Behind The Emerald: Graff's Secret Carved Emerald WatchBy Suzanne Wong
Emeralds have charmed their way into the history of civilizations for thousands of years. From Queen Cleopatra, who was infatuated with the gemstone, all the way to the Incas, who venerated their goddess Umina through a gigantic emerald, many cultures have seen some sort of power in the vivid green jewel. For over 6,000 years, these glistening stones have been worshiped for their religious, healing and supernatural powers, as well as loved for their beauty and desired for their rarity.
Rare gems have been at the heart of Graff ever since its foundation in 1960, when the brand began sourcing stones to create its own jewelry. Using some of the world’s most fabulous gemstones, Graff has worked tirelessly to turn these jewels into unique necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings.
With Graff’s launch of its first timepiece in 2009, the brand has made it its mission to combine its jewelry expertise with the art of watchmaking. Each Graff wristwatch is inspired by different facets of a gemstone—from the men’s pieces with bezels faceted as a diamond to the women’s watches with cases, dials and bracelets delicately paved with the shiniest stones. Paying tribute to its love for jewels, Graff has unveiled a one-of-a-kind feminine collection that combines carved emeralds with the magic of secret watches.
BEHIND THE CARVED EMERALD
The Secret Carved Emerald Watch Collection features the beauty of carved emeralds from India, each one having been personally discovered by the brand’s founder Laurence Graff. Carving these emeralds is a true art that requires both expert talent and great creativity—two skills that come to life through all the timepieces of the collection.
The collection includes a total of five secret watches, all crafted between the brand’s London and Geneva workshops. One of the secret watches features a rectangular carved emerald with an arabesque design, which slides to cover a diamond-paved dial.
Another timepiece in the collection showcases a cover crafted out of a trapezoidal carved emerald. Once lifted, the emerald reveals a feminine dial embellished with a floral motif entirely surrounded by 400 glistening diamonds. This timepiece comes paired with a bracelet made out of five rows of 133 round emerald beads that were pierced, one by one, and then threaded into uniform lines.
TIME IS EVERYTHING
Graff takes care of all aspects of the jewelry-making process—from sourcing all the way to gem-setting. It can take months to find the right stone, hours to cut and polish it and days to set it into jewelry and watch creations.
All of Graff’s rare jewels go through the same meticulous process, but creating the Secret Carved Emerald Watch Collection proves to be an even more demanding feat. Cutting and carving emeralds is all the more challenging, given the stone’s brittle nature and numerous inclusions.
Unlike a diamond’s inclusions that are considered imperfections, jewelers call an emerald’s inclusions a “garden” due to the miniature designs they create within the gem. Each emerald comes with its own distinctive garden, thus making every gem truly unique. Gem experts must work with these fragile inclusions, ensuring that they are not damaged while cutting and carving the stone.
PERPETUATING THE MAGIC
Emeralds have mesmerized cultures for as long as they have existed, wrapping themselves around the stories that are today part of human heritage. Some believed that the gem could cure diseases, while others thought that it could predict the future when placed under the tongue. Although beliefs may have changed, the magic of the emerald lives on to tell its tale through Graff’s Secret Carved Emerald Watch Collection.
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