
The third and final reason is the fusion of function and art. In many timepieces, the complications themselves are finished according to the highest Haute Horlogerie standards, combining technical and aesthetic prowess. This is the principle behind the Geneva Hallmark, which rewards movements that are finished to the highest possible standard.
MasterGraff GyroGraff Asia © Graff
Within Graff’s men’s collections the two are separated: the graphical scene is on one side, and the tourbillon emerges on the other, almost disconnected from the tableau. Unlike the moon phase, the tourbillon is not fully integrated into the dial. It stands out, detached and imposing. Its presence is not negotiable, recalling that Graff is about precision mechanics just as much as it is about pictorial art. And in both cases, it retains complete creative freedom.