Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage
The Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage is an oversized timepiece, proffering a widescreen dial and unusual trigger mechanism.
This detailed review of the Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage includes live images, specification details and pricing.
When it comes to technology, I am a laggard. I don’t crave the latest gadgets. A few years ago, my son extolled the merits of a wide-screen television, but I remained unconvinced. Eventually, my old television needed replacing and I was forced to succumb to a modern, wide-screen version.
Despite my initial reservations, I now see the wisdom in owning a large television. Now, my myopic vision can fully appreciate blur-free television programmes.
Graham, the prestigious watch company located in La Chaux-de-Fonds, recently unveiled a new timepiece, the Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage. As its name implies, this watch is a horological leviathan, measuring 47mm in diameter. Initially, I questioned the wisdom of its dimensions, however, similar to my wide-screen television, the Chronofighter Grand Vintage employs a large display in order to facilitate legibility.
The Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage is inspired by pilots’ watches from the 1940s. These timepieces were large, sometimes measuring 55mm in diameter. They were typically worn over the sleeve of a flying jacket and were an accompaniment to the plane’s cockpit instruments. Graham has clearly drawn on the appearance of these watches when designing the Chronofighter Grand Vintage, but it has also chosen to infuse this watch with touches of modernity.
Graham offers this model with a choice of four dial colours: blue, brown, silver or black. Personally, I favour the silver option with its golden hour and minute hands. They are bold, classical and lined with white luminescent treatment.
Each hour is marked with a lozenge-shaped baton, all of which are coated with Super-LumiNova. At 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, the hours are denoted with white circlets, while at noon large Arabic numerals proclaim ’12’ in an unequivocal tone. Interestingly, the numerals at 12 o’clock are presented in a modern font, providing a contrast to the vintage style of the case.
Two snailed subdials occupy the dial. A small seconds display is positioned at 3 o’clock, while a 30-minute chronograph register is located at 6 o’clock. The small seconds display features a twin-tipped hand and cross hairs. This latter detail reinforces the military symbolism.
A date aperture resides at 9 o’clock. A magnifying lens above the date augments visibility.
The dial is decorated with a sunray motif. In isolation this detail evinces formality which is in stark contrast to the typography employed at noon. However, this blend of seemingly disparate styles, coalesces beautifully.
The bezel is slender, providing a greater surface area for the dial. The size of the dial, together with the style of the hour markers and hands, delivers superb readability.
The Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage dips in and out of period styling. For example, the domed sapphire glass exudes a nostalgic air.
The slender bezel is satin-brushed and concave. The remaining surfaces of the case are highly polished.
Gracing the left flank of the case is Graham’s innovative trigger. The lower section of the trigger is ergonomically designed to accommodate the thumb, the fastest acting digit. By actuating and stopping the chronograph with the thumb, greater accuracy is conferred. A push-piece is positioned at 10 o’clock to reset the chronograph. Some elements of the trigger are satin-brushed while others are highly polished.
By placing the trigger on the left side of the case, the constituent parts of the mechanism do not gouge the skin when the wrist is flexed. Furthermore, despite its size, I found the shape of the case afforded a comfortable fit.
The rear of the watch features a pane of sapphire crystal, providing sight of the automatic G1747 movement within.
Graham has, once again, embraced modernity with the green rubber strap. The texture of the strap emulates woven thread, bestowing a fascinating aesthetic. The strap is paired with a highly polished pin buckle.
Graham proudly states the origin of its movement. The Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage is endowed with a ‘Swiss G1747 automatic chronograph movement with an Incabloc shock absorber and power reserve of 48 hours’.
The frequency of the balance is 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 25 jewels. The oscillating weight and bridges are decorated with Côtes de Genève motif.
The Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage exploits its size to deliver excellent readability, consistent with pilots’ watches of the past. While its scale is significant, the position of the trigger and overall case design deliver a comfortable fit. Nevertheless, I would suggest slender wrists may be overwhelmed by the watch’s large case proportions.
Graham has embraced both vintage and contemporary styling to create a surprisingly harmonious aesthetic. There are no design elements which appear out of sync with the overall appearance.
In recent years, watches have become smaller. However, Graham has chosen to fly in the face of this trend and, in so doing, created a point of differentiation. While, the 47mm case may be off-putting to some, many horophiles will adore the sheer scale of this watch.
The Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage honours pilot’s watches of yesteryear with its highly lucid dial while evincing a high quotient of style. Some individuals may be described as laggards, unwilling to embrace change but, as owners of widescreen televisions know, a large display has clear advantages.
- Model: Graham Chronofighter Grand Vintage
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 47mm, sapphire crystal to front and caseback; water resistant to 10 ATM (100 metres).
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; chronograph
- Movement: Calibre G1747; Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve 48 hours.
- Strap: Green mesh pattern rubber strap with stainless steel pin buckle
- Price: £4250 (RRP as at 3.7.2018)