By Michelle Graff
High jewelry house Graff has created a set of five one-of-kind, diamond-set tourbillons depicting animals that we are in danger of losing to extinction. Pictured here is the GyroGraff Endangered Species elephant watch.
New York—When Baselworld starts Thursday, Graff will unveil what it describes as one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by its watchmakers.

The GyroGraff Endangered Species is a collection of five gold- and diamond-set, one-of-a-kind tourbillon watches depicting animals listed by the World Wildlife Fund as being endangered and even critically endangered—the elephant, tiger, panda, gorilla and rhino.

Four of the five watches will debut at Baselworld.

The animals were created using a combination of diamonds and precious metals—polish rhodium-plated white gold or matte or micro-blasted black gold—with colored stones (cognac-colored sapphires, to be exact) used only on the tiger.

Graff (no relation to the author) said each polished metal part and precious stone is unique in size, weight and cut, and each animal has a specific number of dial components, ranging from 139 for the gorilla to 112 for the panda.

All were individually hand-set into the dial to create the animals, crafting their forms around the GyroGraff signature double-axis tourbillon between 6 and 7 o’clock, the 3-D white gold moon phase indicator at 10 o’clock, and the power reserve indicator at 1 o’clock—a trio of complications Graff says is a first in watch-making.

The dial is midnight-blue aventurine, and the 18-karat white gold case is set with invisible mosaic-set baguettes. The 48 mm watch has a 65-hour power reserve and comes on a black alligator strap with a diamond-set deployment clasp buckle.

Graff is giving a sneak peek of four of the five masterpieces—the rhino will not launch until after the show—on Wednesday, one day ahead of the opening of Baselworld 2019.

The high jewelry house is not releasing prices for the GyroGraff Endangered Species watches, and it is not saying if any of the proceeds from their sale will go toward the WWF or another animal-related organization, noting that it does not disclose pricing or details of transactions.

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