Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage Arabic Numerals
The Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage Arabic Numerals is a wonderfully oversized, modern chronograph. The Anglo-Swiss brand is known for making contemporary timepieces which are bold, while at the same time refined and tasteful. Steve Ashby explores this new model at close quarters.
Being a fan of unusual watches, it will come as no surprise that Graham is one of my all-time favourite brands. Each of the firm’s watches dares to be seen, casually throwing subtlety to the wind. Even the company’s slightly more classical designs have a striking style, making them instantly recognisable as Graham timepieces.
The brand prides itself on its heritage, tracing its origins back to its namesake, George Graham, who is referred to as the ‘father of the chronograph’ having invented the start and stop mechanisms used in such timepieces. Graham has used the chronograph function to bring life to its watches both visually and functionally, utilising it to create timepieces with Tachymeters and Pulsometers.
This newest release, the Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage Arabic Numerals, available in two strap variants, joins the company’s existing Grand Vintage line. The watch has a more understated look than other models in the range with the colour palette pared-back to black and white, offset by a few smatterings of red. These latter flourishes of ebullience include red text positioned below the Graham nomen, a red tip gracing the central chronograph second hand and a lone red hand on the 30-minute register. This cheery hue is employed with judicious and tasteful restraint.
The advent of the Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage Arabic Numerals also represents one of the few times that the luxury marque has incorporated Arabic numbers on the dial. Previously, the marque has had a propensity to use baton-style markers. It’s the only core piece within the Grand Vintage collection to currently use Arabic style numerals. The only other Grand Vintage variants to incorporate a numbered display are the ‘graffiti’ limited editions. These watches divided opinion amongst fans of the brand with the frosted ‘graffiti’ artwork on the crystal. While the various motifs looked incredible, they did impair readability somewhat.
By contrast, the new Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage Arabic Numerals puts readability at the forefront of its design. It features a wide 47mm case, domed sapphire crystal and large ‘Modern’ hands which are liberally coated in Super-Luminova. The watch also comes armed with a bubble magnifier, situated over the date window at the 9 o’clock position. The dial plays host to two additional sub-dials, arranged diagonally across the lower right side. These dial indications include a 30-minute chronograph register at the 6 o’clock position and a small seconds display located at 3 o’clock.
The dial membrane possesses a splendid horizontal brushed finish. The same attention to detail also extends to the case of the Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage Arabic Numerals. For example, the satin brushed finish appears on areas of the case and suffuses each facet of Graham’s signature concave bezel. The resultant appearance exudes quality and looks glorious.
Of course, one cannot ignore the other feature for which the Chronofighters are famed – I for one have always been particularly fascinated by the oversized crown and fast-action chronograph trigger on the left side of the case. Again, these components have been satin brushed in some areas and polished in others. It’s a stunning feature that offers ergonomic efficiency when starting / stopping the chronograph. Personally, I feel it ticks the ‘something different’ box and further augments my affection for the watch.
The watch is available on either a mesh-patterned black rubber strap or a more traditional calf leather strap with detail stitching around the lugs. Both are supplied with a steel pin buckle.
Powering the piece is a G1747 Automatic Chronograph movement, a 25-jewel calibre that has a frequency of 28,800 VpH and offers a very respectable power-reserve of 48 hours. The movement is based on the venerable Valjoux 7750 – an ETA calibre that is perhaps one of the most iconic automatic chronograph movements available. It has previously seen service in watches produced by Omega, TAG Heuer, Tissot, Raymond Weil – the list goes on. Of course, Graham’s G1747 version carries with it a little extra finesse, featuring Côtes de Genève striped finishing on the rotor.
The Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage Arabic Numerals has a recommended retail price of £4,450, a keen price especially considering its impressive array of talents.
Without doubt the Arabic numerals are a welcome addition to Graham’s Chronofighter line, partly because of the improved readability. However, the bold numerals also imbue the watch with a completely different personality to other references in the range. While all of the Grand Vintage watches take inspiration from military timepieces, with the advent of the Arabic models this is more apparent.
Normally I favour Graham’s more colourful watches, but there’s a certain irresistible quality that comes from the ever-popular black, white and red colour scheme that has been used on countless occasions by the watch industry. It’s not unlike my wardrobe; while I may own a multitude of suits in a variety of different colours, on the right night, a traditional white shirt with a black suit and tie supplants all other choices. It’s a timeless look which is exactly how I would describe Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage Arabic Numerals.
- Model: Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage Arabic Numerals
- Reference: 2CVDS.B29A
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 47mm; water resistance 10ATM (100 metres) sapphire crystals to the front and back
- Functions: Hours; minutes; seconds; date, chronograph
- Movement: Calibre G1747; automatic movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve 48 hours
- Strap: Black rubber mesh pattern strap. Also available on calf leather strap. Steel pin buckle.
- Price: £4,450 (RRP as at 23.9.2019)