September 18, 2017
by Kenny Yeo
Love it or hate it, the trend of the vintage-inspired watch seems to show no signs of slowing down. For sure, such watches might lack originality by definition; but at the same time, it has also given rise to some truly great new watches like Tag Heuer’s Autavia and Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Geographic. In any case, there are loads more of these watches being released, but one of the most interesting new pieces is the limited edition Graham Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd. Let’s take a look at why this collection of vintage-inspired watches is worthy of attention.
There are four new models in the collection and each one is limited to 250 pieces. Let’s go through the basics first and then talk about the differences between the four models. First up, these new Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd. watches have Graham’s distinctive case design with the start/stop trigger for the chronograph function. Case size is 44mm, but because of the large start/stop trigger and onion crown as well as the muscular design of the lugs, these watches will likely wear a lot larger.
One aspect of the Graham Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd. watches that makes them stand out from other vintage-inspired watches is their case. Apart from having Graham’s signature design, they are made from aged steel with a gray PVD. From the press photos, it seems that this unique combination has given them an old, used, and worn in look.
To complete the vintage looks, the four Graham Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd. watches will also have riveted dials that are meant to mimic the look of old aircraft from the ’30s and ’40s. All models will come with matching canvas and denim straps. Water resistance is 100m.
The ref. 2CVAV.B17A has a black dial and a radial finish that gets darker around the edges. It also has beige Super-LumiNova hands and hour markers. Green is used for the chronograph hands, chronograph register, and the subsidiary seconds dial. But most notably, this reference has a solid caseback stamped with the British Royal Air Force’s Halifax aircraft.
The ref. 2CVAV.B19A is arguably the most modern-looking of the collection. It has a black radial finish dial, but in place of beige Super-LumiNova, it has white Super-LumiNova hands and markers. Along with the red hands for the chronograph’s 30-minute register, this gives this particular reference a more modern vibe.
The final two models are the ref. 2CVAV.B18A and ref. 2CVAV.U03A. The former features a black radial finish dial, while the latter has a funky deep blue radial finish dial. Both models have beige Super-LumiNova hour and minute hands, and hour markers. The chronograph 30-minute registers have red hands for better legibility. The ref. 2CVAV.U03A is particularly nice because it comes with a blue denim strap that I think nicely complements the dial.
All four watches are powered by the caliber G1747, which is based on the Valjoux 7750. It beats at 4Hz and offers a power reserve of around 48 hours (2 days). It features a day-date complication, which is displayed at 9 o’clock on the dial. The chronograph complication is operated using the specially designed trigger-style pusher that is also at 9 o’clock on the case. The pusher at 10 o’clock resets the chronograph.
Bold and brash are two adjectives often used to describe Graham’s Chronofighter watches and these four new models are no different. Most vintage-inspired watches stop short at having vintage dial elements like beige Super-LumiNova or designs based on watches from the archives, but these are refreshing in the sense that their cases do look remarkably worn in and used. Along with the riveted dials, this gives the Graham Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd. watches a very strong vintage and used look that I think is quite different from other vintage-inspired watches from other brands and they deserve a closer look. The Graham Chronofighter Vintage Aircraft Ltd. watches are limited to 250 pieces each and are priced at $5,450. graham1695.com