Graham Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd
The Graham Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd looks to the past with its aged steel case, vintage colour scheme and depiction of a Halifax bomber on its case-back.
This detailed review of the Graham Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd includes live images, specification details and pricing.
Life generally favours the young. Growing old is not something many individuals relish. Body parts tend not to work as well and limbs become a little less mobile. The idea of ageing proves a daunting prospect for most people.
However, in some areas of maturity can be viewed as a welcome trait. For example, age is synonymous with wisdom, while a fine wine matures, leading to a refined flavour and agreeable nose. Recently, Graham, watchmakers since 1695, unveiled a timepiece imbued with a distinct quotient of maturity, bestowing an appearance like no other.
The Graham Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd is presented in an ‘aged steel with grey PVD case’. Its dial is presented with a riveted appearance and graduated shading. Moreover, the colourway evokes thoughts of the 1940s, employing vintage colours long since forgotten. Completing the nostalgia quotient is a solid case-back adorned with a facsimile of a Halifax bomber.
Intrigued by its sepia-toned character, I recently chose to get ‘hands-on’ with this veteran-like performer.
The dial surface appears composed of several riveted sections. However, appearances can be deceptive. While the dial looks to be made of several parts, it is actually one metal disc. The rivets resemble the metal fixings used on the fuselages of WWII planes. The greyish tones of the dial are presented in a ‘radial gradient’, assuming a darker tone near the periphery of the dial.
The hour and minute hands are delivered in a retro shade of pale green, typical of the 1940s. The hands liaise with baton-like hour markers to articulate the time with clear tone. All the hour markers are batons, save for noon where Arabic numerals take precedent.
At 3 o’clock, a small seconds display resides. It employs both the aforementioned pale green with a darker shade of verdant green. The subdial is snailed, adding to the visual interest of the dial. Graham repeatedly employs colour and texture to sweetly flavour this fascinating dial.
Located at 6 o’clock, a 30-minute chronograph register resides. The colour scheme matches the aforementioned small seconds display, augmenting the cohesion of the dial.
Positioned at 9 o’clock are two apertures revealing the date and the day. Beneath this is a unique serial number from the 250 limited edition run of models. This limited edition series feels special, particularly given the vintage colours employed on the dial.
Despite its notable quotient of style, the practicality of the dial is not compromised, with its clear indications which prove effortless to read.
Graham has sought to make the Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd appear aged courtesy of a 44mm aged steel case with grey PVD. Indeed, the company describes this as ‘old metal aspect’ and the resultant finish successfully fulfils this billing. Quite simply, the case looks as though it is from another age.
Fans of Graham watches will be familiar with the ‘fast-action start / stop trigger’. The device for actuating and halting the stopwatch function is intuitive to use and is an ergonomic delight. In this instance, the trigger is, once again, presented in aged steel with grey PVD coating. Interestingly, the treatment of the metal bestows a gun metal finish which is very becoming.
Graham offers this timepiece in four limited edition models, however, this version is my favourite owing to its glorious colour scheme. This timepiece is equipped with the aforementioned solid case-back stamped with a depiction of a Halifax bomber, however, other versions feature an exhibition case-back. Ordinarily I would favour an exhibition case-back but the facsimile of a Halifax bomber is very appealing.
An aged green cotton canvas strap with a titanium pin buckle completes the impressive ensemble.
The Calibre G1747 features in several other Graham models. It has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and contains 25 jewels. Graham has fitted the movement with an Incabloc shock absorber and the power reserve is sufficient to deliver 48 hours of autonomy.
The movement finishing on this version of the Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd cannot be appraised owing to the solid case-back. Other variants of the watch which are fitted with an exhibition case-back, reveal a rotor adorned with Côtes de Genève motif.
Graham craft interesting watches which stand out from the crowd, primarily owing to the unusual ‘trigger’ arrangement on the left hand flank of the case. Operating the trigger reveals the rationale for its individuality. Starting and stopping the chronograph trigger proves intuitive to use, resulting in less ‘thinking time’ being required than a conventional chronograph and thereby improving the accuracy of the measured time interval.
In this instance, the aged appearance of the trigger and case make for an interesting ownership proposition. This is a watch which delights with its gunmetal grey finish. Moreover, the different shades employed on the dial prove very interesting and, together with the vintage colours employed, distinguish the watch as special.
Another area where Graham has masterfully imbued this timepiece with character is with the dial. The texture of the dial with its riveted motif, faux multi-part appearance and snailed subdials confers a rich tapestry of details.
Ultimately, nobody wants to get old, however, Graham has shown that some aspects of ageing can be very appealing. With the Graham Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd, the ageing process of the design encompasses an aged steel case, a riveted dial, vintage colours and a depiction of a Halifax plane on the reverse of the case. This watch has been cleverly aged and shows a wonderful maturity to its specification.
• Model: Graham Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd
• Case: Stainless steel; diameter 44mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid case back.
• Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; day; date; chronograph.
• Movement: Calibre G1747; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800vph (4Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve 48 hours
• Strap: Aged green canvas strap with titanium pin buckle.
• Price: £3,840 (RRP as at 18.5.2017)
• Limited Edition: 250 pieces