Round-UpThe Most Inventive Graham Watches That Are Fuelling A Culture Of Change
From the watchmaking legacy that drives Graham to their innovation in the mechanics of timekeeping and materials, we give you the top five Graham timepieces that represent the Swiss watch manufacturer’s greatest strengths
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A scientist and an eminent watchmaker of the 17th century, George Graham was a friend to astronomers. His inventions included some of the most high-precision timepieces of his times and several mechanisms that paved the way for the development of mechanical timekeeping going forward. Graham’s most renowned invention was the start-and-stop mechanism to measure the duration of events and occurrences, which is basically what a chronograph is, and hence the reason why George Graham is known as the ‘father of the chronograph’. It’s this distinction that has been the greatest source of inspiration for Graham watches. “For me, it was about transforming my knowledge about watches, the history of watchmaking, and my culture as an engineer, into a brand,” informs Eric Loth, founder and CEO of Graham watches. After acquiring the rights to use the Graham name in 1994, he established the modern Graham watches, built on the foundation of Britain’s early contribution to timekeeping, and thriving on Switzerland’s watchmaking expertise.
The most significant development by the brand has been the Chronofighter series, built with a trigger for the chronograph pusher, which is based on the trigger on George Graham’s clock that could measure laps of time independently from its main timekeeping mechanism. Another strong pillar for the brand is the Silverstone line of watches that draws heavily from the world of motor-racing. “I do some racing myself, so it was easy to draw inspiration from there,” Loth states. “We have also been sponsors of Formula One, for instance, the 2009 world champions, the BrawnGP team.” This collection is a true representation of the kind of passion that racing enthusiasts and professionals like Loth feel.
Read more about Graham’s story and their contemporary continuation of a timekeeping legacy
Here are five watches from the brand’s Chronofighter and Silverstone collections that best represent the brand’s bold and daring approach to watchmaking.
Graham Chronofighter Vintage
Taking inspiration from the history of aviation from the 1940s, and yesteryear’s military pilots, the brown Graham Chronofighter watch truly elevates the vintage vibe. Fitted with a G1747 automatic chronograph movement that is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback, with an Incabloc shock absorber and a power reserve of 48 hours, this watch makes a bold statement. The black grained dial, snailed chronograph minutes and small seconds counters, beige SuperLuminova central hands, numerals and indexes and a red 30-minute counter’s hand in this venerable timepiece evokes images of tough guys, leather flying jackets and analogue cockpits. The camel calf leather strap accentuates the old-world charm that the brand exudes with the Chronofighter collection.
Graham Chronofighter GMT
Another masterstroke from the Chronofighter series is this oversized watch that will whisk a watch enthusiast back to the era of World War II. The tough watch is designed for war pilots who’d have trouble with small buttons and pushers on the watch thus proving that ‘thinking big is most effective when it’s matched with making it big in an elegant manner’. Like its peers in the collection, this Chronofighter combines two supremely useful and technical complications – the chronograph and the GMT. With a military aviation influence scrawled across the collection, the watch radiates hues of British green on the sub-dials to match the history. The collection is a time capsule of sorts that bridges the aesthetics in watches from the 1940s with the avant-garde technology of the present. Graham has exhibited striking trademarks in the Chronofighter GMT, such as the reliable stop-start trigger that works flawlessly. The mammoth 47mm steel and rose gold case is fitted with a lovely ceramic bezel. The dial tastefully features tangerine, primarily gracing the chronograph and GMT hands. The double window format of the date below 12 o’clock provides great legibility, complemented with huge luminescent Arabic numbered hour markers. The large dimensions of the case sit comfortably on the wrist courtesy a stylish black crocodile leather strap with a tang clasp.
Graham Chronofighter Vintage GMT
From the instantly recognisable collection of Graham, this highly functional chronograph truly exudes Graham DNA – bold and solid with a dollop of vintage aesthetics. A design reflecting military influence, the 44mm stainless steel case is set with a ceramic unidirectional GMT bezel and a start-stop trigger, which comes into play to activate the chronograph and to protect the crown. The vintage appeal translates from the trigger onto the magnificent blue, bi-compax dial as well. The smooth sun-brushed finish adds to the readability of the watch that has an old-school double date window at 12 o’clock, luminescent indexes and a red-tipped chronograph hand. The cathedral hour and minute hands complement the military aesthetics of the watch. The retro-designed pilot watch is a nod to technical advancements in the watch world as under the hood is a mighty powerful automatic chronograph calibre G1733, a modified Valjoux 7750 offering a two-day power reserve. The look of the watch is complete with a handsome calfskin leather strap with white hand-stitching along its length.
Graham Silverstone RS Racing
Offering a unique blend of British heritage and Swiss watchmaking know-how with every creation, the brand zooms ahead in the race with an impressive array of racing-inspired models. Reflecting the founder and CEO of Graham watches, Eric Loth’s passion for racing is the Silverstone RS Racing watch with a tyre-tread rubber strap – a hands-down show-stealer from the innovative watchmaker’s repertoire. The robust design of this automatic chronograph features a black checkered dial in a 46mm steel case, a tachymeter function and a day-date indication at three o’clock. The stunning case houses a composite ring with a blue composite bezel with white tachymeter graduation and a yellow composite ring under the bezel.
Graham Silverstone RS GMT
To put a GMT feature on the face of a racing chronograph watch is certainly a design challenge, considering that there’s so much to present. To accomplish that without having the watch look severely cluttered is quite commendable – a job well done by Graham. This timepiece doesn’t exclude the tachymeter scale despite the presence of a 24-hour GMT bidirectional rotating bezel in ceramic. Appearing right at the edge of the dial or the inner bezel, the scale is seamlessly integrated with the other markings on the dial and bezel in white, and beige to complement the ‘quilted’ leather strap. In sharp contrast are the red small seconds, and chronograph hands that run on the automatic calibre G1721 – offering a 48-hour power reserve – in the 46mm steel case. While you do get a glimpse of the movement through the semi-transparent dial, you see it clearly through the sapphire crystal caseback. With a domed sapphire crystal top glass as well, this piece is water resistant to 100m.
Which Graham collection do you prefer – the Chronofighter or the Silverstone? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.