Review – Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd. – Aviation Pinups on your wrist

Being known as an unconventional brand, Graham specialises in the creation of aviation-inspired pieces, with quite bold designs. One cannot deny that these watches are “special”, and are definitely not lacking in clear coolness. As they already have in their collection some vintage and military-inspired pieces – see here – Graham has decided to add a feature that is part of fighting aircrafts’ history, to the Chronofighter: “Nose Art“. Pinups on the wrist, with the new Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd… And once again, it’s audacious.

What is “Nose Art“?

Fighting aircraft nose art pinup

The concept of “Nose Art” can already be found on 18th century vessels. However, the most common representation we have of Nose Art is mainly linked to WWII aircrafts and the pinups that ground crews painted on the nose of military planes. Yet, originally there was nothing glamorous in these decorations. Nose Art started as embellished squadron insignia, created in order to identify friendly units from enemies. The practice evolved to express the individuality which was often constrained by the uniformity of the military, to evoke memories of home and peacetime life, and this is why during WWII, many of these “Nose Arts” were of young and glamorous ladies, a.k.a. “pinups”. And surprisingly, what started as a security necessity quickly became folk art. Today, with the Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd., Graham catches that stylish and offset military spirit and implements it on the dials of its vintage / military pilot watches.

The Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd.

Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd PinupsWith this inspiration in mind and knowing what the brand already has in this collection, the link was actually rather easy to make between the Chronofighter and Nose Art. The collection consists of 4 watches – dubbed Sally, Anna, Lilly and Nina, in reference to the girls painted on the dials. For the rest, we can look back to the signature features of this bold, large chronograph, with its inverted crown at 9 and the “trigger” device, a distinctive feature of all Graham watches. It was already quite a piece with an impressive wrist presence.  In fact, these decorations on its dial reinforce the look – and they add a further dosage of coolness, for those who will dare to wear it.

The dials

Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd Pinups

Here comes the first and main attraction of the Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd. watches, their dials. Basically, they are based on the Chronofighter Vintage collection and as such they share the same style and layout. Inspired by 1940s pilot watches, with large 12 numeral, long and luminous baton markers, an imposing 30-minute counter at 6 and, because of the inverted movement, a day-and-date indication at 9 and a small second at 3. Time is indicated by antique-like hands, which are filled with luminova to bring perfect night-time legibility.

Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd Pinups

As stated, 4 editions are available: 2 with black sunburst dial (Sally and Anna), 2 with blue sunburst dial (Lilly and Nina). The main difference compared to the other watches of this collection is that these Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd. have a cartoon-like pinup painted on the right side of their dials. For 3 of them, their body is integrated within the small second counter while their legs appear in the 30-minute counter (without disturbing too much legibility though). the “Lilly” edition is slightly different as the body is entirely visible on the dial.

The addition of these “nose art” representations on the dials of these Graham Chronofighter Vintage models brings humor and glamour, yet the concept feels completely consistent with the original DNA of the watch. Of course, they won’t be to everyone’s taste and to wear any of these watches you will need to be 2 things: to be a passionate collector of this era – for military pieces and for “nose art” in general, and, most importantly, to have some audaciousness in order to feel confident enough to have such a piece on your wrist. For those who can combine these characteristics then the Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd. watches are very pleasant pieces, with a real uniqueness and coolness.

The case / strap

Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd Pinups

The Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd. pieces, as with all Chronofighter watches, have a clear presence on the wrist. Not only are the dials bold, but the case also brings its own signature style to these watches. These Nose Art editions are presented in the 44mm case, crafted in polished stainless steel. Attached to it is the “trigger” device that circles the crown at 9, a signature feature of all Graham watches since 1995. With such a description, you might imagine that you have a beast on the wrist, however, even though they are not small dress timepieces, these Chronofighter watches are perfectly wearable.

Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd Pinups

First of all, the long horns are curved and hug the wrist, which means that the watch is balanced and well positioned on the wrist. Then, the large trigger device is positioned at 9 which does make sense when the watch is worn normally on the left wrist – for once, we don’t encourage you to wear it as a “destro” watch, as this trigger could be uncomfortable. Finally, there is  a user-friendly trigger, which operates the chronograph function. Because we are talking about an inverted watch, the position of the pushers is also reversed. Thus, the lower push piece of the trigger is used to start the chronograph and to pause it – in a very easy way, using your thumb. The chronograph is reset by pressing the mushroom-like pusher at 10. Few inverted watches offer such ease-of-use and the trigger device really does make a lot of sense here.

Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd Pinups

The Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd. models are secured to the wrist by hand-sewn leather straps – in black on “Sally”, in military green on “Anna” and in blue on “Nina” and “Lilly”. A choice of pin-buckle or folding clasp is available.

The movement

Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd Pinups

Behind the sapphire caseback is a familiar movement. This automatic chronograph, the calibre G1747, is based on the Valjoux 7750 – meaning a 48h power reserve, 4Hz frequency and 25 jewels. This movement is a workhorse that will bring precision and reliability over the years. To be integrated into the case of the Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd. it has been slightly modified – mainly because it is inverted and also to integrate the “trigger” device.

Availability and Price

Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd Pinups

The Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd. models are limited to 100 pieces for each dial and are now available at retailers. The price is CHF 5,450 / £3,840. More details on graham1695.com.


Technical Specifications – Graham Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd.

  • Case: 44mm diameter – stainless steel, polished – fast-action start / stop trigger and reset pusher – sapphire crystal on both sides – 100m water resistant
  • Movement: calibre G1747 (Valjoux 7750 base) – automatic – Swiss Made – 4Hz frequency – 48h power reserve – time, day-and-date, chronograph
  • Strap: hand-sewn leather strap in black, green or blue (depending on the edition), steel pin-buckle or folding clasp on request
  • Reference: 2CVAS.B21A (Black Dial, Sally) – 2CVAS.B22A (Black Dial, Anna) – 2CVAS.U05A (Blue Dial, Lilly) – 2CVAS.U04A (Blue Dial, Nina)
  • Limited edition of 4 times 100 pieces
  • Price: CHF 5,540 / £3,840

4 responses

  1. The only good thing about this dreadful Mickey Mouse watch is the position of the chronograph push button. I expect it to be offered on eBay for 500 dollars within a year, which would still be more than it’s worth.

  2. Remove that ugly pusher and reduce it to 41 or 42mm.
    That will be lovely..really like the nose art girls idea.

Leave a Reply