Angus Davies reviews the Graham Chronofighter Oversize, a chronograph with a rather unusual carbon “trigger”.
This morning, I have woken up with a mixture of emotions. I am looking out of my office window and it is wet and miserable, a stereotypical summer’s day in Lancashire. I have had the joy of wearing the Graham Chronofighter Oversize for a couple of weeks and to be honest, I will be sad to see it go.
I liked the Graham Chronofighter Oversize when we first met, but I can’t pretend it was a profound love at first sight. I thought my romance with very large watches ceased a few years ago. I was mistaken. In the last two weeks, I have grown very attached to the Chronofighter Oversize and don’t want to hand back the press loan which I have been kindly leant.
At first, I was unsure about the chronograph trigger on the left hand flank of the case. However, it has subsequently sneaked up and seduced me. The carbon trigger begs to be touched and I have found actuating the chronograph a cathartic delight.
I am no stranger to Graham’s predilection for trigger actuated chronographs. I remember reviewing the Chronofighter 1695 in pink gold and chatting to Eric Loth, the founder of Graham-London. I still recall Loth, an engineer by trade, explaining the rationale for fitting a trigger. The thumb is said to be the fastest acting finger, proving the most qualified digit for controlling a chronograph. I have tried operating the stop watch function without looking down at the watch and its design and location are intuitive. Its scale and form coax the thumb into position and just feel anatomically suited for measuring an elapsed time whilst eyes focus on the task in hand.
This watch has a masculine mien; it is a man’s watch, ideally suited for fully fledged alpha-males. However, despite its rugged exterior, it has chiseled good looks which elicit amorous glances. Moreover, there are a plethora of delightful design details, making a compelling case for ownership. I find myself often using the word “joy” to describe the Chronofighter Oversize as it makes me smile with its bold aesthetics and bountiful proportions.
Graham indulge wearers with an array of dial colours to choose from. My press loan featured a grey dial canvas with two black, snailed subdials.
A small seconds display is positioned at 3 o’clock and a 30-minute chronograph counter is located at 6 o’clock. The latter subdial overlaps the former. It is interesting that the dial features only two subdials and these are arranged asymmetrically. I like the departure from the norm and applaud Graham for daring to be different.
The hours and minutes are marked with black hands, featuring black Super-LumiNova. They exhibit a stealth-like character, a trait juxtaposed with the overall extrovert personality of the watch. The hands deliver a green emission in restricted light, an aspect shared with the bold Arabic numerals which encircle the dial and denote the hours.
The central chronograph hand is grey, matching the main dial canvas, but remains easy to see and allows the wearer to readily discern the elapsed seconds.
A circular date aperture is positioned between 8 and 9 o’clock. Graham has been courageous and has sought its own design path which, in my opinion, rewards the wearer with a fresh, thought-provoking and highly practical ownership experience.
The Graham Chronofighter Oversize is large as the nomenclature freely declares. It measures 47 mm in diameter and I suspect for some prospective buyers will simply prove too large. Indeed, I was a little apprehensive when I learned of the vital statistics of this all-action horological hero. However, fret not, the watch is actually very comfortable to wear.
I once owned a large watch of similar diameter and whilst I loved its appearance, I found the crown on its right flank would gouge into my arm, leaving an unsightly red mark after a day of intimacy. Thankfully, no similar plight afflicted my wrist whilst wearing the Chronofighter Oversize. The reason being that the crown, trigger and reset button are positioned on the left hand side of the case. These elements always remain perpendicular to the arm and as a result never gouge or chafe. This is logical, simple and a very welcome attribute of the Chronofighter Oversize.
The bezel is ceramic and shiny in appearance. It delivers a rich, luxurious note to the exterior of the case and wonderfully contrasts with the steel case band, lugs and case back.
Adorning the dorsal flank of the watch, an exhibition case back reveals the G1747 self-winding movement. The case back is retained with six screws and the tapering edge of its form enhances wearer comfort.
A notable aspect of the specification is the strap and pin buckle. The brown leather strap, featuring beige stitching, has a vintage, distressed appearance and is magnificent. Whilst some would-be buyers may select a variant of the watch with a practical rubber strap, I prefer the leather option as it delivers an abundance of charm and warmth. The pin-buckle, presented in polished steel, features a square shaped pin which interfaces with the rectangular shaped holes, usurping the small circular types ordinarily found on other watches.
The G1747 automatic chronograph has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz), features 25 jewels and delivers a power-reserve of 48 hours.
However, it is the finishing which I always obsess about and the Graham Chronofighter Oversize delivers a pleasing finish, especially considering the attractive pricing.
The oscillating mass is adorned with Côtes de Genève motif, blued screws are much in evidence and perlage populates the mainplate.
The Graham Chronofighter Oversize has been an absolute pleasure to wear. It is a watch I would not have ordinarily selected in passing. However, it is by spending time with this watch that you become charmed by its many attributes.
There are many small details which deliver delight. For example, the rectangular shaped chronograph reset pushpiece has a black textured motif on its upper surface which is sublime. It is the smallest of details which bestow joy with this watch. There I go again, using the word “joy”, but this expression readily leaves my lips whenever I discuss the Graham Chronofighter Oversize.
Trigger happy? Indeed, I am.
Model: Graham Chronofigher Oversize
Case: Stainless steel; diameter 47 mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
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: Brown leather strap presented with a stainless steel pin buckle
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.