September 4, 2015
When it comes to steel chronographs, we certainly have no shortage of choice, across a variety of brands and price points. If you start looking for ones that carry a bit more polish (or refinement – however you want to label it) the field slims down some. Add in the requirement of a bold visual punch, and you again cut the field down. While it certainly is not the only option, the Graham Chronofighter Oversize Target certainly meets those requirements, and this latest iteration of the Graham Chronofighter adds in a rather nice dial treatment.
Let’s take first things first, and sort out the obvious. Yes, the Graham Chronofighter Oversize Target owes the “Oversize” part of its name to the 47mm case that it embodies, plus the addition of the large carbon fiber trigger on the left side. For my money, since 47mm is their standard size, it would seem preferable to simply drop the “Oversize” part of the name. While the case is definitely larger than I would normally consider wearing, it had an added benefit.
That benefit is one I really did not notice until I was writing up this article with it on my wrist. Due to the larger diameter, it is possible to slip the watch out from under a cuff so that you can read the time, yet still keep the chronograph trigger hidden away. This really makes for a clean look on the wrist, as you only see the smooth right side of the case. Additionally, our review sample had a polished black finish (sort of a black chrome, if you will) on its ceramic bezel, which gave things a further refined air. Further, it keeps you from blinding yourself with reflections from the bezel. Inside that bezel, and under the sapphire crystal, is the best part of this new model.
That, of course, is the smoked and tinted dial. While I have not seen this a lot (and it has generally been limited to cutouts on a regular dial), I have quickly become a fan of this treatment. Obviously, it does give you a look at the movement – although, in this case, it is not a particularly exciting view. What you may not realize is that when these translucent dials are used, it really gives the appearance that the printing (numerals, indices, and the like) is floating over the dial. In the case of our Graham Chronofighter Oversize Target loaner, this makes things really stand out in stark contrast, which makes reading the time a snap – something not always easy to do when you can see the movement from the dial side.
With the green color used on this version (there are two other options: blue on a white rubber strap and grey on a calf strap), you also get a sort of color-shifting ability. Depending on the lighting situation – or how angled into the light you are – it can shift from a darker green to something of a lighter olive color that matches (more or less) the included rubber strap. It is worth noting that the strap has ends on it that snug firmly into the lugs, with no gaps between the strap and the case. In other words, you have the more finished look of a bracelet with solid end links in a material that is perfect for summer (read: no issues with water). The texture that you see on the strap is known as Clous de Paris, and it shows up on another part of the watch.
That spot is the chronograph reset pusher which, as it is finished in black, makes it a bit trickier to see, though you certainly can feel it. That pusher (and the trigger below it) are interacting with the G1747 automatic movement held within the case. While the view of the movement through the smoked dial is not that exciting, it is more interesting when seen through the exhibition caseback. You have a few different finishes present, including the Geneva stripes prominently on the rotor, along with some blued screws that add a nice touch. Of note, while the 4Hz movement does not carry a COSC certification, it has been adjusted in five positions, so you should expect accuracy.
Then again, in the day-to-day wear of a watch like the Graham Chronofighter Oversize Target, things like adjustment accuracy are not a top consideration – it’s more a concern of living with the watch. Even though the 150g watch is a touch larger than I would normally consider, it is rather comfortable. A large part of that is due to the strap and angled lugs, and the fact that the trigger, crown, and buttons are on the left side of the case. That means for us left-wrist wearers, the extra bulk is not digging into your wrist (for those of you who wear it on the right wrist, well, you will have a different experience). In wearing the Graham Chronofighter Oversize Target around, it did certainly garner some attention, first due to it’s size, and secondly, due to the carbon fiber trigger and the smoked dial.
In the end, the Graham Chronofighter Oversize Target is an interesting iteration for the lineup. There are all manner of versions and colors now, meaning should this style of watch be of interest, you have plenty of options to choose from within the brand. If your tastes skew to this latest version, you will need to bring along $6,900 to acquire one of your own. While the watch definitely will not be for everyone, I think that those who find it on their wrist will have a solid mix of capability, boldness, and refinement accompanying them as they go about their day. graham1695.com
>Model: Chronofighter Oversize Target
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Ultimately, no – the combination of sizing and complications just is not my cup of tea.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: This is for the guy who wants a big, bold watch with a Swiss pedigree.
>Worst characteristic of watch: For having the translucent dial, the dial side of the movement is not all that interesting.
>Best characteristic of watch: The color-shifting behavior of the smoked dial.
Tech Specs from Graham
>Functions: Chronograph (seconds, 30 minutes counter). Date at 8 o’clock. Hours, minutes, seconds
>Calibre: G1747, automatic chronograph, 28’800 A/h (4Hz), Incabloc shock absorber; 25 jewels; Power reserve: 48 hours
>Case: 47mm steel case. Black carbon fast-action start/stop trigger and steel reset pusher with black rubber “Clous de Paris” high grip pattern. Black ceramic bezel. Domed sapphire crystal, anti-reflective coating on both faces. See-through sapphire crystal case back.
>Water Resistance: 330 feet / 100m / 10 bar
>Dial: Green-tinted smoked dial. Minutes and seconds counters with white Super-LumiNova (grade A, highly luminescent) graduation; White Super-LumiNova (grade A, highly luminescent) numerals, central hands, chrono and counters’ hands. White telemeter scale.
>Strap: Integrated green rubber strap with “Clous de Paris”; Steel pin buckle.