Graham has forged a powerful brand image around its Chronofighter, a watch collection designed to evoke the mood of vintage aviator watches. Revisited time and time again since its launch in 2001, the Chronofighter amplifies its vintage aura with a new squadron of watches. Using colours that are indelibly associated with military aircraft, the trilogy of Chronofighter Vintage watches are a nostalgic flight back in time to the 1940s.
The multiple faces of the Chronofighter
Graham’s Chronofighter was way ahead of the current vogue for vintage-inspired watches and spotted a market niche for retro timepieces years ago. Do you remember the 2012 Graham Chronofighter 1695? Although it wasn’t referred to at that time as a retro watch, all the pieces were in place to exploit the unique architecture of the case to its full vintage potential. Inspired by military stopwatches of yesteryear, the Chronofighter is Graham’s trump card and has been revisited in multiple guises: decorated with pin-ups inspired by aviation nose art, in XXL 47mm formats, in a GMT version, in superlight carbon cases with acid colours and even in a model with a pulsometer scale…
The latest trilogy, housed in 44mm steel cases with the emblematic chronograph trigger, would not have looked amiss in a faded black and white photograph of US Air Force pilots. Imagine a photo of a pilot of this period rigged out in a bomber jacket with fleece lining, a helmet with goggles and the large Chronofighter Vintage watch on his wrist…I wonder how many of us would be able to spot the anachronism?
The 44mm steel case is a classic Chronofighter case with its concave bezel and distinctive positioning of the chronograph lever on the left side of the case. With its dash of steampunk aesthetics, evidenced by the onion crown, mushroom reset pusher and elaborate lever contraption to start and stop the chronograph, one is inclined to think that the paraphernalia is merely a design quirk. Actually, the left-side position is eminently practical, instinctive and ultimately more accurate.
Like the stopwatches used by WWII pilots, basically pocket watches strapped over their jackets designed to be activated with the thumb, this system allows you to manipulate the lever with your right thumb instead of having to fiddle around with your index finger to locate a pusher on the right side of the case. It also means that while you trigger the lever with your thumb, you can hold the case firmly with the rest of your right hand. Another advantage of the left-hand rigging is that you can bend your wrist without being impaled and save your shirt cuffs from tearing. As with so many large watches, small design features can make all the difference and in this case, the tapered ergonomic lugs ensure a snug fit on the wrist.
The novelty of the Chronofighter Vintage trilogy is purely aesthetic and regards the dial which is presented in khaki, silver and black sun-brushed dials, colours that pick up on military aviation themes and which look very handsome in the metal. The layout is exactly the same as the Chronofighter Nose Art watches with two registers for the chronograph – minutes and seconds – on the dial picked out with a snailed background. The khaki and black models feature matching chrono counters while the silver model resorts to black snailed chrono counters for enhanced legibility. Underscoring the vintage personality of the watches, the indices and numeral 12 are golden along with the cathedral-style hands, which have been treated with white Super-LumiNova®. The day and date are also provided on the dial at 9 o’clock and the overall impression is of clarity, personality and a fantastic vintage vibe.
Automatic chronograph movement
Equipped with a G1747 automatic chronograph movement, based on the reliable Valjoux 7750, the calibre is visible through the caseback and offers a power reserve of 48 hours and water-resistance to 100 metres. The reliable cam-and-lever chronograph operates at 28,800 vibrations per hour and has been slightly modified to meet with the specific chronograph pushers of this Graham watch.
All three watches are presented on resistant calf leather straps to match the dial and will retail for EUR 4,720. For more details, please consult www.graham1695.com.