55 million dollars is by any measure quite a bit of money. It can buy you the car collection of either Jay Leno or Ralph Lauren (your pick), one epic night in Vegas (making Steve Wynn a very happy man in the process) or eleven of the 2012 Hublot $5 Million Dollar Bangs. It can also buy you one Graff Hallucination. The watch, introduced at the recent edition of Baselworld, was the talk of the town, almost solely because of this price tag, a price tag that has actually quite a bit of reason to it.

Calling a 55 million dollar watch reasonably priced might trigger some to say that one is hallucinating, but the same can be said of the staggering amount of diamonds set on this watch. 110 carats adorns this Graff, 110 carats…..110 carats! When you know that Graff doesn’t put a diamond on Hallucination that is graded lower than Very Very Slightly included (VVS), it is clear that 110 carats is not a lot of diamonds, it is more than the year production of a diamond mine set on a single watch!

Graff close-up 2In this case not all these diamonds come from one single mine. Graff didn’t go for the usual colorless diamonds, which are already hard enough to find, but went for colored diamonds. In the world of diamonds, anything but a colorless diamond is called a “Fancy color”. Not many people know that diamonds can literally have all the colors of the rainbow. The most famous example of a colored diamond is the Hope diamond, which now can be admired in the Harry Winston gallery of the Smithsonian museum. Colored diamonds are graded differently than colorless diamonds, where only the lack of color is graded. With colored diamonds you actually have to say something about both the hue, tone and saturation. Especially colors that are described with vivid or intense are very rare, some even so rare that only one mine in the world produces diamonds that will have this grading. Almost any single diamond used in the Graff Hallucination has a different color grading and amongst them are Fancy Vivid Yellow, Fancy Intense Pink, Fancy Light Pink, Fancy Light Grey Blue, Fancy Intense Blue, Fancy Green, and Fancy Orange Pink colored diamonds amongst many, many other colors.

Another thing that makes the Graff Hallucination stand out is that it uses a wide variety of different cut-styles. Brilliant and Baguette are the most common cut-styles used for diamonds when set on watches. Graff opted for a more creative approach and uses Heart, Pear, Marquise, Emerald, Radiant and Brilliant cut. Together they bring a carnival of shapes and colors that have never been seen in a wristwatch and most likely never will.

Graff 3

 

Laurence Graff OBE Unveils the HallucinationLaurence Graff reveals the Hallucination

Put all this together and you can see why 55 millions dollar is actually not even that unreasonable. Especially since it also comes with something that, for some people, is the most important thing about the watch; bragging rights that don’t know their equal. You can go to black tie ball driving a rusty Ford Pinto in jeans, a polo shirt and sporting the latest Timex, as soon as they spot the Graff Hallucination around your wife’s wrist, you will not only get in, being seated at the most prominent place and crowned guest of honor, you also make every Patek, Lange, Vacheron, Bovet and Greubel Forsey owner feel like they are wearing a Timex.

Of course who ever buys this watch will not drive a rusty Ford Pinto and most likely has never heard of Timex, they are the 1% of the 1%, and are far more interested in the fact that the Graff Hallucination is a one of a kind, ultra-rare piece of Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joaillerie combined. A watch that cannot be made again, simply because the same diamonds, in the same quality and the same cut-styles cannot be found again. This makes the Graff Hallucination nothing less than a rare piece of art, and given the current market prices for a Van Gogh or Klimt, you might actually get a deal with this Graff.

Martin Green
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics

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