Making of a Masterpiece

Oval Diamond Secret Watch

Creating a secret watch that conceals the time behind a hidden dial is the height of horological sophistication. Crafting a high jewellery secret watch that rests on the wrist with the sublime comfort of a bracelet, scintillates with the inner fire of the finest diamonds and moves with effortless fluidity is a virtuoso feat of artistry, gemstone mastery and technical ingenuity. We follow the journey of a Graff secret watch, revealing the hidden complexities required to produce such a spectacular work of art for the wrist.

A Shared Vision

Every creation at Graff begins life as an idea that passes through many highly skilled hands. This diamond secret watch started out as a vision so audacious in scope that the designers at Graff were not even sure it was possible. A discussion between the designer and the head of technology – whose chief role is to challenge Graff’s creative capabilities – marked the beginning of the uniquely collaborative process required to craft this secret watch. 

“Graff’s master craftsmen utilise the same precise tools that goldsmiths have used for hundreds of years.”

- Laurence Graff

Triumph of Technology

For incredibly intricate designs such as this, computer-aided design (CAD) technology is utilised by master craftsmen who, using the knowledge they have acquired from many years spent at the jeweller’s bench, are able to overcome feats of high jewellery creation. Each diamond was digitally laid out to determine the optimal size, shape and orientation, bringing the piece to life for the first time on screen. Each diamond was digitally laid out to determine the optimal size, shape and orientation.

Role Model

Once the 3D model had been finessed in CAD, the design was deconstructed into its individual components, and produced in resin using a state-of-the-art 3D printer. When the design and technology teams were content that the physical item looked exactly as it did on screen, the intricate skeletons that hold the diamonds in place were cast in 18K white gold.

An Expert Eye

Each stone was examined through a loupe by an expert eye to ensure it matched the design perfectly. Special attention was paid to both the shape and depth of the diamonds to ensure they had room to move – a vital consideration with a design of this complexity. With absolutely no room for error, more than 44 carats of stones made the final cut, uniform in their brilliance.

“The beauty of this exquisite secret watch is matched only by its technical ingenuity”

The Stage is Set

Only then was the watch transferred to the workshop, home to Graff’s extraordinary artisanal expertise. Each part was adjusted and honed at the bench. Handcrafted springs and clasps were fitted into the bracelet before the watch moved to the diamond setters’ workshop, where the time-honoured process of setting the stones took place. With each diamond secured in its own minimal setting – a signature of the House of Graff that accentuates the beauty and brilliance of the stones – the designer’s ambitious vision was becoming reality.

Moment in time

Using precise measurements passed on by the technical team, the watchmakers at Graff Luxury Watches built the timepiece’s beating heart in Switzerland. It was only when the watch case, incorporating the movement and the secret mechanism, had been married with the bracelet that the meticulous artistry could be appreciated in its entirety. Designed to open with effortless ease, the secret element had been so successfully incorporated into the bracelet that, when closed, it was almost impossible to tell that there was a watch hidden beneath.

The grand unveiling

After each element had been adjusted for the last time, the watch was given one final polish. The coming-together of many hours of creativity, collaboration, craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology, the singular beauty of this exquisite secret watch is matched only by its technical ingenuity, with the petite octagonal dial revealed at the press of an elegant emerald-cut diamond.