Angus Davies reviews the Graham Chronofighter Oversize on his online watch magazine, Escapement, The timepiece is a chronograph with a rather unusual carbon “trigger.” Read why Angus delights in this Graham offering, below.
This morning, I have awakened 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 (UK). 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 “loaner” model which I have been kindly lent.
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 stopwatch 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 while eyes focus on the task in hand.
This watch has a masculine mien; it is a man’s watch, ideally suited for full-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 often find myself using the word “joy” to describe the Chronofighter Oversize as it makes me smile with its bold aesthetics and bountiful proportions.
Graham indulges wearers with an array of dial colors to choose from. My loaner watch featured a gray 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 that 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 while 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 while wearing the Chronofighter Oversize. The reason is that 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 caseband, lugs and caseback.
Adorning the dorsal flank of the watch, an exhibition caseback reveals the G1747 self-winding movement. The case back is held by six screws and the tapering edge of its form enhances wearer comfort.