Graphite is a limited edition shade. It is mostly comprised of silver and gold glitter on a dark gray base from what I can see in the bottle.
Quartz is new to the permanent lineup. It is is a light brown taupe with very fine multicolor shimmer. This is my favorite shade out of the two.
Even in the bottle, Graphite's glitter bits are much bigger and more noticeable compared to Quartz.
The differences between the size of the shimmers also translates once applied. Both shades went on fairly smooth although Quartz did streak more compared to Graphite. I found that 2 coats was good enough for both shades. The issue I had with Graphite was the dragging of the large glitter bits during application. As you can see below, near the base of my ring finger, there's a small hole where there's not enough glitter to cover the nail. I think the trick is not to drag the brush along the nail, but to have it lightly float on top of the nail for better coverage. The image below is taken in directly sunlight, where you can see the shimmers glistening on the nail.
When the shades are not in direct sunlight, they look ordinary, especially with Quartz. It becomes a simple taupe color because you can't really see the colorful subtle shimmers. Graphite is also not as multi-dimensional because the gold foil is not as evident.
Here's Quartz close up so you can see the green, pink, and gold shimmers. It's really beautiful in the sunlight.
Graphite is a rather interesting shade because of the gold foil. Here it is in its best form. When the light hits the shade at a certain angle, the gold shimmer is more evident.
In the image below, Graphite is at its best, a combination of grey and gold shimmer, infused with one another.
Out of the two shades, Quartz is the safer choice. It is work safe, neutral, and packs a punch of surprise in the sun. Graphite is certainly more unique if you can catch it in the correct lighting. In direct sunlight, Graphite is a dark gray with silver shimmer. If you move your finger from side to side, you can see the gold foil glistening in the sun. With indoors lighting, it's a simple silver glitter nail polish that's hardly worth the hype. However, if you can catch it in the sunset as shown above, Graphite becomes a truly unique shade.
I honestly had my doubts about Graphite. It was mind boggling to me why I had to pay $25 for a silver nail polish with some flecks of gold glitter. I can't really wear it to work or figure out why people prefer it over Quartz. Needless to say when I finally saw it in its best form, I had to eat my words. Graphite is beautiful, unique, and certainly not safe. However, I would love to see the foiled look in all lighting and angles, not just under certain conditions.
Bottom line: Chanel never disappoints when it comes to their nail varnishes. The shades may look boring in the bottle, but always manage to catch me by surprise in the sun. You can play it safe with Quartz or party your heart out with Graphite. As Chanel would have it, Graphite and Peridot, the two non-safe shades, are both limited edition.
Are you a Quartz or Graphite type of gal?