Watches: Graham 1695 Chronofighter Oversize Superlight Carbon (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on August 27, 2014

With its protruding lever on the left-hand side of the case, the “Chronofighter” is undoubtedly one of the most iconic models created by Graham 1695 in terms of cutting-edge design. The other noteworthy timepiece that comes to mind is of course the “Swordfish”. But in both cases, what makes these watches so interesting is that the element of design making them so peculiar serves a clever horological purpose. The two strange metal ring framed eyes of the "Swordfish" are in fact magnifying glasses able to enlarge the chronograph sub-dials by about 15% for a more comfortable reading of the time measurements and the start and stop lever of the “Chronofighter” is the most convenient way of activating a chronograph when wearing gloves.

Even though not always as conspicuous as these aesthetic signatures, the search for better technological solutions is generally present in Graham’s timepieces. The new Chronofighter Oversize Superlight Carbon, officially unveiled this week, is yet another brilliant example of this drive to make the most of modern technology and improve the brand’s iconic models.

At first glance one could mistakenly think that the difference from, say, the beautiful Chronofighter Oversize Black Arrow that I have recently reviewedWatches: Graham London Chronofighter Oversize Black Arrow Collection (+live pics) is purely cosmetic. It is not Graham’s style, however, to make do with a superficial revamping of their most renowned timepieces and surf on their commercial success. Certainly, the imposing 47 mm case is black with the same carbon fibre lever as the “Black Arrow” collection. One could imagine the only difference is the use of carbon fibre for the bezel and dial to give a definitely more technical look to this watch.

The difference is way more profound though: the rather mundane stainless steel with a black PVD coating made way for a black carbon nanotube composite. This entirely new class of materials is obtained by combining carbon fibre and a strong polymer matrix. Carbon nanotubes are the strongest and stiffest materials yet discovered in terms of tensile strength and elastic modulus and also stand out by their remarkable lightness. After promising applications in aeronautics, car racing and aerospace, they now enter the watch industry and allow the Chronofighter Oversize Superlight Carbon to weigh less than 100 grams!

To enhance the technical side of this stunning timepiece, Graham’s designers have opted for a scarlet red rubber strap secured by a carbon fibre buckle. It features a beautiful “Clous de Paris” decoration and is also embossed with the brand’s name. In my opinion this extremely vivid colour helps bringing out the texture of the carbon fibre bezel, lever and dial. The Chronofighter Oversize Superlight Carbon will retail for CHF 9,900. It is a truly stunning model packed with the most cutting-edge materials and should appeal to any technology-oriented watch-lover.

For more information please visit the Graham 1695 web site.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: