Basel  - Marilyn Monroe famously crooned that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Well if that lyric is true, then The Fascination looks set be the most popular playmate of all. Unfortunately, with a hefty price tag of $40 million (£27 million), the timepiece, by British jeweller Graff, is destined to belong to just one of the richest people on the planet. Described as the ‘world’s most valuable transformable timepiece’ by Graff, The Fascination can be worn as both a ring and a bracelet, enabling the owner to display its beauty whatever the occasion may be. The stunning piece was unveiled amid a flurry of excitement and anticipation at the watch industry’s biggest annual trade show, BaselWorld, in Basel, Switzerland, earlier today. The dazzling watch incorporates 153 carats of the very finest white diamonds, while an interchangeable 38 carat flawless pear-shaped diamond can be worn as a bracelet or placed into a tailor-made shank and then worn as a ring. The Graff Hallucination was a 110-carat watch coated in colourful rare diamonds.
Graff Diamonds staff are said to have spent thousands of hours making the lady’s watch,which had a colourful layering of diamonds, Laurence Graff, the chairman and founder of Graff Diamonds, started out as a jewellery apprentice and founded the company in 1960. In 1967, with stores already open in London, Mr Graff expanded his business into Asia, opening up a jewellery concession in Singapore. Six years later, he became the first jeweller to win a Queen’s Award to Industry. He went on to win this again in 1977, 1994 and 2006.
The company, which has flagship shops in Knightsbridge and on New Bond Street, opened its first store outside the UK in Monaco in 2000. Graff Diamonds now has outlets across the world, including in the United States, Russia, South Africa, China and Japan. Mr Graff was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to jewellery.